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Bzou Red

The old woman sat by the hearth fire, letting the flames lick the air dangerously close to her toes and the wool blanket knit loosely around her legs.

The door opened across the room and at her back, letting a blast of cold Winter air cut through the old chamber and rustle the flames and ashes at her feet.

“You’re late,” she said, her eyes unmoved from the crackling logs.

“Yes. The woods are dense and I strayed from the path to pick you fresh flowers.”

“My child, you know that danger lies in wait in those woods. Are you not afraid of the beasts in the brush?”

“Dear Grandmother, I know you worry so,” the girl said as she set down her basket. “And with good reason. There are wolves among the trees with great vicious powers. Their claws are sharp, their spirits fierce and unrepentant. Hellfire is cast upon those who fall prey to their poisoned bite.”

The girl removed her blood-red cloak and revealed her newly-formed snout to her grandmother’s back.

“They may eat your flesh and drink your blood like wine.”

Her long pointed teeth glinted in the fire light.

“Or they may pierce your skin and bestow upon you their accursed gift: the gift of power and strength and senses heightened by the
light of the moon. The gift of primal life.”

A drop of drool fell from the pretty young girl’s smooth snout.

“But then there is the hunger. The hunger for living flesh. The manna of others. Oh, grandmother! If only it weren’t so.”

A single tear slid down her increasingly hairy cheek and joined her saliva on the old wooden floor.

“My child, if only.”

The old woman drew an axe from beneath the woolen blanket. Her eyes finally took leave of the mesmerizing flames as she turned toward her bestial kin and swung the axe at her still hairless neck.

“If only.”


About Chronically Kaarina

My life is not a tragedy.

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