The Twisted Tale of Isabel
The village of Hamlin was no stranger to wicked visitors late at night. In fact it was such, that any late night visitors or strange occurrence were often ignored or shrugged off. The adults seemed to be numbed over time, as their children were attacked, taken or lured away by a pied piper, a witch or some other phenomenon. The town was a decaying remnant of what it used to be. All of the villagers would hold up in their deteriorating shacks away from the bitter wind that held the haunting laughter and voices of their loved ones.
The few children that were left and their families were forced to live on the edge of the village, so that any manifestation or commotion would not disturb the rest of the town. One such night, as the snow fell, the lingering winds quieted. The lack of laughter and whispers of children's warning voices, woke Isabel. With sleep filled eyes she stumbled out of her sheets, the last embers barely lighting her way.
As she walked down the crooked hall towards her mother’s room Isabel realized that something else was lighting her way, a strange pink glow. Isabel strained to get a closer look, and realized that the pink glow was omitting from her mother's mouth whose beautiful soft face was hardened with pain, and silent agony. The glowing essence that flowed from her mother flowed into a strange gold rimmed jar held by a strange figure in the shadows.
Isabel had heard all of the stories surrounding the terrible beasts and creatures that came for children in the night, but this was unlike any of them. His silence and devilishly handsome grin pulled her in even as she watched as her mother took her last breath. The other tales seemed childish and ridiculous, but this man exuded evil without having to utter a wicked laugh, a haunting whisper, or enticing tune. He didn’t hold out candy, or tempt you with a house made of cake.
His appeal was pure wickedness. Most children would run in terror at the way her mother’s beauty shriveled away, disappearing into a small bottle, or be haunted by a mothers face now warped in pain and anguish. But not Isabel. Her mind reeled with questions. Perhaps that was why, when the devil held out his pale and boney hand she automatically took it.
They exited Isabel’s house, into the silent village, made more so by the snow falling. Isabel realized that it was not just snow, but mixing with the ashes was her house burning rapidly behind them. Strangely there was no crackling, the only sign of the fire was the heat on their backs. Isabel couldn’t stop staring at the gold rimmed crystal jar, glowing with the pink essence of her mother as it clinked against an identical empty shell hanging from a strap at the mysterious strangers waist.
Once they were safely in the forest, the man bent down on his knees in front of her. His hands trembled violently as he untied the drawstrings on her cape. The air picked it up and it fell on the edge of the village. The red a stark contrast against the snow. As the village woke, so did a wolf who stumbled upon the red hood. The villagers discovered Isabel's red hood in his mouth. Her mother’s cottage was completely gone.
The girl who made the Devil tremble was completely forgotten, the only remnants left, a fairytale about a girl in a red hood. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world she never existed.
All rights reserved by K. A. Petentler copyright 2015
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