Another brief bit of fiction

OK, so I ran into my old web page from 1995. BOY was I callow as a 19 year old, although I suppose it’s a tautology to say so. Still, I ran into a few cool things I wrote when even younger than that… which I’ll be sharing here. First up, written in 9th grade, for a class project, I give you:

Little Red Riding Hood, as told by Holden Caufield
(actual text below the break; warning for those bothered by it, some mild profanity.)

Last week my mother asked me to bring a basket of goodies to grandma. I said I’d love to – I’m a great liar, and I really didn’t want to, but my mother is goddamn nasty when she’s angry.

So I set off along the road through the woods to grandma’s house, wearing the goddamn hooded cloak she always made me wear. It’s awful – she had all her phony friends call me ‘Little Red Riding Hood,’ and all her phony friends would say “It’s so cute…,” “how precious…,” or “simply adorable.” That kills me. If I was larger, I’d look like I was some sort of dangerous hoodlum.

I had been walking down the road for some time when I met this crazy hairy man. “Hello, little girl,” he said.

“Hello,” I said, and continued. The man followed.

“Where are you going, little girl?” asked the man.

Goddamn, this ‘little girl’ bit was annoying me. “I’m going to my Grandma’s house.”

“Where is your grandmother’s house, little girl?”

“At the other side of the forest,” I said, and the man started to leave.

I continued on my way, and I finally got to my grandma’s house. It was a dilapidated old shack, and not fit for rats to live in, but if you’re a crazy old lady like my grandma, I guess you don’t notice.

I knocked on the door. No answer. I knocked again. From inside came the tiny, croaking voice of my grandmother, “Come in, little girl.” Not her too! What’s with everybody calling me ‘little girl’ today?

I opened the door and came in. Grandma was lying in her bed, and there was something funny about her – she must’ve been sick or something. “Hi, grandma!” I said. “I’ve brought you a basket of goodies.”

“Very nice,” said grandma. “Come over here, and set it down, little girl.” She pointed to the nightstand.

I brought it to her, and set it down. She really did look funny. “My, grandmother, what a big nose you have,” I said.

“The better to smell you with, little girl.”

The ‘little girl’ bit was getting to me again, but I decided to continue this game. “My, grandmother, what big ears you have.”

“The better to hear you with, little girl.”

There was definitely something very strange about grandma… it reminded me of someone, but I couldn’t remember who. “My, grandmother, what a big mouth you have.”

Grandmother stiffened up, and then made a grin. “The better to eat you with, little girl…”

She wasn’t my grandma! “Oh, no! You’re that hairy man from the forest!”

“No, I’m the big bad wolf, and I’m going to have you for lunch,” the wolf said as he got out of my grandma’s bed.

I ran around the room trying to escape, and reached the door. It swung open, and in came a hunter, with a gun. “It’s the wolf,” said the hunter, and he shot the wolf.

“I’ve rescued you, little girl! You can go home now,” he said.

Rescued me, my ass. I was about to have escaped when he got there. But of course people like that never listen – they just assume that they did everything. Anyway, why was everyone calling me ‘little girl?’ It’s not like that’s my name.

  • That’s all there is to the original version. It was written for an assignment for English “Rewrite a fairy tale in the voice of the narrator from Catcher in the rye.” So I picked this, though I think my other choice (The Three Little Pigs) could have been quite interesting to work with. For what it is, I’m quite pleased with it. Oh — and upon showing it to my friend Ethan, he typed out an alternate ending. I’ll leave you with it:
  • “So where the hell’s my grandma?” I shouted, a vibrant list of profanities following every other word. I opened the closet door, and there was grandma, her face gnawed on by numerous rats and other weevels. She collapsed in a lump of flesh and died there on the spot.