Thursday, February 25, 2010

Little Red Riding Hoodie - #fridayflash

Little Red Riding Hood had gotten lost in the Forrest again. No choice but to ask for directions. She went back to the common room of the Martha Forrest Rest Home and found someone under seventy who was probably staff. No chance they were a visitor.

"Hey!" Little greeted the dead-eyed young woman in the white tunic.

"Awright," she replied. "If you is here on the rob, none of these biddies got nothing."

"Naw!" Little said. "I is looking for me Granny."

The care worker looked at the old women slumped in chairs about the common room. "Dey is all grannies, blood, but I knows you. You pulled Hankle off his moped, yeah?"

Little nodded. "Lil bitch showing me no respect so I did it. He chipped a tooth, right?"

The carer nodded. "For sure." She jerked a thumb at the exit. "Your granny is at her dubya eye meetin'."

"Awright!" Little said. She left the care home and took herself to the hall where the Women's Institute held their gatherings.

As soon as she stepped into the hall an enormous middle-aged woman made a beeline for her. Little recognised her as Nell Danbury, someone her Granny was always droning on about. Mainly complaints. Nell ran the local chapter of the Women's Institute.

"Hello Gina," Nell said. "Here to listen to your grandmother? You'll be wanting to put THAT down."

Reluctantly Little pulled back her red hood. "Listen to Gran, is it?" she asked.

"Yes," Nell said. "She's giving a talk on how they made their own buttons after the war."

Little looked up at the stage and peered closely at the figure behind the trestle table, currently pointing to a slide of what looked like a foil milk bottle top that had been improvised for button work.

"Whoa!" Little said. "Dat is not me Granny, dat is a fecking wolf. Look at his teeth and all. He has proper fangs"

Nell glanced up at Gran and she smiled, shaking her head. "It's her new false teeth, dear. She's still working them in."

"But lookit his face, he is all hairy and that"

Nell frowned. "Sweetie, you'll find out soon enough that after a certain age none of us can afford to neglect the routine maintenance." She rubbed a fingertip over her upper lip and mouthed the word "electrolysis". She winked at Little.

"That is NOT- ow!" Little was startled by someone grabbing her arm. Hard.

"Is this one causing trouble?" The old crone that had Little in her bony grasp was Hettie Booth, Gran's arch-enemy and oldest friend.

"Missus, dis crazy bitch is sayin' dat's me Nan up der, but- ow!"

Hettie gave Little another shake. "That is your Gran up there, and we're all very, very pleased with the changes she's made."

"She's ever so helpful now," Nell added.

"A pleasure to have around," Hettie said. "And if, once in a while, your Granny takes someone out shopping with her, and comes back on her own... it's a price we're prepared to pay."

"Thinning the herd," Nell observed, nodding with a tight smile on her face.

Gran had finished her talk and was coming off the stage towards them. Immediately she caught sight of Little and their eyes locked. Little gritted her teeth.

"I expect you'll be wanting your pocket money, dear," Gran said in a bass rumble. She pulled her purse out, and pressed a crisp five pound note into Little's palm.

Little crunched the note in her hand, then rubbed it. It felt real. She exclaimed, "I love you Granny!" and threw her arms around Big in a hug.

Mmmm, she thought. Furry...


  1. That was great! I had some difficulty with the spoken language (no native speaker, sorry!), but that's exactly what makes it so real!

    There's only one spot that might need rewording ("And if, once in a while, your Granny takes someone out shopping with her, and comes back on her own... it's a price we're prepared to pay."), sounds a little very - simplified? Blunt? I don't know. But I like how everyone knows something odd is happening, and no one interferes.

    And I really liked the ending. Mmmm, furry. (^v^)

  2. Ha! Great story, Anton. Little's language was difficult to follow at first, but I got the hang of it. She sounded a bit like Billy Connoly at times...I loved the "thinning the herd" line.

  3. I saw the title in the collector when I put mine in and mentally bookmarked it.

    I'm still giggling from the "Mmmmmmm, furry."

  4. Anton, this is super! I exerted several snorts throughout, and LOVE the language. Do more like this...please!

  5. haha! That is well funny, innit.

    But "had gotten lost" - gotten? Is that argot or....American...? :-)

  6. Mazzz - I'll sack my editor. There's an even worse mistake in there...


    Who knew. Correct in New England. Kinda wild, cos it's standard vernacular in Norn Ireland, though I "know" it's not correct.

  8. This is great stuff. Funny even. Love the dialect!

  9. Brilliantly funny and SO much better than the original IMHO.

    Dialect was icing on cake!

  10. I had no problem with the dialogue. I'm no native speaker, but I have seen lolcats. They're a Rosetta Stone of accented English.

  11. Funny! Nailed the ending. I loved the dialect. Peace, Linda

  12. Great to read - tho I read it twice to really get it. Enjoyable

  13. Heh, I'm reading a book with all kinds of English dialects (Yorkshire mainly) in it - so this was extra cool for me. Love it, reworking old tales for the present always makes me smile, you did a bang-up job.

  14. i had a totally different concept of Miss Hood with that accent! a bit more sass for sure. and the wolf greasin palms was classic. heh. furry.

  15. Beauty. So Little's on the dole now. A fun read and thank yuh.

  16. Wagwan, nuff respec bred. Dis satyre or allegory or sumptin right? Da bomb blud, da bomb

    marc nash

  17. Think you've thinned the herd with this one, Mr Gully. Re-spec. Iss wickid.

    (and I love that the grannies are prepared to turn a blind eye!) Fantastic read!

  18. My spinner of beautifully woven lies, I will be back to read this week's #fridayflash, but I didn't want to wait to tell you that I like to honor liars and you have an award at my blog.

  19. Nice one Anton. :-) Great writing, great dialogue.

  20. Thinning the herd!! Love it. (Yes, I suppose she IS ever so helpful now.) Love this super-imaginative spin on the tale.

  21. This was refreshingly original for a retelling of LRRH. I found the slang dialogue distracting, but it was still well written and hilarious.

  22. Don't think Little will be around much longer. She's too greedy to last in a dog-eat-dog world.

    Straight From Hel

  23. HA! Big snorts on Little's story.
    Spinning curmudgeon on fairy tales... gotta love it.