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|05-31-2012, 09:19 AM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: San Francisco.
Roses are Red (Annotated version for CAW#11)
I was not planning on doing another annotated story for this CAW, but the more I worked on this story and the more fun I had with it, the more I just plain didn’t want to stop working on it. So I just invented more work for myself, basically.
It’s worth warning you that if you have not already read the story, you should not read these annotations, as they contain some spoilers and will generally distract you. Read the regular version on the main site and then, if you really liked it, come read this, where these bolded notes will provide “DVD commentary” on the story and how it was made. You’ve been warned.
I have three big passions, academically speaking: Theater arts, modern horror, and folktales. I started “Red” (as it was called then) as the first of a planned series of stories rooted in popular fairy tales. Why didn’t that project ever happen? Well, it was actually kind of hard to come up with ones. “Grandfather Death and Virgin Mary” is a reworking of “Hansel & Gretel”, but other than that story and this one I didn’t think much of most of my ideas. So “Red” went on the backburner and in truth, I forgot about it for a while.
When I looked at the posted image for the challenge, I thought of the same things I’d guess most people did. I considered a lot of story ideas about women who are isolated, lost, vulnerable, etc. Then I thought, you know, if the figure in the image were a man, we wouldn’t think of him as being exposed. A man alone in the dark is threatening, but a woman alone is vulnerable; why is that?
I decided that the really defining quality of the image is its ambiguity; this person is a stranger, we know nothing about her and we can know nothing about her, and we’re in very real danger of making judgments about her based on prejudices and assumptions. Did I have any story ideas that might subvert people’s expectations about characters and play on that defining ambiguity? And then I remembered, yes, I had at least one…
Source time: There are more variations of “Little Red Riding Hood” than my puny mind can even conceive, but I principally used Charles Perrault’s “Little Red Riding Hood” (the first written version of the tale and the first to use the red hood) and the traditional French folktale “The False Grandmother” (often credited as the oldest still-extant version that contains most of the recognizable story elements) as reference.
Bruno Bettelheim’s Freudian reading of “Little Red Riding Hood” in “The Uses of Enchantment” provided the base line I worked off of. For the purposes of this story, Bettelheim is canon, even though his ideas are a tad dated.
There’s a lot of art that uses Red Riding Hood imagery, but I most frequently looked at Gustave Dore’s somewhat suggestive storybook illustrations. The very oddball psychological horror video game “The Path” is a great example of how far you can stretch the story’s imagery, not to mention of how to generate enormous amounts of tension with them, and the first time I played it charged me with a fervent desire to write a story very much like this.
David Slade’s brilliant 2005 movie “Hard Candy” helped provide a lot of the subtext about ambiguous sexual threats, and a lot of the dialogue in the car scene was written with this movie in mind.
"Haven't you ever wondered why the wolf eats Grandma first?"
The question was unsolicited and off-topic, apparently just something on Nicolas' mind. Angela obliged him by shaking her head. “No,” she said, “I never have.”
The café was crowded and they sat almost shoulder-to-shoulder with the next table. Angela could tell that Nicolas was about to get on a roll with this subject and worried that he might elbow them if he used any of the sweeping hand gestures he was prone to when lecturing.
This is the kind of thing I bring up in conversation, usually for no reason at all. If you hang out with me (which I’m sure you’re all just dying to do), this is the kind of shit you’re going to hear.
"The wolf meets Little Red Riding Hood in the forest and wants to eat her, right?” Nicolas said. He shoveled a bite of meaty lasagna into his mouth, staining his lips tomato-red; Nicolas had a way of talking with his mouth full that somehow never showed what he was chewing and never seemed rude. “So why not just eat Little Red then? Why bother impersonating Grandma?"
Angela pushed her salad plate away and glanced at her mostly empty glass of red wine. "I don’t know. I guess it is strange. Is there a reason?”
We just had our first mentions of the color red. The word “red” appears over fifty times in this story, making up approximately one percent of all the words used. With a few totally self-indulgent exceptions, all of the mentions of the color highlight something important; the wine drunk here, for example, might affect Angela’s judgment later.
"It's because the story is all about sex," said Nicolas. "Grandma has to die first because if a sexually predatory male like the one the wolf represents wants to take advantage of a young girl like Little Red he has to make sure there are no maternal figures around to warn Little Red about guys like him."
"Oh?" Angela propped one hand under her chin, listening. She noted that the people at the next table were listening too.
"Uh-huh. I mean, you know why the hood is red, right?"
He was waiting for her to ask why. So she did.
I wanted to be careful not to make it seem as if Nicolas was a bore, so these brief sentences establish that he’s actually interesting to talk to. Since starting this story off with academic analysis was, um, probably not the strongest foot to lead with, I had to hope that the readers would go along with the characters in that opinion.
“Red is the color of carnality, and of course red is the color of blood, which represents menstruation and sexual maturity," Nicolas continued. "Red is a warning color, and red is a color that means passion and emotion, and red is even the color of sin. That's why Little Red dies in some of the old stories; because she’s sinful."
Nicolas sticks pretty close to Bruno Bettelheim’s Freudian reading of the story. Bettelheim’s essay feels a little dated now, and he’s been criticized, as most Freudian critics have, for reading what he wants to find in the story rather than what’s there and for using a modern variation of the story rather than an older one. But I still like Bruno’s take on things, and it’s a useful position for this kind of story, so fuck it.
This is as good a time as any to talk about the use of color. Color symbolism is, on one hand, one of the easiest things to do; just pick objects in the scene and make them whichever color you deem significant. But this is harder than it sounds, because colors don’t have universal meaning most of the time; Robert W Chambers used the color yellow to signify disease and decadence, but other authors have used it to symbolize life, happiness, good luck, or just about anything they want, really.
Lucky for me, when most people think of the color red they always, ALWAYS think about blood.
Angela blinked. "Wait, Little Red Riding Hood dies?"
"Oh sure." Nicolas fumbled in his briefcase and brought up a dog-eared paperback book, handing it to her. She turned it over in her hand, skimming the back.
“You carry around books of fairy tales in your briefcase?” she said.
“What do you think the class I teach is about?”
She read the pages he indicated:
Meanwhile, the wolf arrived at Grandmother’s, killed her, put some of her flesh into the pantry and some of her blood into a bottle, then put on her clothes and climbed into bed. When Little Red Riding Hood arrived the wolf bid her eat and drink some of whatever she found in the pantry. When the little cat who lived in the cottage saw the girl eating the flesh of her own grandmother it screamed and ran away.
This bit of unwitting cannibalism appears in “The False Grandmother” and, presumably, other, older variations of the story. It doesn’t seem to offer much in the way of meaning, but it does go to show how far out of their way medieval peasant stories would go to shock the audience. Keep that in mind the next time people complain about how violent media has “gotten” in the last thirty years.
Naturally, I played up the cannibalism theme later, since it’s already here anyway.
Angela made a face. “Charming.”
“That’s how they told the story in the old days. If you think that’s bad, you won’t like the ending.”
She kept reading:
“And Grandmother, what big teeth you have!” Little Red Riding Hood said.
“All the better to eat you with!” said the wolf. And with that he grabbed Little Red Riding Hood and ate her one bite at a time. The end.”
