Scarlet pressed her lips when the 'witch' called her Liam's girl.
She was his but they had been like...kilometers away from each other without any touch.
"Hot wings." Scarlet blurted out absentmindedly, just because the couple nearby were having some. She wasn't much used to outdoor meals. Her grandmother always cooked something if she didn't herself.
The Ridinghood looked back at the guilty one sharply when he started telling the stupid excused there. She clenched on the edge of the table, gritting her teeth and just feeling like stabbing him with fork.
"Stop howling miserably!" she snapped at him once again. "There is no fucking reason that we have ended up in different towns. As far as I know, both are failures. I hate my routine life now. I hate driving the shittry truck, I hate to see every single rich brat princess I had never seen back then in our story being rubbed in my face by my dear grandma. I hate to just stay in a little apartment, watching hopeless romantic...Liam, our story was the most amazing, exciting and worthiest of all! You were trying to eat me, remember?! I can never forget those teeth shining under moonlight and...the dangerous creepy eyes...I can never how they all changed in due time....Then..." Tears once again filled her eyes.
"How do you expect me to forget...you...you...Big Bad Wolf."
Liam couldn't hold his smile at bay. The corner of his mouth twitched up in a grin. She wanted to sound so pissed off but all he could think about was how insanely cute she looked in that moment. This wasn't the first time she'd laid into him. She used to yell at him all the time. For running off without saying anything, mostly. Seems nothing really changed, after all. Only their surroundings.
"Your gram wouldn't want you to see me anymore," he voiced softly as he led the way down the street to a run down diner. It took her short legs a while to catch up, but he held the door open for her patiently and stepped inside after her. He directed them towards the table in the corner. His usual table.
Before he had a chance to say anything else to Scarlet, a witch stepped up to their table in the diner's uniform. She was young. Bright eyes. Sharp nose. His talented nose picked up the scent of bubble gum. "Hey, Wolf Man. You want the usual?" She asked, popping a large bubble. He nodded at her, knowing he should know her name. He came here all the time. She turned to Scarlet. "And for your girl?" Liam didn't bother correcting her. Was she his? Not anymore...
He let Scarlet order and watched the waitress walk away. Finally his brown eyes met Scarlet's.
"I get that you're pissed," he said in a low rumble. "If it's any consolation, I hate myself for it, too. But I just... Figured I'd give you a chance without me. I just weighed you down." He ran a hand through his thick hair and then down his face, scratching at his stubble. "There's a reason I wound up in Low Fable..." He turned his gaze to look out the window.
[h3 One night won't kill]
Scarlet noticed him following her steps which made her secretly pleased and on outside annoyed at the same time. When he defended his town folks, she just rolled her eyes in a 'duh' fashion. Of course she knew that. Else why the hell did the Little Red Ridinghood befriended the Big Bad Wolf?
He did something worse. He broke her heart so the villain was always pure evil. This planted a frown on her pouting face. This sped up her pace. Her eyes wandered around for a hotel or motel. Hell, even a shelter; She needed her sleep badly. Especially after what she found out about her messed up story. All of the High Fable people knew their villain and met them oftenly but Scarlet was always just...clueless.. About her own story.
Liam talked again which successfully stopped her in track. Did he just invite her to his house? It was a relief to hear he had one. Scarlet felt the urge to reject his offer rudely but any retard could understand he was right about this town's safety system. Zero safety system. She was just a little noob among them so she was easy to trick. Of course Scarlet could close her eyes for a rest in those places. But what about [b his] place? He just broke her heart badly then boldy asked her to come to his house? Scarlet finally looked at him with narrowed eyes and he probably saw her rage and started explaining the reason why he acted like a cheater jerk.
What?! She [b [i Shouldn't]] hang around with him?! Was that a demand?! This sent her to the edge.
"You...you who do you think you are?!" The Ridinghood finally talked, standing on her to get at tall as she could. "Since when you have started deciding for both of us?! You are not even an alpha wolf! Ugh. I really, really, really do hate you and your selfish attitude! You never thought how I would feel...I was stuck in my flat, wondering what my story was. I felt...like an unfinished story! Something worthless, meaningless and forgettable! All because Mr.smartie thought it would be better for us to never meet again. Screw you!" Scarlet stomped her foot on the broken pavement with a growl but the growl of her stomach was louder.
"...Of course I'm starving...I do not feed on air, you know!" The girl snapped with a bit of blush of embarrassment and folded her arms, looking away.
"And fine. I'll come to your stupid place only because you need to repay me for what you did, nothing else..."
