Red Rider…The Hood
Prologue : This is a reworking of the old fairy tale for modern times, the first of a series, hopefully. The experiment begins here…
He was a cute little boy whom the whole street used to pet. His mother was living alone separated from his father and she had taken the boy far away from her estranged husband. They lived, these two, in a decrepit little apartment house in the lousiest neighborhood in town, while the mother worked as a cook in a distant restaurant in the city. The boy was a bright student and did well at school and his mother had great hopes of him. But because she spent a long time traveling to and fro from work, she depended on the neighbors to take care of him while she was at work and he was back from school. Despite the rundown apartments they lived in, the neighbors were all good, solid families and were glad to help out the single mother and the charming little boy.
By far the sweetest and most helpful were the two spinster ladies who lived right next door. They were indeed great help to the single mother offering both moral and spiritual support and even sometimes a financial hand in her times of need. Them, she trusted more than the others to take care of her little boy. And whenever she got something back from the kitchens she worked at, something dainty or spicy and not commonly seen in an apartment like theirs, she sent the boy over with the dish to the neighbors in a spirit of share and share alike. The little boy loved nothing more than to go and distribute this borrowed largesse to all the apartment dwellers.
And thus they lived happily till the boy began to get sick and stay at home from school more and more frequently. The distraught mother was worried but her job did not allow her to take leave at the risk of being fired and she had to depend more and more on her kindly neighbors to take care of the sick child, who was clearly wasting away under some kind of unidentified disease. Her child, her sweet little kid, was now grown so morose and hardly talked to anyone anymore like he did of old. And there was no reason she could think of why. Even the costly doctor she could ill afford to take him to, was clearly stumped to see the child grow so sickly so suddenly.
As so often happens, one day the mother came home with a large packet of leftover food from the restaurant where she worked. She laid away some for their use and knowing that the rest of the food would get spoiled if not given away directly, she called the little boy to her, combed his hair neatly and giving him the parcel she had made up, told him to take it next door “Go give this to the kind aunties who live next door son and come back soon”. The boy who had recently gone surly even on her, took the parcel without a word and went out the door.
He knocked at the neighboring apartment and was let in immediately by the younger of the two old women. “Come in, come in my sweet little child, why have you been avoiding us all these days?” The boy mumbled something like “i have been sick” and then added “Grannny, mother sends you this parcel of food, wont you take it and let me go? she wants me back soon” he looked at her imploringly. But the old spinster would have none of it, for she dragged the boy close to her and hugging him said “my sweet child, my brave hero, whats the hurry, why dont you play here for a little time with your granny before going home and i am sure your mother wont mind” and dragging him by the hand went inside the house, calling out loud for her sister to come see who had come on a visit.
“Now” she said holding out a large tub of ice-cream to the child,”i have been keeping this for you all week, only you never came child” she dangled it before him, “but you have to play with me before you get your treat. Remember our little game? remember what i taught you to do last time? But you have to do better if you want that ice cream. Here, come here, come closer, kneel between my legs, theres a good boy, yes bend over and yes, there, there, thats right, yes, just like i taught you to, and dont stop if you want to go home soon”
And the boy whose favorite story was the tale of little red riding hood, went away in his mind to the story of how the little girl went screaming into the woods for help and how the woodsman came in with the axe and chopped off the head of the big, bad wolf which had tried to hurt her.
Epilogue : The man with the long beard turned around and looked at the police man seated behind him and said “I am afraid theres nothing more we can get you from this man under hypnosis, Inspector. We know why now, dont we? why the serial killer called The Red Rider, was killing all these old women who lived alone in apartments? Shall we wake him up from the hypnosis?”
Post Script: Child Sexual Abuse is an ever present threat to our children. Male children are affected equally as female children. The offenders are often trusted people, relatives, friends or neighbors. Listen to your instincts, if you feel somethings wrong.