Here I’ve cheated a bit by taking the gratuitous violence of “The False Grandmother” and marrying it to the gruesome surprise ending of Charles Perrault’s “Little Red Riding Hood”. To my knowledge, no single story features both the cannibalism the downer ending, but probably there is one out there. Actually, Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman” (which I reference almost as often as “The Bloody Chamber”) did this same thing.
Angela put the book down. “Did they really read this to kids?”
“It wasn't meant to be a kid's story,” said Nicolas, shrugging. “But girls who were coming of age needed to be taught to beware of sexually aggressive men. That was the idea anyway. There are wolves everywhere, you know.” He winked, and she smiled. He brought out another book. “Now, if you didn’t like that, you should try this one instead.”
That line about how the story was not meant for kids touches on a thorny issue, namely that it’s difficult to classify exactly what a fairy tale is. Today we think of fairy tales as traditional children’s stories, usually with some fantastic element, but this is a pretty recent definition. Folktales like “The False Grandmother” and its antecedents weren’t meant for kids but for general audiences and were usually full of crude scatalogical humor and over-the-top violence. They were, after all, stories meant to entertain the rude masses.
The modern fairy tale was really invented by Charles Perrault and a few similarly minded writers in the 17th century. Perrault took peasant stories, committed them to paper for the first time, and dressed them up a bit for the upper class. It was Perrault who decided that fairy tales should be moralizing treatises to teach lessons to the audience. But even Perrault’s stories were not aimed at children; in the court of Louis XIV, peasant stories were considered droll and amusing, and Perrault was writing more for a court audience.
It wasn’t until the Brothers Grimm that anyone thought to write fairy tales aimed specifically at children. So what differentiates a fairy tale from a folktale? Several hundred years of misappropriation by learned people, mostly. This is a troubling for me because if I ever win a CAW I wanted fairy tales to be the theme of the next challenge (entries would not necessarily have to be fairy tales, mind you, but they would at least have to make reference to them), but that might not work if I can’t at least define what qualifies as a fairy tale and what doesn’t.
Angela opened the book's red leather cover and paged through it. At first it looked like another book of fairy tales, but these were different, and she saw it had only been written twenty years ago. Nicolas had again marked one for her to read.
She realized what time it was. “I have to get back to Anna,” she said. “My mother is watching her, but she has night classes.” She tried to give the book back, but Nicolas declined.
“Keep it,” he said. “I have others. You’ll like this one. Trust me.”
She put the book in her purse. They got the check and she insisted on splitting it. Nicolas cleaned his glasses on his shirt, and a few seconds passed. “It was really nice seeing you,” he said. “I wish we could more often.” He paused. “Do you think --?”
Angela stood. “I have to go. I’ll miss my bus.”
“I can give you a ride?"
“No, that’s all right,” she said.
Hopefully I wrote the earlier scenes in such a way that the reader figures out she’s not blowing him off out of disinterest but because she’s got baggage. I labored over these few simple lines for much longer than I probably should have on those grounds. Note that if there weren’t this hesitation she would not miss her bus and the rest of the story wouldn’t happen. Small delays like this trip me up all the time.
He watched her leave. Outside it was grey and blustery. She saw the 44 retreating from the curb, red taillights blinking at her, and she ran after it, cursing. It was already out of sight by the time she got to the corner. Sighing, she sat on the plastic bench, reading the book Nicolas lent her while she waited for the next one:
In the truly dark, cold days of winter, nothing is more terrifying than the howling of wolves.
The forest is full of dangers, from pernicious goblins who twist off little boy’s toes and gobble them like candy, to red-eyed witches who flay the hides off young girls and sew curtains out of them, but wolves are the worst of all, because the wolf is the only creature whose hunger is never satisfied. He’ll eat you up, one-two, one-two, and be hungry again before you’re swallowed.
This book of fairy tale-inspired stories is yet another of my constant homages to Angela Carter’s “The Bloody Chamber”, a book I reference so often you might think I’m on the take from her estate.
In fact, I originally meant to quote directly from Carter’s book and her story “The Company of Wolves”, but I soon realized that I would need far too much of her prose to fill out what I wanted to do with the rest of the story than was legally defensible. So I ended up writing an extended paraphrase of her passages; similar enough to evoke Carter’s work, but different enough to cover my ass.
The original passage that this section is based on is as follows:
“Of all the teeming perils of the night and the forest, ghosts, hobgoblins, ogres that grill babies upon gridirons, witches that fatten their captives in cages for cannibal tables, the wolf is worst for he cannot listen to reason.”
Angela giggled. She realized someone else had come into the bus shelter, sitting on the other end of the bench. He looked her up and down, smirking. She ignored him and kept reading:
The girl was too young to be alone in the forest, too young to know the difference between men and wolves, but she was not so young as to really be called a girl anymore. She was almost a woman, and that put her in even more danger. She was in full bloom, like the bobbing red blossoms of the burgundy roses that grew along the path.
The handsome stranger she met on the path seemed like any common hunter to her; she did not spot the feral gleam in his eyes or detect the telltale rumbling of his ever-hungry stomach and the bloody red stains on his teeth.
This is one of my favorite tricks; the two parallel narratives that comment on each other, usually set off by italics. I actually think the italics get a bit annoying in this one though. It's fine when dealing with large chunks of text, but when it comes down to just single sentences later on it's aggravating on the eyes. Putting all this bold text into it now probably doesn't help, come to think of it...
In this case, the storybook narrative is intentionally misleading; we might think that it’s the second paragraph about the dangerous stranger that is supposed to resonate with the young man in the bus stop, but it might be the first paragraph about the naivety of youth that refers to him instead.
Perhaps Angela is the dangerous stranger? On a literal level she is, as we learn later, but in some ways she’s just as vulnerable as the little girl character we may mistake her for now. Angela could be Little Red Riding Hood, or she could be the Big Bad Wolf, or she could be the heroic, rescuing woodcutter of the Grimm’s variation, and indeed, almost every character relates to at least two others in the common Red Riding Hood motif, which is why I thought this story matched the perceived ambiguity of the figure in the inspiring image.
The man in the bus stop was younger than Angela, barely more than a teenager. He wouldn't stop staring at her legs. He might as well lick his lips, she thought. He coughed and said, "Where you going?"
"Home," she said, without looking up from the book. "To my daughter," she added, putting as much emphasis on the word as she could.
“I’m going to visit my grandmother,” the girl said. The man smiled.
“What a sweet little girl you are,” he said. “Red-cheeked, and as toothsome a morsel as any.” He laughed, and the girl blushed bright red and looked away, and so she did not see him lick the saliva off his long teeth.
The young man seemed taken aback at the mention of her daughter. Angela read on in silence. Then the young man leered, and said:
"Daughter, huh? She old enough to come out and play?"
This exchange was inspired by an eye-opening series of conversations I had with female friends about how frequently they were sexually harassed in public. Although I knew that such things happened, I had no idea that they happened so often or were so particularly crass. The more women I talked to and the more stories I heard, the more appalled and angry I became.
This story demonstrates the most pronounced danger of this sort of public harassment; it colors the victim’s perceptions of every other interaction they have for some time after, so that even genuinely innocent comments will seem suspicious or offensive.
Angela glared. The young man's grin wilted and he stood up straight, even blushing red and taking a few steps away. Angela put the book back in her purse and then shoved her hands in her coat pockets to hide their trembling. The man stammered something like an apology. Angela took a step toward him and then, thinking better of it, turned and walked away.