Liam let her smack him around. He deserved it. He let the cigarette fall to the ground. [i What a waste.] He crushed it out with his boot. She was right of course. He hadn't lied. It's just that he didn't know how to deal with his nerves except with nicotine and alcohol.
He heaved a heavy sigh as she stomped away. "Look, Red-" he cut himself off at the nickname. It just slipped out. "I didn't know he'd be working. Not everyone here is as bad as the stories say."
Why on earth was he defending them? Maybe he felt like he was one of them and therefore had to defend himself. If that were the case, he would never admit to it, of course.
He stepped closer to Scarlet, making sure that she didn't get too far away. He thought about all the scummy hotels that lined the streets and tried to picture her inside one before heaving another great sigh.
"Look... You can come stay with me until your truck is fixed. Half the hotels around here are just fronts for illegal businesses, anyway."
What the fuck was he saying? He spends years avoiding her and now invites her to stay? [i It's the only option,] he told himself. He wasn't about to put her into another bad situation. Not twice in the same day, at least.
There was a long silence and he took that time to take everything in. Why the hell was she driving a truck around? Surely there were other things she could do to make money? Unless things were getting just as bad there as they had always been in Low Fable...
"Listen..." he started again, finally turning to look at her once more. "I figured it was best if we started new... You shouldn't hang around a guy like me." There. It was out. The simple version at least. He took in the sight of her. Short black hair poking out from under that red hat. Her arms were wrapped around herself as if she were trying to protect herself from her surroundings.
He broke. As he always did.
"You hungry?" he asked, gently.
[h3 The fucking silence]
When he took the tissue from her, Scarlet looked away. She expected to growl at her and tell her shut her mouth. She wanted him to say she's saying garbage and pick her up to taunt her short height, she wanted him to laugh in mockery and drag her to the nearest cafe for some brownies.
But hey, this world is a bitch.
Maybe he had no feelings for her at all.
Maybe all those cuddles were because he was stuck with her in that story.
But now he was free and could choose whoever he wanted. Maybe another wolf, a witch or even a turtle.
Everything was over.
The Ridinghood felt a strange pain in her chest as she watched the wolf searched through his pocket. She even felt her eyes burn.
Henry the woodsman might had been right.
[i Why do you insist on remembering the old story? Maybe you don't want to remember the villain.]
Yes. He was right. Scarlet felt horrible at the moment, like...She just wanted to throw up...on him.
Scarlet shut her eyes tightly, trying to imprison her tears. Her body was shaking again but this time not from fear.
She was hating herself more and more for being a fool and thinking that the Big Bad Wolf was hers and hers only. She thought that Liam thought the same but now she was doubting it.
Scarlet was too small for him afterall.
Finally she took a sharp breath in and opened her eyes, seeing a blurry vision of the wolf smoking. So he had started smoking. Acting like a tough guy and all. There were days which he couldn't tolerate the smell of smoke in forest but good ol' times were no more.
"Stop smoking. Wolves hate the smell. You told me once...was that a lie too?! I hate...your fuckin' silence!" Angrily she swatted the arm holding the cig and walked past him with firm steps but then she stopped, talking coldly
"Thank you for saving me,...though you told me to come here." Scarlet couldn't get out of the town any soon so she had to find somewhere to spend the night. Everyone in this town gave her the creeps. Scarlet set her gaze down, trying not to look like an outsider.
There was silence for a long moment. Then she yelled and his knee buckled underneath him when he felt the kick. He stepped forward at the surprise, but that was all. Shit. How could he have forgotten the temper this tiny woman could carry?
He turned, slowly. As if he wasn't sure whether to run or stand his ground. And there she was. Her eyebrows were knitted together in rage. She was so small and yet when he met her, he had met his match. That didn't seem to change over time.
He didn't care about the looks they were being given. He just let her scream. He deserved it after all. He didn't open his mouth to reply. He had no answers for her. Nothing she wanted to hear at least. But she caught him off guard when her tone became concerned.
In any other situation he might have smirked at her attempts to reach his face. She was so close to her mark, and yet it seemed so far. And, to even his own surprise, he obeyed. He bent himself over just a bit so that she could wipe the blood from his face.
How had he forgotten the hold she had over him? He was a fucking trained dog to her and no one else.
She mopped at his face, scraping stubble and he couldn't help himself but take in the sight of her face. Through his visor and the distance before, he hadn't been able to see her perfectly. But now they were so close. God, he missed her.
It felt like a punch to his gut. He wanted to wrap his arms around her and never let her go. He wanted her to keep screaming at him. He wanted her to make him make up for all the time they'd lost while he was avoiding her.
