Our student author writes, "Hi, my name is Arianna Winchester and I'm an 11th grader at NYC Lab School. I've lived in Manhattan my whole life and I love it here. I'm the co-president of Community Service Club at my school--dedicated to helping my fellow students find volunteer opportunities--and I know American Sign Language fairly well. I've always loved writing, especially creative writing when I can express my own values and opinions through characters or story lines."
Oh, this would work out fabulously. My plan was laying out perfectly! I would sneak into the cottage and kill the old bat first, leaving the juicy and tender young girl for my dessert. On my way back home to the missus, I’d run into that mouthwatering schoolgirl; she was perfectly stupid enough to fall for my ruse. Her sunny disposition had left me at unease--I’ve always hated skipping children. At that, it was settled. I’d just make a small detour before returning home, and maybe bring half of the girl back as an anniversary present. God knows my wife would appreciate a present now and again. All that was left was to set the trap.
I sauntered past the rose bushes, reveling in my picture-perfect plan. What a spark of genius it had been! Arriving at the small home, I tapped lightly at the door. A feeble voice answered my knock, barely able to screech out a sentence. Perfect, I clapped in excitement, this one was already senile. Opening the door with a slight crack, I narrowed my eyes and a wide smile graced my features.
“Why hello there, deary. What a fun time we’re going to have together.”
Rubbing my paws together in delight, I swiftly observed my subject. Her ragged clothes hung limply on her frail body; yes, she would be an easy one to smash. I bared my razor-edged teeth at her, earning a jump and screech out of the old woman. “No!” I exclaimed, clamping my hand over her mouth. She shivered in my arms and I easily tossed her in the hall closet. She could wait for me in there. I soon drifted off to find some smelly, worn nightgown of hers to hide my beastly features. Sure, I assured myself, this plan would work just fine. I quickly clothed myself and hid my ears behind a matching nightcap, bounding into the small bed with a loud creak. Weakly, the old broad tried scraping at the door and crying out for someone to please, please help. I gruffly barked at her.
“Quiet down, you old hag!”
At that, she lay silent.
I tested out a few of my "weak old lady" voices, seeing which would fit just right. Still experimenting with the tone of my voice, I heard steps approaching the door. Oh yes! My heart skipped a beat. Finally, the girl had arrived. I could smell her from here: simply delectable. She would do quite well. The child unfastened the latch on the door and crept inside as my nostrils flared and I readied for my show. Walking over to the foot of the bed, she kindly hugged me, noting how long it had been since she’d enjoyed my company. Oddly enough, she remarked upon my ears. I immediately thought of an excuse--something grandmotherly, of course. Next, it was my eyes and then my nose. Just how observant was this child? I was getting quite frustrated. Stroking the blanket once more, she mentioned something of my mouth, but I couldn’t keep myself in check any longer. All of a sudden, I was blinded with rage and fury--who did she think she was? Alright, the games are over, sweet pea. Time for us to have some real fun. I sprang up from my cloak underneath the blanket and let a harsh roar free. Standing over the girl, I reveled as she cowered in fear. Finally! The girl was mine!
A rattling at the door broke my focus on my hunger--what was that noise? A man burst through the archway holding an enormous axe that glinted with its edge. He stalked over to where I was holding my prey, about to strike, and swung his weapon at my head. I ducked, escaping the path of his axe and scampered to the corner. I whined with fright as our roles reversed. Suddenly, I had become the weak, frail creature, scared of the great monster above me. He held the power and I did not; my head spun. Squeezing my eyes together, I braced myself for the worst. Saying my final silent goodbyes to my mother and my wife, I felt the cool metal of the axe leave the crook of my neck. What was this? He was letting me go? I stared up at the man with shocked eyes, silently pleading for my life. He shooed me away, putting his head down and turning his attention to the still shaking girl in the corner. Stunned at the kindness of this woodsman, I ran without much more than a glance back. Nah, I thought to myself, that girl would have been too small for a full dinner. But I surely could’ve taken that lumberjack...
Image by Walter Crane.