She followed Crossover Drive south, deciding she would cut through Golden Gate Park on foot. Probably faster than waiting anyway. She would have to hurry though; it was getting dark, and the clouds were threatening rain. Stands of huge trees sprang up around her. The words of Nicolas’ book ran through her mind:
The handy thing about Golden Gate Park is that it’s big enough to provide the sense of isolation and potential hazard that the story needs but it’s also small enough that it’s not unreasonable for someone to attempt crossing it on foot in a timely fashion, at least not if they’re heading north-south. While the eastern half of the park is mostly orderly gardens, sports fields, and museums, the western half increasingly gives way to a more natural forested sprawl. Some parts of it really do resemble the dark forest setting of the story, with its one narrow path through the potential menace behind the trees. It’s such a great locale that I’m setting another fairy tale story there next.
Talking with the young man had made the girl late to her grandmother‘s; it was almost dark. She stayed on the path and tried to hurry. The woods were no place for her at night, and she was alone now that she’d left the handsome young man behind.
She hadn't been walking for more than five minutes when the rain started. At first she ran but then she realized that it wasn't any use; she'd be soaked by the time she got home no matter what. She kept to the side of the road, near the treeline, hoping to be spared the worst of it. The park was vacant, though every now and then the wind stirred the trees or the underbrush and gave the impression of movement. Now and then a car passed, too.
The girl did not realize that the young man was following her, that he had slipped off the path and slipped out of his clothes and traded his naked hide for the mangy pelt of a half-starved wolf. He followed after her, loping on all fours, a red tongue lolling while his tail brushed back and forth and, beneath him, his long prick bobbed along with each step.
Originally there were not this many references to the storybook narrative. Only about half as many. You can see why I expanded that side of the story so much though; up to this point, not much in the main narrative has really happened yet. Everything that’s gone on is important because it affects the protagonist’s mood; the conversation in the restaurant, the encounter at the bus stop, the words in the book, the wine she drank, the coming storm, all of these things add pressure to the situation. She’s a slowly simmering pot coming to boil. The storybook passages, hopefully, highlight the growing tension and inform us that something important is happening even if we don’t quite yet know what it is yet.
Angela thought about the kid back at the bus stop and saw red. It was his fault she was stuck walking in this. She should have given him a piece of her mind. No, more than that, she should have torn him a new --
A red car pulled alongside her, a battered old clunker of indeterminate make and model. The passenger window had been repaired with duct tape, so the driver had to open the door and lean over in order to talk to her.
"Do you need a lift?" he said.
The girl tapped at the cottage door. Inside, the wolf hid the old woman's gnawed bones and the red-stained sheets and then slid under the blanket, using it to hide his hairy body and enormous prick. He raised his voice into a frail-sounding falsetto and said, “Come in, my lovely!”
Angela hesitated. She was soaked to the bone already and it would take at least another half an hour to get home on foot. But if she really wanted a ride she could just call Nicolas, and she wasn't sure she liked the look of this car...
"No, I'm okay, but thank you," she said. Or at least, that's what she tried to say. Her teeth were chattering too badly to form words, and only then did she realize how cold she really was. The driver pushed the car door open more and she climbed in. She held her pale, shaking hands to heater vents, waiting for the numbness to fade.
You may wonder what point in the story represents the scene in the thematic image. I didn’t worry too much about literally transposing that scene into the story, as I figured that so long as I wrote something that was in the spirit of the image that would be enough. We could, however, interpret almost any point in Angela’s journey as being equivalent to that dark figure alone on the street; just going into the park or just coming out of it. The image seems a bit too urban to be within the park proper itself, though there are one or two areas that might resemble what we see in the image.
The girl came into her grandmother’s cottage and set her basket down on the table. The air was thick with a scent she did not know, but it was warm and there was a fire on, red flames licking old blackened logs.
Once Angela was warmed a bit she looked at the cracked plastic of the car dash, then at the threadbare state of the red upholstery, and then at the driver; he was somewhere in his fifties, his graying hair and beard still touched with ginger. He gave her a reassuring smile. When her teeth finally stopped chattering, Angela cleared her throat and said, "Thank you."
"Not a problem," said the driver. They stopped at a red light. "You heading toward Lincoln Avenue?"
"Good, me too." And he smiled again. "Name's Charles."
Charles, of course, is named for Charles Perrault, who gave us the first written version of “Little Red Riding Hood” and not only invented the emblematic red hood for the protagonist but also handed down a lot of the story’s moralizing subtext and sexual obsessiveness to us. Angela, of course, is named for Angela Carter. You can probably guess from the outcome of this story which of the two folklorists I prefer.
"Pleasure to meet you. Boy, isn't this a day? What's a little lady like you doing out all by herself on a day like this?"
"Going home to my daughter."
"A daughter?" said Charles, smiling still. "Isn't that nice. She a little one? Pretty, like her mother? You know you don‘t look old enough to be anybody‘s mother."
The wolf, still speaking in Grandmother’s voice, welcomed the girl. “Hello my darling,” he said. “My, don’t you look lovely.”
I tried to make Charles slightly patronizing, as just one more factor putting Angela increasingly on edge.
Angela made a sour face and turned toward the window. "She's my youngest," she said, and then, "Do you have anything I can dry off with? I'm dripping all over."
"Well, water can hardly hurt this old heap now, but there are some napkins in the glove box. Don't mind the mess."
"Thank you," said Angela. She opened the glove box, paused for a moment when she looked inside, then did her best to towel herself off with the napkins. She realized that her purse was soaked too, and with alarm she saw the wrinkled pages of Nicolas' book. She pulled it out, fretting, trying to dry it on the heater vent.
I wish I’d found some way to emphasize that Angela sees something in the glove box that alarms her. Her pause here seems like it’s too easy to overlook.
"What's that?" said Charles.
"Just a book that my -- a friend lent me."
The pages riffled open, and her eyes fell across one, finding the place where she‘d left off:
The wolf is hungry forever. The scrawny, gamey flesh of the old woman had not satisfied him. The young, pink, virginal flesh of this girl would fill his belly no better, for a wolf’s hunger is as much a part of him as the yellow eyes in his head or the withered red heart in his sunken chest or the black hairs that sprout from his backside, but his tongue lapped at his jaws anyway as he looked her up and down.
"Guess your purse couldn't stand up to the rain," said Charles. "You should get something like my messenger bag. It's waterproof." He indicated the bag in the back seat. “Handy thing to have with a kid around, I'd think. Who's looking after her while you're out?"
"My mother," said Angela. "We moved into her place a while ago."
She’s off to Grandmother’s house.
"I love kids," Charles said. "Never had any. Always wanted some.”
"I’m so hungry, my darling,” said the wolf, still in Grandmother’s voice.
“I’ve brought you food,” said the girl. The wolf eyed her tender young breasts as they glanced against the fabric of her blouse.
“Yes,” he said, “you have.”
Originally there was a bit more innuendo between the wolf and the girl in Nicolas’ book, but given the (implied) young age of that character I toned it down.
Although we treat it as a kid’s story, and although a lot of critics now deride sex-based readings of the story as simplistic and dated, it’s pretty clear that the sexual overtones of “Little Red Riding Hood” still resonate with a lot of people. I can’t even count the number of pornographic Red Riding Hood stories there are on this site alone. Literotica has over two dozen. It’s virtually impossible for anyone to produce fairy tale-themed pornography and not adopt this story’s imagery. This lends a lot of support to the Freudian interpretation of the story, in my opinion.