But he knew that he couldn't let that happen. There was a reason he stayed away. She deserved someone better. The Woodsman who protected her from him during their first encounter, maybe. He seemed to like her well enough.
But the thought sent a streak of anger through him. [i Fuck the woodsman. He almost split me in two with that fucking axe of his. He doesn't deserve her.] But then again, neither did he himself.
He couldn't let this go on. He took the tissue from her hand, trying not to notice just how incredibly soft she was when their skin grazed each other's. He tipped his head back and held it to his nose to stop the bleeding if it wasn't already healed by his powers. He mainly used it as an excuse to not look at her anymore...
He thought about saying something or explaining himself, but he couldn't bring himself to. He just stayed silent. When he could no longer use his nose as excuse, he dropped the tissue and pulled out a pack of cigarettes from his jeans pocket. He pulled one out and lit it with his lighter before taking a drag and letting it go in a cloud of smoke. He could feel her eyes on him all the while, waiting for her to start screaming again.
[h3 Big Bad Wolf?!]
[i This gotta be a nightmare, This gotta be a nightmare...] The poor panicked Scarlet told herself over and over when she watched the monster approaching her with a taunt. She was frozen, her hands locked on the wheel and shivering like a leaf in the wind. She knew she had to run, do something, scream, shout...but she was paralyzed with fear.
Her whole body jumped as the door was torn away and revealed her small, frightened figure. Her head turned to see him, her mouth opened for a scream but nothing came out.
Was this her end?!
She barely heard someone calling out and distracting the giant. The new opponent pulled him into a fight, giving the Ridinghood some time to snap out of it. Finally she blinked several times, the sound of the fight becoming clear. Scarlet dared to poke her head out, seeing the fury beat on the defeated giant...
Something sparked in her.
Wolves are in woods...
[i Beware of the Big Bad Wolf, honey!]
[i 'Kay, mom!]
[i Humming a tune, the country girl skipped though the trees. The basket in her hands swayed, the cookies in it bouncing to her hum. Our little Red Ridinghood did not notice the eyes of...]
[i A-are you th-the big bad wolf? Please. I have cookies for granny....A-at least t-tase some..Granny will miss it if y-you e-eat me...E-EEEP! Hey.. You have fuzzy hair! Can I touch it before I die? Please? You can have my cookies in return but...I've heard you shouldn't eat sweets because you're already hyper. I'm hyper too...Does being hyper makes me taste sweeter? Do you have a wife? Do you want feed me to your cute pups? Do they like cookies?-]
[i You're pretty sexy in this form. Why do you insist on being a furball? At least this way you won't be annoyed by my pettings.]
[i Today's my birthday! But I want to celebrate it with you, Wolfe!]
[i You are the best...no the bestest, sexiest and hottest wolfy in the world!!!!]
[b The Big Bad Wolf!]
How could she forget him?! How could HE leave her all alone and confused?! Now she could clearly remember...
How she loved the hell out of this grumpy man.
Slowly and shakily, Scarlet reached a foot on ground and then pulled her body out. She still hadn't fully recovered from the giant's attack. He still hadn't turned at her this only pissed her more. Why was he avoiding her this whole time?! What was wrong about her which made him like that?! Wasn't she good enough for him?! That.. That...
"You....BIG BAD WOLF!" And then she kicked back of his knee since that was the only place she could reach. Scarlet's face was reddened with rage as she looked up at him with clenched fists at her sides.
When he finally turned, she saw his nose bleeding but did not back off. "WHERE WERE YOU THIS WHOLE TIME?!" Her shout made some people stare at the unlikely sight.
"Look...Look...at that face..." Scarlet added, pulling out a tissue. Hopping some to reach, she realised that she couldn't so shouted out again.
"BEND DOWN SO I CAN CLEAN UP THE MESS!"
Liam found himself in the bar across the street from the auto shop. Why? He couldn't say.
[i I was supposed to be done with her,] he told himself, taking a drink of his whisky and looking over his shoulder into the parking lot to see if her truck had pulled up yet. No sign of her.
"Tough day?" the bartender asked him. Liam gave him a look. "Tougher day than usual?" the man corrected himself. Liam nodded and tapped a knuckle on the bar and the man filled his glass once more.
He stared into the glass, swirling the liquid around, then took another drink. The bartender gazed over his head and let out a curt laugh. Liam looked up at him.
"Looks like Big Dave has found a new play thing," he said and Liam looked over his shoulder across the street, narrowing his eyes. But then they widened at the sight of Scarlet's truck.
"Dave is working today?" he asked, gruffly. [i Fuck.] Why didn't he think about this? The giant was completely unbearable.
