Her Premonition of Dread
The image of Little Red fogged out and was replaced by grinning reality. A shadow of a wolf on the wall was roiled about, as if fighting the darkness for existence. The old woman stood amidst it, her mind burning, waiting for death to call. She inhaled, and the shadow was inside her, searing her lungs like fire. The agony was intensifying, but she endured it, refusing to collapse or even scream. The visit from Little Red was still fresh on her mind.
Suddenly she realized why the shadow had paid her a visit. It was a distraction; she was not to think of her granddaughter.
The old woman screamed. The shadow and its fury vanished, and there was only the darkness. She was shuddering with worry. She had a premonition about a wolf attacking her granddaughter, and her premonition of dread had a stinging feeling of reality.
Little Red! Little Red!
The vision she had of losing Little Red was such a foreign concept. She had banished the thought of it from her head, but it came rushing back like a tidal wave.
Then she heard a scream. She jumped. That scream was her granddaughter, and it came from the direction of the woods. Horribly alarmed, she rushed outside and ran as quickly as her legs would take her through the winding path that led into the woods. It was no surprise to her to see that the darkness was still patrolling the skies.
The only thing on her mind was her granddaughter’s safety, and she could feel a considerable heat climb her neck and rise into her cheeks. Suddenly she stopped running as if to listen for her granddaughter’s breathing. She watched the shadowy faces of her past loved ones as they were urging her to move on. For a moment, she allowed the images to sink in, and then she nodded obediently.
Her premonition of dread had full strength. It weakened her stability and was trying to take control. It kept playing over and over in her head like an echo. In her premonition of dread she saw Little Red’s body down by the river next to the old weeping willow. Her little body was on the dark lower side of the river where the gloom was stronger. Little Red was half in the river, her body smudged with dirt and blood. The old woman quickly ran as fast as her frail strength would take her. Little Red had her face down, and blood welled from two large canine marks on her back and neck. She was unconscious, but her heart was still beating. Slowly, but still beating.
The old woman snapped out of her daydream and turned at the sound of footfalls. Standing, almost frozen in place, she looked across the darkness and the trees that separated her from Little Red.
A Moment later, she found herself face to face with her dear departed husband. His eyes narrowed as he pointed toward a small unused path leading to the river. He did not speak but his actions were clear. She paused; gathering herself for what she knew would not be a pleasant journey. It was very good to see her husband, but she had no more time to waste. She had to save Little Red.
There it was the beginning of her premonition of dread, and as clear as the moon in the sky. Little Red shivering beneath the monstrosity that drifted steadily toward her without actually moving. The haunting of the wolf was like a river flowing by. She blinked and blinked again only to gather the reality of what was happening.
“Satan!” She screamed.
The wolf slowly turned to face her.
“You need a life, take mine!”
The prospect of taking an older woman’s life that seen so much of God’s earth, fancied him. Her age was not perfect for soul claiming, but her history was. She was a good hearted woman that commanded so much respect. Although she did violate God and Satan’s Covenant of old that no mortal would interfere with the operations of good and evil. It was Little Red, and there was no way in Hell that she was going to let the monstrosity steal her soul. She’d die first.
There was a search party and dogs combing the area. The wolf smiled as he turned toward Little Red. The old woman understood that the only way her granddaughter was to be found by the search party was simply to let go.
There was a thin fog that enveloped her briefly. Finally it started; her soul was separated from her body. She closed her eyes as the rush of pain filled her heart; she knew she was never going see her past loved ones again. Perhaps that was the reason they came to help her save Little Red.
Little Red opened her eyes and screamed.
“Over this way,” shouted the search party leader.
The old woman knew that Little Red was going to be rescued. Her sacrifice assured that, and she would do it over again for any member of her family. She was pure love, and she proved it.
A strange sensation washed over her as she floated toward the sky. She looked down and saw her past loved ones standing guard over Little Red until the search party arrived. Then she saw a crumbled body near the weeping willow and realized that her mortal flesh had not left the world, only her spirit.
© 2013 Frank Atanacio
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