But of course, I would say that, wouldn’t I?
"She's all I have in the world," said Angela, still barely paying attention.
"Well what about your other ones? You said she's the youngest, so there must be more, right?"
The movie “Hard Candy” was a really great reference for learning how to write dialogue that sounds incredibly suspicious but is never overtly incriminating. In that film, however, we know that Patrick Wilson’s character is up to no good (even if he covers his ass), whereas I hopefully made Charles harder to pin down.
The rain was coming down in sheets now, and Charles slowed the car to a crawl, almost blinded as the flimsy wipers failed to fight off the deluge. Angela's vision tunneled down onto a blank spot on the page in front of her, a space between two words. "I had another daughter," she said. "But she died."
Charles started. "I'm sorry!" he said. "I had no idea."
"She was murdered," said Angela. "She was only four. The man I was dating killed her."
"Jesus Christ!" said Charles. He looked at her, looked away, then looked at her again. "I didn't --"
The wolf is always hungry.
"We'd been going out for a month, and I still hadn't slept with him," Angela said. The words were tumbling out and she couldn’t stop. “So he decided he would get his action somewhere else. That's how he put it after, 'Get his action.'"
I worried that this allusion to pederasty and child murder might violate some site rules, so I ran this section by a mod. Really, there was nothing to worry about, as they are allusions rather than illustrations, but better safe than sorry.
Originally, it was Angela’s son who was murdered rather than another daughter, but a daughter fit the Red Riding Hood theme better. This backstory presents a separate Red Riding Hood narrative in itself. Angela’s two daughters, one living and one dead, represent the two standard possible endings for the tale: Little Red either escapes and lives, or she doesn’t.
Charles stopped the car and tried to put a hand on her shoulder. "I'm so sorry," he said. "That kind of thing...it's so awful I just can't even bear to think about it."
"Yeah, it's hard to think about," said Angela. Then she looked up at him. "But it's easy to do, right? Easy, because you don't think about it when you do it. Not even when you're planning it, like now?"
“Why Grandmother, what big ears you have!”
Charles looked at her, bewildered. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"It's easy, right?” Angela said. “You pick up a woman walking alone, you make conversation, you find out where she's going, how many people are in the house, how many kids she has, everything you want to know."
“Why Grandmother, what big eyes you have!”
Charles blinked, disbelieving. "I don't --"
"And then there's these." She took the little red pill bottle out of the glove compartment and shook it. "Tell me, have you had that for more than four hours?" She indicated his lap. "Because if you have you should call a doctor."
My favorite line of dialogue in the whole story.
Charles shifted in his seat. The car was stark still in the middle of the lane, but there was no traffic now, nothing outside except the wind and the rain and the trees. "Not that it's any of your business, but I was on my way to a date” he said. “At my age, you have to think ahead about these things."
I’ve cheated a bit here; Crossover is never this dead, even in a storm.
“Why Grandmother, what big feet you have!”
“And the gloves, and the rope, and the hunting knife in the glove box, those all for your 'date' too?" Angela smiled, showing all her teeth.
"They're useful things to have around. Look, I understand that with all that you've been through it'd be hard to trust people, but I promise, I was just offering you a ride because of the rain, nothing sinister about it. I wouldn't lay a finger on you or your daughter." He paused. "In fact, I'm gay."
Is he, do you think, or is this just a line to defuse the situation? Honestly, I’m not sure myself. Even if he’s lying, that’s not necessarily incriminating. I couldn’t tell you if Charles is a predator who gets caught at his own game or an unfortunate Good Samaritan who picks the wrong woman to help out. If I did my job right, the answer should, as always in this story, be both – and neither.
“Grandmother, what big hands you have!”
"You have a wedding ring."
"That was legal before Prop 8."
"You're married, but you have a date?"
His face turned red. "I don't have to explain myself to you. Now, if you don't trust me for whatever reason, fine, here."
He reached out and she shrank away, but all he did was open the door. The wind immediately blew the rain in, soaking her again.
"Go ahead,” he said, “walk if that's what you want. I won't stop you."
"That's not what I want," said Angela, closing the door.
"Well then, I'll give you a lift to the edge of the park," said Charles, going to put the car in gear again.
"That's not what I want either," said Angela. She put her hand on his knee. He started.
"What do you --?"
She smiled again. "What I want…"
She undid her seatbelt.
"…is to bite your fucking head off and spit out the bones.”
Did you see that coming? I felt like people would probably see that coming, but I hope there are at least one or two readers who are surprised, because this feels like a pretty decent gut-punch line.
His jaw dropped. Thunder rolled outside.
"…teeth you have!”
"Lady," he said, voice quavering, "that's not funny."
"It's not?" said Angela. "Guess it's a good thing it wasn't a joke. I'm going to kill you. Right now."
“All the better to…"
Charles stuck a finger in her face. "Now you listen here, little miss, I've had just about enough --"
Angela reached over and snapped the gear shift off in her hand. The metal and thick red plastic splintered. Then she wrapped one hand around the steering wheel and pulled, breaking it off too. It landed in Charles' lap. She watched his red face go pale, and when she saw the first indications of shock she grabbed him and pulled him in close. She was still smiling, but her teeth had grown impossibly long. The hand that touched him was a gnarled paw. Her eyes gleamed. She growled.
I was a little torn about this scene: Should I write the story in such a way that the werewolf is kept ambiguous (possibly literal or possibly just a metaphor for the character’s anger) or should I make it overt? While I kept up a bit of the game, this scene pretty much cements that the lycanthropy is more than just a metaphor. Which honestly displeases me, but at this point we’re almost two thirds of the way through the story and I figured I owed the reader something substantial.
Besides, pretty much anyone would know this was going in a werewolf direction from the first line. Although modern versions present the antagonist as merely an anthromorphic wolf, some older stories feature overt werewolves. I’m told that occasionally, Grandma turns out to be the werewolf, which might be where the image of the wolf in Grandma’s clothing comes from in the first place.
"Here's how it's going to happen," said Angela, her voice suddenly thick and guttural. "I'm going to count to twenty, and then I'm going to kill you. You can stay here in the car and make it easy, or you can try to run. Your choice."
Charles stammered but didn't answer. Angela knew from the musty smell permeating the car interior that he had pissed himself. She began to count.
"One. Two. Three. Four."
She got to seven before he opened his door. He tried to run without undoing his seatbelt first and lost a few more seconds fumbling with it. He fell out, hitting the pavement and scrambling to his feet, and Angela watched him blunder off into the bushes. Had he stayed, there was a small chance someone driving by would have stopped to help. But traipsing through the park, off the road, in the storm, he would be alone. No help was coming.
Charles strays off the path.
Here the storybook narrative fades away until the very end to preserve the surprise ending of that one. Rather, the primary story takes on what we would assume to be that other story’s ending, though the roles are perhaps the inverse of what we expected.
She shed her clothes and followed at a distance, loping through the bushes, always keeping at least one tree trunk between them. The wind and rain blew on her naked body, buts he didn’t mind them now. He half-ran, half-stumbled, making enough noise for three people, slipping and skidding in the mud every other step. He kept looking over his shoulder. Angela watched him, amused, until he came to a place where the rain pooled at the base of a great tree, the exposed roots forming the banks of a puddle so deep it was almost a pond. Charles fell into it, then started wading.