Liam stood abruptly, the stool falling to the floor behind him. He drained his glass quickly before placing not nearly enough change to cover his tab on the counter and walking out. He didn't hear the bartender's complaints.
"What's a cute little think like you doing out here in Low Fable?" he could hear Big Dave asking. The giant had his hands on the hood of the truck, looking through the window at Scarlet. He started to work his way around to the driver's side door.
Liam forgot his helmet with his bike. He forgot his goal to stay hidden from Scarlet. All he cared about was that Big Dave was about to make a meal out of her. Even his coworkers were calling him away, but he knew that look in his eye. Liam had had that same hunger before...
Before he was halfway across the street, Dave had torn the door off the truck. Sometimes this happened with creatures in Low Fable. Sometimes they couldn't handle the normality of life and their former fury took them over. Liam knew that he wouldn't be able to talk him out of this one.
By the time he had stepped up onto the curb, Liam was already half transformed. His nails grew into claws, his face grew even more hairy. Fangs protruded from his mouth. He let out a deafening growl.
That caught the giant's attention. He turned towards the wolf-man and threw the truck door right at him. Liam dodged it easily. Soon enough they were squaring up. Despite the giant being twice as large, Liam knew that he was more powerful.
"Leave her alone," he ordered, his usual voice now with an undertone of growls.
"Make me," Dave said with a cruel smile.
"Dave, don't!" shouted one of the other mechanics, a dwarf with a long beard. "Is your head on right?" If Dave heard him, it didn't show. Instead he stepped closer to Liam.
"Listen to your friend, big guy," he told him, still in growls.
He didn't listen. The giant thew a punch. Liam caught the fist in one hand and reached out to return the favor with another. Dave stepped back, stunned. He glared at Liam and then dove at him, sending them both to the concrete in a scuffle of fists and growls. Liam knew that he just had to knock the giant around enough to snap him out of his hunger. And that's exactly what happened in just a few short minutes.
Dave tapped out. "You win, Wolfe! You win! I'm sorry I messed with the bitch!"
"The what?" He growled, loudly.
"Th- the girl!"
Liam got off of him and let him get up. The other mechanics were pulling him back into the garage. "You better fix this fucking truck for free now, you hear me, Dave?" The giant nodded slowly, like a kicked dog.
Liam stood with his back to the truck, watching as they took the giant inside to clean him up. The wolf finally felt the warmth on his upper lip and realized that his nose was bleeding, but that was the worst of it. As he stood there, he slowly morphed back into his human self.
Did he dare turn around to face Scarlet? There was no way she didn't know who he was now...
[h3 One night in Low Fable]
The woods looked dead and hopeless. Scarlet stood there looking around with a confused frown. After a big sigh of failure she assumed that this wood was not going to aid her in any way.
"Guess I have to do things myself..." The Ridinghood mumbled dragging herself back to the vehicle. She approached the truck and peaked in, watching the engine with a clueless expression. She had to stand on her tiptoes to have a better look. Scarlet didn't dare to touch a thing, since they all screamed to be hot.
As she was staring and hoping for a miracle, she felt something approaching. That wasn't a nice feeling at that situation so she looked over her shoulder suspiciously. Nothing.
Scarlet shrugged and focused back on swearing silently at the truck's mother.
The sound got louder, right beside her.
That's a miracle.
Scarlet smiled happily and turned fully to the....
That was all she could think as she made a step back to get a good look at his face-
So this one wanted to stay mysterious. Not very convincing but there was nothing she could do. Besides, he wanted to help and she wouldn't complain.
Then sh realised they were both staring like dumb cows. He was the first to break the silence.
Oh. He reminded her of the dangers and Scarlet just nodded not feeling like telling him she'd been sent through worse forests as a small kid.
Finally he made a move to actully help her. The smaller one gave him some space silently and stretched her neck, trying to see what he was doing. Recklessly the stranger went for the engine and before Ridinghood could warn, he easily touching the hot steel and worked on the stuffs with no hesitation.
If she wasn't lucky. He was a bit scary but handy. Scarlet folded her arms on her chest, watching him fixing the engine silently. The truck was temporary fixed but she still couldn't rely on it to take her to the destination.
"Mhm. Thank you-Oh, thank you again." She took the fuel with a bit of surprise, asking herself if he was an angel or a fairy.
"Low Fable?" Scarlet repeated in disblief. "Are you sure there's no other town nearby?..." the woman asked, staring back at the weird man. Okay. That was awkward, he was just looking at her...or maybe not she wasn't sure what he was doing behind that dark shield.
