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  • Writer's pictureLoveday Funck

Little Red meets the Big Bad

I am thoroughly enjoying my current project of reimagining fairy tales in an alternate version of the French Quarter. While I have primarily focused on lesser-known tales, I couldn't resist the opportunity to take on one of the most well-known stories of all time.

My retelling of Little Red Riding Hood celebrates the remarkable power of resourcefulness and courage in the face of adversity. Come along with Little Red as she embarks on a thrilling adventure through the vibrant streets of the French Quarter, where she skillfully outwits the wily wolf and learns to trust in her own Intelligence.

Little Red Riding Hood lived in the heart of the French Quarter with her mother. The vibrant streets of New Orleans were her playground, and she loved nothing more than wandering through the colorful buildings, listening to the sounds of jazz music, and watching the lively crowds go by. But as much as she loved her neighborhood, she was no stranger to the dangers that lurked within it.

Her mother was a protective woman, always worrying about her daughter's safety and well-being. So when Little Red Riding Hood offered to deliver a basket of food and medicine to her grandmother, her mother was hesitant.

"You know the French Quarter can be dangerous, my dear," she said, her voice tinged with concern. "Are you sure you want to go alone?"

Little Red Riding Hood, however, was a determined girl. She had made the journey to her grandmother's house many times before and knew the streets like the back of her hand. Besides, she had a basket full of goodies to protect her.

"I'll be fine, Mama," she said with a reassuring smile. "And I have this basket of goodies to keep me company."

Her mother couldn't help but chuckle at her daughter's bravery. "Well, just in case, take this bottle of hot sauce," she said, handing Little Red Riding Hood a small glass bottle filled with a fiery red liquid. "Your grandmother loves hot sauce, especially when she's not feeling well. It's sure to cheer her up."

Little Red Riding Hood grinned at the thought of her grandmother's love of spicy food. With a hug and a kiss from her mother, she set out on her journey.

Little Red Riding Hood strolled down the neon-lit streets of the French Quarter, her basket of provisions clutched close to her heart. Her Victorian dress flowed around her, and her curly hair bounced with every step. The air was thick with the scent of fresh beignets and the sound of jazz music floated through the streets. Zebra cats slinked in the shadows, their eyes glinting like shards of onyx.

Little Red Riding Hood took in the sights and sounds around her. The buildings were painted in bright colors, and the streets were alive with music and dancing. She hummed a tune to herself, feeling the sunshine on her face and the cool breeze on her skin.

But as she turned down an unfamiliar alleyway, Little Red Riding Hood felt uneasy. The buildings grew taller and closer together, casting long shadows across the pavement. She quickened her pace, clutching the basket tightly to her chest.

Suddenly, a figure stepped out from the shadows. Little Red Riding Hood's heart raced as she recognized the person as the Big Bad Wolf, a notorious plushie figure in the Quarter known for his menacing demeanor and sharp teeth. The wolf's fur was matted and unkempt, and his eyes glinted with hunger. "Bonjour, what's in the basket, little girl?" he growled, stepping closer.

Little Red Riding Hood's hands shook as she clutched the basket tighter. "Just some food and medicine for my grandmother," she said, her voice barely above a whisper.

Little Red Riding Hood's heart skipped a beat as she stared at the wolf. She knew she had to act fast. She pulled out the bottle of hot sauce and aimed it at the wolf's eyes.

With a quick flick of her wrist, she squirted the hot sauce into the wolf's eyes.

"Ahhhh!" howled the wolf, stumbling back and rubbing his eyes frantically.

Little Red Riding Hood seized the opportunity and ran, zigzagging down the back alleys towards her grandmother's house, with the wolf howling and stumbling behind her.

Only when she could no longer hear the pursuit, did Little Red Riding Hood make a direct dash for her grandmother's house.

As she approached the small cottage nestled in the heart of the French Quarter, Little Red Riding Hood slowed her breathing and her steps. She felt her heart fill with warmth. Her grandmother had always been her safe haven, her beacon of light in the darkness of the world. The cottage was a quaint little place, painted a soft shade of lavender, with a small garden in front of it. The garden was filled with fragrant jasmine flowers, and Little Red Riding Hood couldn't resist the urge to pick a few and tuck them behind her ear.

She knocked on the door, her heart racing with anticipation. A few moments later, the door opened, revealing her grandmother, a tiny woman with twinkling eyes and a smile that could light up the entire neighborhood.

"Little Red Riding Hood! Thank you so much for coming!" her grandmother exclaimed, ushering her inside.

As Little Red Riding Hood stepped inside the cozy cottage, she was hit with the aroma of fresh-baked bread and sweet vanilla. Her stomach growled in appreciation, and her grandmother chuckled.

"I made your favorite, dear. Freshly baked beignets," she said, leading Little Red Riding Hood to the kitchen.

"I thought you weren't feeling well?"

"Nothing makes me feel better than baking," her grandmother replied, deftly sprinkling powdered sugar over Little Red Riding Hood's beignets.

The kitchen was small but cozy, with a large wooden table in the center and a cast-iron stove in the corner. Little Red Riding Hood took a seat at the table, feeling a sense of calm wash over her. Her grandmother placed the plate of warm beignets in front of her, along with a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

"So, tell me, cher, what happened? You look a little frazzled," her grandmother asked, taking a seat across from her.

Little Red Riding Hood hesitated for a moment before telling her grandmother everything that had happened. She told her about the wolf, how he had chased her through the back alleys in the Quarter, and how she had managed to escape him with the help of a bottle of hot sauce.

Her grandmother listened intently, her expression shifting from concern to relief as Little Red Riding Hood finished her story.

"You're so brave, dear. I'm so proud of you," her grandmother said, placing a hand on hers.

Little Red Riding Hood smiled, feeling a sense of pride swell within her. She had always looked up to her grandmother, and her words meant the world to her.

As they sat there, sipping on hot chocolate and munching on beignets, Little Red Riding Hood couldn't help but feel grateful for her grandmother and the comfort and safety she provided. She knew that no matter what happened, her grandmother would always be there for her, a guiding light in the darkness.

As the day turned into late afternoon, Little Red Riding Hood bid her grandmother goodbye, promising to come to visit her again soon. She stepped out into the cool air of the Quarter, feeling a sense of contentment wash over her.

As she made her way back to her own home, Little Red Riding Hood couldn't help but feel grateful for the little moments of joy and comfort that life had to offer, and for the people who made them possible. She knew that no matter what challenges lay ahead, she would always have her grandmother, her hot sauce, and her own bravery to rely on.

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