The line about her getting undressed was a last-minute addition; I realized her clothes would be ruined by the action that followed if she didn’t lose them now. I was pleased to realize later that this plays a bit into another theme in Red Riding Hood stories; stripping. The wolf puts on Grandmother’s clothes, suggesting he stripped her first (an old peasant woman probably only has one nightgown, after all), and in “The False Grandmother” and many other variations the wolf instructs Little Red to strip naked and throw her clothes on the fire before coming to bed. The hunter’s werewolf transformation in Carter’s “The Company of Wolves” is represented by his stripping off his clothes to reveal his true form underneath.
On the opposite side, at the top of the hill, two homeless men huddled under a tarp for shelter. Charles began to wave and shout, and they looked at him. Angela waited until he had slogged halfway through the puddle and then threw her head back and howled, louder than the wind, louder than the rain, louder than the thunder. Charles fell to his knees and covered his ears, and the men on the hill ran.
Once they were out of sight she slid down the embankment and into the muddy water, wading over to Charles. They were both soaked, and the mud sucked at their feet, pulling them down. Charles backed against a hollow formed where the roots of the tree stuck out from the hillside. He gibbered and sobbed and whimpered. She grabbed him by the nape of the neck and dragged him to “dry” land.
"I wasn't going to do anything," said Charles, tears running down his mud-streaked face, mingling with the rain. "I wasn't going to hurt you, I swear."
These could be protestations of innocence or they could be twisted apologies. Again, this is very similar to Patrick Wilson’s dialogue in the second act of “Hard Candy”.
"Of course," said Angela. She sat down on his chest and ran her fingers through his hair gently, almost lovingly.
"Please don't hurt me," said Charles, wincing as one of her claws glanced against his neck.
"You know when I found my daughter, she was all red."
"What?" said Charles, blinking, bewildered.
"Sarah, my oldest daughter. I came home after work and couldn't find her. I looked all over. I asked my boyfriend where she was, and he wouldn't answer. And that's when I saw that his hands were red." She gripped his shoulders tighter. "I found Sarah in the bathtub. She was red all over. Red inside the tub. Red all in her hair, just red, red all over, and I couldn't wash the red out no matter how hard I tried. It was in so deep. By the time I was done I had red all over my hands and it wouldn’t come off."
This is pretty much the crescendo of the “red” leitmotif, and the references thin out a bit in the final pages. Originally the story was titled simply “Red”, and while I honestly feel that that’s the strongest title for it overall, it didn’t seem like it would stand out on a page crowded with other story titles. I tried a lot of variations, “Red Wolf”, “Red Hunger”, “Red Storybook”, but none of them felt dramatically satisfying.
I liked “The Red Girl” because it played off of all the myriad meanings of the color in the story, but I also liked “Roses are Red” because it seemed playful and irreverent but then becomes horribly ironic after the reader finishes (I also worried that “The Red Girl” was too much like “The Red Masquerade”). Then I realized, well, lots of fairly tales have more than one title, so why not this one too?
Charles closed his eyes "I'm sorry," he said. "I'm so sorry."
"I am too," said Angela.
They were concealed in a copse of bushes at the bottom of a small ravine. It was a good place. Burgundy roses sprouted up from between the roots of the trees here. Angela raked her paws down Charles' chest. "Take off your clothes," she said.
My last CAW story also featured female-on-male rape; I swear this is not a thing with me, it’s just how those stories worked out. Come to think of it, my most recent stories have been particularly violent even by my standards; two of my last three offerings featured rape, two of them featured cannibalism, and this one features both. I don’t think very hard about the sequence that the stories are posted in. Since it varies wildly from the sequence they were conceived in, any perceived patterns like this are usually coincidence.
He blinked, disbelieving. "What?"
She yanked his belt snapping it into pieces. "Now," she growled.
It was hard for him to undress while she still restrained him, pinning his body between the hard muscles of her thighs, but with some "encouragement" he managed. He shivered on the ground; the rain had let up quite a bit and the foliage sheltered them from what was left, but it was still cold out, and the ground was hard. But Angela was in luck; modern pharmaceuticals provided everything she needed. She stuck her hand up Charles' legs and grabbed hold of the bulge there.
I was a little proud of myself for thinking up the ED pills as a solution to challenge of maintaining a man’s erection while he’s the victim of rape. Not sure what that says about me.
"You really got your money's worth on those pills," she said. Charles said nothing, only whimpering. He turned his head to the side. Angela straddled him harder and squeezed. "What's wrong?" she said. "You don't think I'm pretty anymore?" She licked the side of his neck; her tongue had grown impossibly long.
"I'll do whatever you want," Charles said. "Just don't hurt me."
Angela stroked his cock again. "What if hurting you is all I want?"
He began to scream for help, and she belted him across the face. He cried out again, but it was garbled; she thought she might have broken his jaw. Oh well. Angela slid her naked body down his, savoring the icy smoothness of the rain drops pressed between their hides. He was in good shape for a guy in his fifties; she admired the flatness of his flank and haunches. Her mouth watered. Her tongue and lips explored him. Now and then her sharp teeth grazed his flesh and he whimpered. Once she bit him, above the hip, just to get a taste, slapping a hand over his mouth to stifle his garbled scream.
When she got down to waist level she made a big show of licking the length of his cock and swirling her tongue around the bulging head. She snickered. "What's wrong?" she said. "You should be happy. You're getting lucky." She winked one enormous yellow eye. When she swallowed him he started to panic, thrashing, and it took her a second to realize why: He thinks I’m going to bite down, she thought. She seized him under the ribs and squeezed; the bones began to give way under pressure, and he stopped. If he'd moved around anymore she wouldn't have to hurt him, he'd end up doing it himself.
The yellow eyes here are one of the story’s only direct references to a non-red color, and they highlight something else I was careful to do; there's nothing red about Angela Although I drop the color left and right every chance I get in this story, I refrained from giving Angela red clothing, red hair, red makeup, or having the color anywhere about her person.
She bobbed her head up and down, sliding him in and out of her parted lips and open throat. All the while she stared at his face with glittering yellow eyes, and anytime he looked like he was getting too comfortable she let the tip of a fang touch him. He yelped. She was amused by the mismatch between what he felt and what his body was doing; he remained rigid and pulsing inside the hot, wet confines of her mouth. She felt him throb against her palate in a pleasing fashion. The swallowing motion of her throat inevitably made her think about eating. Maybe she should --
No. Not yet.
She sucked harder, closing her eyes and trying to forget where she was and who she was with. She thought about Nicolas for a second, but that relaxed her too much, so instead she thought about nothing at all except the surging, pumping organ trapped in her mouth. She wondered if she could make him cum; what would be more compelling, what he was feeling physically or what he was going through emotionally? She swirled her tongue around him more and more and wrapped her lips tight, making a wet seal around him. She even moaned so that his shaft would vibrate. The look on his face was hilarious.
After a time she grew bored and spat him out, climbing back up his body again. She pressed her muzzle against his face in a mock kiss. He had a blank, glazed look, and she wondered if he was in shock. She hoped not.
"Now wasn’t that nice?" she growled. "We're going something else now. You're going to learn what it was like for my daughter before she died. Of course, it won't be exactly the same thing, but we'll do our best, won't we?"
