Crimson and King

Her name was Carlotta Alice Hood, but the wolf king did not know this. And his name was known only to him. It had been a nervous jest for them not to give each other their names when they first met. The wolf had claimed that giving his name would give her power over him. She was the granddaughter of an alchemist. And was to be an alchemist herself. She, for her part, refused to give her name because she had been afraid of him. He could have and probably had learned it long ago, for even as he watched over her, his kin and kind watched over her family. Out of that jest grew a superstition. The girl and the wolf would not give each other their true names until they fulfilled their common quest.

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The Crimson Hood

For the second time, she held the still-warm hand in her own hands. And it felt wrong. She slipped to her knees beside the bed. She felt tears spill from her eyes and as they tracked down her face and dripped from her chin to the ground, she saw that the liquid was a watery red. Her tears had mingled with blood.

How did blood get on my face?

She turned her head and looked at what remained of the body that once was her grandmother. She frowned in confused thought.

Where is she?

She had been there, in that body. Now she was not. Where was she?

She heard a noise in the doorway and if it was her attacker again, she would have perished right then, for she did not turn. She heard the clomping of boots and knew it was just the axman returning. He was breathing heavily through his nose.

“Whatever it was attacked your gran and you, it’s still out there, miss,” the axman said in a gentle but firm tone. “I must get you out of here and safe to my cottage. It’s nearby. My kin will look after you while I hunt this creature down.”

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