Here I commit what I usually consider a cardinal sin, a “saidism”. I’m a firm believer that the best word for dialogue attribution is always, ALWAYS simply “said.” He said, she said, they said; it’s a good word, and you almost never, ever need a different one. Occasionally I’ll indulge in an “added” or “asked” or the like, but that’s about it.
But here I go with “growled”, which normally is exactly the kind of ass-backwards non-attributive word that I get after other people for using. You cannot, after all, “growl” a sentence; you can growl before or after speaking, or you can speak with a voice that sounds like a growl, but you cannot growl words, just as you cannot “laugh” them or “sob” or “gasp” them or any of the other misbegotten attributions that people trot out.
So why did I use “growl” here? Well, my initial idea was that, in this select case maybe she CAN “growl” a sentence, being a wolf and all. It seemed acceptable when writing it, but looking at it now...I wish I had just gone with “said.” Let that be a lesson to me, I guess.
She expected the scream this time and headed it off by belting him across the mouth again; his jaw was red and swollen. She rolled him over, pushing his face into the ground. The blossoms of the red roses bobbed in the wind, like an audience of nodding heads. He squirmed and struggled again, hands clawing the mud, but he had little chance of getting away. She slid one long finger up the space between his ass cheeks and said, "You're going to make it a lot worse if you fight. Do you want to bleed? Because we can do it that way if you want."
The roses were a last-minute touch once I’d decided on a title. I’m not sure if there is any such thing as a burgundy rose, but I like the way it sounds. If you’re up for symbolism and are feeling INCREDIBLY lazy, by the way, flowers are always an easy, no-brainer symbol for a woman’s sexuality; they literally are the sexual organs of plants, after all.
He became still.
"Good boy," Angela said.
Slowly, almost gently, she pushed the tip of one finger into him. She heard him inhale and hold his breath; he ought to know that it's best to breathe, she thought, but didn't say so. She slid a little more in, and the muscles tightened and throbbed around her. Her hands were still wet from the rain, easing the passage a bit. She measured what he was feeling by how hard he arched his tight, tense shoulders. It was always easier once you got past the second knuckle, she knew, though her fingers were longer than usual, making it an arbitrary measurement.
"I hope you're doing all right up there," she said, "because that's only one."
He ducked his head.
"It's not so bad, is it? Hey, you should be used to this; you're 'gay' after all…"
She licked a second finger and when it was wet enough (for her, not for him) she pushed it in too, watching him quiver and shake. His muscles contracted and released, warring between the impulse to expel the intrusion and ease its passage. She realized she was grinding his dick into the mud and gave the side of his ass a few slaps, amused. The wound on his hip was still bleeding. When three fingers were wedged into the confines of his body, squeezed together and surrounded by the tight heat, she wiggled them a few times, just as an experiment, and his whimpers briefly awoke a flicker of pity in her. Maybe this was going too far…but the thought of Sarah's red-matted hair came back to her, and she clenched her jaw and ceased to care.
"We're not done yet," she said. "There's one more thing. It's a big thing, actually."
He put his hands over his head, pulling his hair, waiting.
"We're going to count to ten," she said, "just to give you a little time to prepare. It's only fair, after all. Ready? One, two, three…"
She wondered whether he would pass out. Sometimes they did that. In some ways it was disappointing, but in others it made it all easier at the end.
"Four, five, six…"
Well, she thought, there's actually no reason dragging this out longer than it has to go.
Angela’s habit of counting was originally meant to recall the details of her daughter’s (at the time still a son) murder; killed while playing hide-and-go-seek. The relevant passages were cut because they didn’t add much to the story, but I do miss the references to childhood.
She pushed in early. All the way. He screamed, but the wind carried the noise away. With her other hand she grabbed his head and pulled it back, threatening to break his neck. "Do you feel that?" she said. "Imagine what that would feel like to a child who doesn't even know what's going on, someone who trusts you, someone who's young enough to love you without even knowing why or who you are. That's real pain. What you're feeling now isn't even close."
And then she pulled out and let him go. He rolled onto his side, fetal, eyes bulging, holding his abdomen (for some reason) and waiting for the pain to subside. She looked herself over; she was a mess. She went back to where the pool formed in the hollow base of the tree and washed herself as best she could. The water was filthy, of course, but it was better than nothing. She came back and grabbed Charles by his ankle, pulling him and throwing him back into the water, too.
"Clean yourself up," she said. He obeyed wordlessly. She squatted and watched his pathetic attempts to scrub the mud and filth off his body. When it looked like he'd done the best he was going to she stood, brushing her hands off. Might as well get this over with, she thought.
Even thigh-deep in water she moved so stealthily that he did not realize she was there until she grabbed him. She spun him around and he screamed again; her face must seem completely inhuman to him, now. She bared her teeth and made a motion for his throat, but he seemed to be trying to say something. It was hard to tell through his swollen jaw, but it sounded like:
"I don't deserve this."
Angela hesitated. "Maybe," she said, turning her head a little. "Maybe you don't. I don't know. I can't know for sure, ever.
"But," she grabbed him by his neck again, "I do have mouths to feed."
I liked the idea that she was doubtful over whether to kill him as an act of revenge but had no problem killing him as a matter of practicality. To her it’s a very big difference. Not so much for Charles.
She pushed him down and held him under the water, waiting for the thrashing to stop. The drizzling rain ran in streamers down her pelt and the length of her muzzle. When she felt the body under her stop moving, she waited, counting to herself. When enough time had passed, she pulled him up again. He flopped around, limp. Satisfied, she dragged him to where the water lapped against the land, and there she bared her claws. Over the rain, there was a ripping sound.
The water turned red.
I got the idea of her drowning him just as a way to minimize mess, but only later did I think about how it reflected the eventual fate of the wolf in some modern story variations; drowned by the weight of the stones sewed into his belly. A reminder that, as much as we might sympathize with him now, Charles could still be the wolf after all. I wish I could take credit for this, but it was just a happy accident. Maybe my subconscious is smarter than I am.
"I'm home," Angela, closing the door behind her. She took off her wet coat and shouldered Charles' messenger bag. Her mother looked at her, blinking.
"You're soaked!" she said.
"I got caught in the rain. I'll be fine. I'm sorry I'm late. I had to stop and get dinner."
She put the messenger bag on the table.
So Angela takes a basket of treats to Grandmother’s house, and the story comes full-circle.
She found a dry towel and cleaned herself up again, then looked in on Anna, asleep in her bed. Angela showered, taking time to scrub the red crusted under her nails, then she dried Nicolas' book as best she could by the heater. When it was done, she read the last page of the story she'd started:
"All the better to eat you with!” the wolf said, but the girl was not impressed. She kissed the wolf on his muzzle and made him sit on the floor, and she put a leash and collar around his neck, and that night he slept at the foot of her bed, snoring gently.
Because she knew she was no one's meat.
The line “She knew she was no one’s meat,” is taken directly out of Carter, and it’s a wonderful, ingenious turn in her tale. I set out to write a story in the same sex-positive feminist vein as Carter’s, but somehow it got away from me and became something else, so I suppose it’s best that her story ended up being less prominent in this one.
Angela laughed and put the book down, then called Nicolas.
"Did you make it home okay?" he said.
"Yes," she said, "but your book got a little wet. I can buy you a new one."
"Don't bother," he said, "I have lots more. I wrote it, you know."
She looked at the cover. "Your name isn't on it."
"A pen name, from when I was younger." He paused. "Did you like it?"
It’s very bad form to praise your own writing, but I think this exchange is adorable.
The only character who does not have multiple identities is Nicolas; believe it or not, the only other character he’s meant to represent is Little Red’s mother. He does, after all, set our heroine on her trip home and furnish her with a warning about wolves.
"Very much," she said, and she was about to say more but then Anna came out. Angela told Nicolas goodbye and then picked her daughter up and set her on her lap. "Did you have a good nap sweetheart?” she said. “Were you good for Grandma?"
Anna nodded and smiled; her little blue eyes glimmered and her red curls bounced. Then she said, "I'm hungry."
Although I wanted to minimize any reference to colors that weren’t red, when I learned that wolf pups are almost always blue-eyed when they’re born I threw it in here.
"Me too," said Angela, reaching for the messenger bag. She put her hand inside and when it came out it held something red and dripping to her daughter's mouth.
"Now, eat up," Angela said, "while it's still fresh."
The last line here is inspired by the final line in the movie “The Howling”.
The last thing to talk about is music. I like to pair stories with songs for the same reason that almost all movies have a musical score; music is just the best way to invoke atmosphere. I had a hard time picking the song to go with this story, though.
The Doors’ “People are Strange” works pretty well, but I already used that for “Grand Guignol” (where it worked better). The lyrics to Lady Gaga’s “Monster” are a good match, but I’m just not that big of a fan of hers, and the electro-pop sound doesn’t match the story. I ended up going with Concrete Blonde’s “Bloodletting”, but it’s really only appropriate for the story’s ending; if this were a movie, that’s the song I would want playing over the credits.
I see the story has attracted a little feedback already. Anonymous Poster says:
"fucking sick. That was discusting, I get kickin a rapists ass and all, im a member of the Guardians. But that was revolting. Why even call it a sex story. Put a fuckin warning next time."
Okay, that's less than encouraging...but everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Seems to me that the story tags are fair warning, though. Granted, tags can be very ambiguous, but "Cannibalism" and "Murder" are pretty clear.
The only thing that really bothers me about this comment is that the reader interprets the story as being about "kicking a rapists ass" (not the most discerning analysis...but maybe this means I didn't play up the ambiguities enough) and apparently approves of it on those grounds. This just baffles me; I've always found the wholesale sanctioning of revenge killings in popular fiction just plain strange and way more disturbing than anything in this story which, at the risk of sounding like an incredibly pompous asshole, I like to think is at least intellectually honest about the violence it portrays.
In any case, I'm always happy to get feedback from anyone, even if they didn't like the story. Nothing is more important than being read, and being read means sometimes being disliked, so really I'm grateful whenever anyone takes the time to read the whole story, no matter what.
More anonymous feedback:
"yes, I love me some crazy shit. Inspirational, really - maybe I'll try to write something myself."
Wow, that's nice. I hope s/he really does.
One more comment:
"I did NOT expect that. I figured Angela would likely be the victim"
Yes! Okay, now I can sleep easy tonight…
|05-31-2012, 04:54 PM||#2|
BR you are an amazing writter!
I think you shall be my inspiration. I wish I could write as well as you do, darlin'.
Best of luck with the CAW and I personally love the story.
|06-04-2012, 07:54 PM||#3|
Forum Porn Laureate
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Southwest Michigan FILTH AS LITERATURE Recommended XNXX Writer Multiple CAW Winner
Very good telling of two tales at the same time. You made them fit together perfectly. This story is one of the best in this challenge.
"My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way."
NEEDLESSLY VERIFIED: Pictures of my cock
|06-04-2012, 09:50 PM||#4|
Join Date: May 2011
Definitely the best story I have read so far and totally reflects the ominous nature of the photo. I think you have a winner with this one.
|06-10-2012, 01:12 AM||#5|
Siren of the Seaway
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: On the river in NY
Calling All Writers Creator, CAW 1,5, 10 & 14 Winner
MODERATOR-Making the world safe for pure porn
|06-10-2012, 07:41 AM||#6|
Guardian of the Snow
Join Date: Jan 2008
Black Ronin - I have to say this much; the story of yours is now a strong contender for my vote in the CAW competition. THIS shows a master of writing at work; the interplay of the story (and the annotation makes it all the more dramatic, providing the extra insights and such) is amazing.
As with many others, this is leagues beyond my miserly skills and ability.
Two portions caught my attention:
First - when you commented about how your female friends described the sexual advances and outright harassment. I have a few female friends, one who is my best friend, who has gone through that as well. May more men who treat women as objects instead of people understand the harm they do.
Maybe a nice, rabid wolf visiting them could help out their problems.
Second - you mentioned about the glove box she looked into. You wrote of her looking into it and pausing. Good indeed, yet this may have worked as well, woven in your own style of course:
"...as she looked into the glovebox, the sight of what lay within caused a shudder and cold chill to sweep each fiber of her being from head to toe; a discovery having been made too dreadful to comprehend..."
Or to that effect.
No matter what, THIS story is par excellence across the board.
Of the CAWs I have seen; this one is the best yet. Mind you, I say that with the clear knowledge I choose not to write and enter; too many other projects on my plate at the time.
As for future CAWS, we shall see.
|06-11-2012, 07:33 PM||#8|
Join Date: May 2009
Location: In the bushes outside your bedroom window.
Note: I read the story on the Sex Stories site, not the annotated version here, so some of my perceptions may be incorrect.
I'll admit, I wasn't really looking forward to reading this story. Your stories tend to be too dark for me, and this one was no exception.
However, despite being dark and disturbing, I thought you did a masterful job of spinning a tale. I especially liked how you told the story of Red Riding Hood on two different levels, intertwining the plot of the main story with the plot of the book that Angela was reading. The fairy tale is, of course, familiar enough that I was able to follow the plot of both and see where it was all leading.
Then of course, you hit us with a doozy when you revealed Angela as the predator. A werewolf, maybe? I'm not sure if the name quite fits in this case, but it's as good as any. I actually prefer to think of her not as a werewolf, but just a character in a modern fairy tale world, where animals talk and someone can be both a person and an animal at the same time and there's no need to question it because that's just the way it is.
The reveal suddenly changed all of the roles around. Angela turns out not to be Red Riding Hood or Red's mother, but the wolf. Not the prey, but the predator. And of course, poor Charles (Is his name a reference to Charles Perrault, perhaps?) takes on the role of Red Riding Hood. It was brilliantly done.
I really only have one criticism, and that has to do with the pacing. Once you hit us with the reversal, there really isn't much more to tell of the story. Just like "the better to eat you with" signals the end of the fairy tale, Angela's transformation is the climax of the main story. In my opinion, the rest of the story is unnecessary. In my opinion, it would have been better to leave out the gory details and skip straight from her transformation to the final scene. For instance, cut out everything after "Her eyes gleamed. She growled." Then go on to the last scene where she arrives home. But that's just a matter of personal preference.
Read my CAW 14 Entry: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Fertility Ritual.
And many more erotic tales of Daddycums!
For those who like their smut served hot with a side order of plot.
|06-11-2012, 09:48 PM||#9|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: San Francisco.
I am never quite sure what people mean when they say my stories are "dark" -- the general sense is clear, but it seems a very nebulous adjective to me. In this case it would seem to mean violent, disturbing, and tension-filled (if I did my job right, anyway), but people will also call a story like "Festival" dark despite being none of those things.
Funny you should mention skipping the gory details, because originally the story did indeed cut straight from the park to home in the manner you describe (although not quite at the place you mark). I made the decision to flesh out the attack for a few reasons:
1. It's supposed to be a sex story, so I felt obligated to include some actual sex (I suspect few people find this scene a turn-on, but then, the site name only promises sex; it does not promise that you'll enjoy it). Had I known there would be so many other entries this time around that opted to forgo a sex scene, I might have changed my mind.
2. This longer scene gave us more time with both the characters, which I felt was important because, while we view the car scene through the lens of our expectations (and what the italicized text leads us to expect), the scenes outside the car are the first time we're getting to deal with the characters as they really are.
3. In Freudian terms, the most essential part of the "Little Red Riding Hood" myth is the devouring (or attempted devouring) of the title character, usually interpreted as a metaphor for sexual ravishment. Since I wanted this story to lay bare the subtext of that one (or what I interpret to be the subtext, at least), glossing over the violence in even less detail than the story being studied did not seem wise.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for the comments. I'm working on something less visceral right now, maybe it'll appeal to you a bit more than my usual when it's finished. Cheers.
|06-11-2012, 10:29 PM||#10|
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Aneheim, CA
First I read DaddyCums suspense take on the photo and then I read PoisonIvy's emo sex tale. Now I have read this dark tale worthy of the best of the "fairy" tales and I am wondering how I can even vote in this contest. If all of the entries are of this quality, I will be like Duraman's donkey and end up starving between bountiful haystacks because I cannot make up my mind.
|06-11-2012, 11:56 PM||#11|
Siren of the Seaway
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: On the river in NY
I truly don't know what I can say to express my admiration for the talent you possess. There are several excellent writers on this site. Each is talented in a different way and many have a style that is instantly recognizable. You really sort of have the reputation for being the "dark" one, and this time is no exception. But it is so much more.
The way you told both stories, without skipping a beat was amazing. I never felt lost or confused when you switched back and forth. Your original work matched the traditional piece perfectly. And the fact that twice I thought I knew where you were going, and then you turned the corner, kept me on the edge of my seat.
Above you talk about the pace being slow in the beginning and maybe too fast at the end, but I would have to disagree. A real "thriller" is supposed to build slowly and then explode with action. This fit the bill nicely.
I do hope why you publish, and trust me you should, you will let us know how we can get an autographed copy of your book.
Calling All Writers Creator, CAW 1,5, 10 & 14 Winner
MODERATOR-Making the world safe for pure porn
|06-13-2012, 10:20 PM||#12|
Siren of the Seaway
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: On the river in NY
Calling All Writers Creator, CAW 1,5, 10 & 14 Winner
MODERATOR-Making the world safe for pure porn
|06-14-2012, 04:47 PM||#13|
Interesting, but I found it difficult to read with the annotations interspersed right into the story instead of footnoted or appended to the end.
|06-14-2012, 05:45 PM||#14|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: San Francisco.
As I mentioned up front, you should the regular version over on the main site (link above). First-time readers will find the notes distracting and full of spoilers. Anyone who reads the story on the main site and really likes it can come back and read the notes for insight into it, if they wish. In any case, thanks for reading.
|06-14-2012, 05:50 PM||#15|
I'll check it out in a bit. Good Luck.
|06-16-2012, 01:58 PM||#16|
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northeast United States
|06-17-2012, 03:40 PM||#17|
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northeastern U.S.
I made the mistake of attempting to read this story here for the first time. You're absolutely right, BR, this piece must be read in un-annotated form first.
That means it competes with the rest of us, since only you and Horse made the effort to offer two versions of their entry.
To say that I was impressed and a bit overwhelmed is damning with faint praise. I was not at all prepared for Angela to be the predator -- I thought (hoped) she would be able to defend herself against the wolf, and I imagined that scene would be gritty and dark, hitting us with a combination of blows to the gut, chest, and head.
You did that, but with a flurry of punches I didn't see coming. The final horror for me came with the incongruity of her drowning her victim and her mention of mouths to feed. (Shudder!)
Brilliantly done. This was the last of the entries on my list to read critically (i.e. with voting in mind). My short list is now even longer.
Maybe it was the emotionally draining nature of this read, but I would have to say that this was nearly as non-sexual as the "non-sexual" entries in this CAW. That blow-job scene got a reaction from me, but trust me, it wasn't arousal.
That being said, I think this story should stand as an example to other writers and aspiring writers, to show that one can create a gripping, thrilling, emotionally provocative story, one that rips the reader's heart out (literally), one that screams its perversion, but doesn't include a cumshot.
NOTES TO SELF:
Don't try this. You'll never make it work. That Little Red Riding Hood story in the Unfinished Shit folder? Scrap it.
Spend some time on thesaurus.com to prepare for writing comments on the stories I haven't posted to as of yet. Collect some great superlatives for my note to the eventual winner.
Re-read and re-read. I've never seen this level of quality before in a CAW.
|06-17-2012, 11:11 PM||#18|
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northeast United States
|06-19-2012, 05:51 AM||#20|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: San Francisco.
I'm always still a little puzzled by the use of the term dark. Okay, yes, in THIS case, I surely see what it means, but it still seems like an oddly broad term, since it's also been applied to "Festival", "Phantom", and even "The Mummy", which are stories that don't actually have that much in common, in my opinion, other than supernaturalism. I'm not complaining, mind you; if people are reading and commenting then I never complain. But I'm always curious about that.
Thank you for commenting. Sad we didn't get to see anything from you this time around.
|06-19-2012, 06:01 AM||#21|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: San Francisco.
That said, I was curious about this going in. There are lots of stories on this and similar sites about male-on-female rape, and it's a relatively common fantasy, but virtually no one seems to find the inverse conflict appealing. I'm curious why that is. Granted, I don't really find it a turn-on either, so maybe that's the problem; maybe there are people who get off on such scenarios, but I'm not the person to write for them. Still, I'm willing to get I induced more hard-ons with the even more graphic "Grand Guignol" than with this similar tale, even with the gender-bending in that other one. Which, as I said, fascinates me.
Thanks for commenting, like I said, it's nice to have fans.
"Enigma \ Mothman": Some mysteries can never be explained. And some just shouldn't be.
"Beast": A rather beastly Christmas fairy tale.
Story notes and commentaries (updated 2/13).
Last edited by BlackRonin; 06-19-2012 at 06:09 AM.
|06-19-2012, 06:35 PM||#22|
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: After nine days I let the horse run free
motherfucking bump to get these stories to the top and JoeFuckheadDirty (and his little troll pornvision) below
|06-19-2012, 10:10 PM||#24|
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northeast United States
All aboard the bump train! Choo choo!
|06-20-2012, 04:02 AM||#25|
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Washington State
Going for a ride on the crazy bump train!
|06-23-2012, 11:43 PM||#32|
I always enjoy your stories BR, but this one absolutely blew me away. I loved the interweaving of the two storylines, and I really didn't anticipate Angela turning wolf - it came as a total surprise to me.
I loved the way you built on the slightly ominous mood of the source photo to create such an unsettling story.
A great entry into the challenge - good luck!
Verified real woman of XNXX: http://forum.xnxx.com/showpost.php?p=4067575&postcount=8121
My stories: http://stories.xnxx.com/profile515535/
|06-24-2012, 06:07 PM||#33|
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northeast United States
One last push!
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