What was wrong with him?! She slowly waved him goodbye awkwardly before he finally took off.
"Weirdo. Yet he was a good mechanic." Scarlet thought loudly as licking her sweetened fingers. With a hop she got back into the truck and started the whining engine, driving slowly through the night.
To avoid sleeping, our Ridinghood whistled a melody over and over again till it became annoying. Fortunately, the Low Fable was close. Soon she saw the small town and kept driving, feeling eyes on her but Scarlet just stared forward, not wanting to meet those greedy gazes. This town was worse than hers. Everything...looked...threatening and daring...
Her eyes wandered around nervously for an autoshop.
Damn her hands were sweaty.
Finally one small neon sign caught her attention and she gladly approached it, winding down the glass to poke her head out. "Ummm...I'm in hurry?"
She could not see anything at first then she heard shuffles and groans before a...
It was a giant...a fuckin' giant with sharp canines poking out. Scarlet struggled hard not to whimper under his...creepy gaze. There was no way she was coming out and...
"Oh excuse me...I think I made a mistake." She started driving backward to get out of the place.
To the hell with...
Didn't that mysterious gorilla say he would be there?!
The moment he heard the frustrated call for aid, Liam had already donned his helmet once more and was pushing his bike slowly across the gravel road. He didn't want them questioning what he was doing in the woods. He didn't want anyone finding [i his] spot. That thought alone was enough to cover up the familiar tones of the female voice through the trees.
When he had found the pavement again he was quite a ways away from what he discovered was a delivery truck. He climbed back onto his bike and took the half mile back to the smoking truck. The woman turned to look at the sound of his motorcycle, but she was still too far away for him to make out any of her features before she turned back to the engine.
He pulled up slowly beside her, thinking this was going to go smoother than he even expected. She was small. Shorter by almost a foot and a half. If she caught him stealing she wouldn't be a threat, at least.
He climbed off the bike and was just about to pull off the helmet when she finally turned back around to face him.
His heart beat hard against his chest.
He let his hands drop, letting the dark visor of his helmet keep his face covered.
[i She cut her hair,] was strangely the first thing that came to his mind when he saw her. And then: [i Fuck.] She was just as beautiful as she was in the Old Life, even with a little bit of brownie spread on her upper lip. How had he not recognized her from her stature alone?
He couldn't turn away now without looking suspicious. [i Nothing's changed,] he told himself. [i You've managed to avoid her until now. That's good. Just play it cool and she won't know.]
"This isn't the safest place to stall out," he told her, sounding much more together than he actually was and hoped that she wouldn't recognize his voice. Thank the makers for his helmet, though.
He couldn't convince himself to pickpocket her, now. When it came to Scarlet Ridinghood, he had always lost any villainous desires. He couldn't even bring himself to eat her in the Old Life. How the fuck did he think he could steal from her?
Liam swallowed his feelings. [i It's in the past. Too many years have gone by. Stop thinking about it.] He approached the engine, knowing that he would look strange just standing there while he tried to sort out his feelings. The smoke had slowed, but he still fanned it away with a hand. Without thinking, he reached inside. Most people would be weary of the heat, but his skin was thick and he didn't feel it. Luckily many Fables had this perk and it wouldn't give him away. He poked around for the problem. When he found it, he fixed it bare handed. Who needed tools when you were that strong?
"You should be able to limp it into Low Fable, now," he said gruffly. "I'd stop by the repair shop, though." He turned back to his bike and grabbed the jug of gas that he kept on the back. He handed it to her. "Just in case. It's not much, but it'll get you where you're going." He got back onto his bike. "Oh, and uh... Don't take the first offer at the auto shop. They'll drain your pockets if they think you're gullible."
He looked at her for another long moment. And who could blame him? He hadn't seen her in years. And this might be the last time. Knowing she couldn't see his eyes taking in the sight of her, he let himself. Then he turned the bike around and sped off. No need to linger any longer than he needed.
[i Fuck. Fucking fuck. Fuck.] He needed a smoke. And whisky. And a place to pass his soon-to-be wasted ass out.
He didn't look back.
[h3 Addicted to brownies; Yay.]
[b Ring. Boop. Boop. Good morning, High Fable town! Today's weather is as lovely as-]
"Beast's face. Yeah I know." The foot which had poked out of the blanket to turn off the radio alarm retreated back to the warm hideout and the lump in bed shifted some, giving out a groan of sleepiness. Nope. There was no motivation out there for her to get up except the bag of brownies on the dining table.
With a slow stretch and a big yawn the small form of the girl rose up, letting the blanket fall loosely on her shoulders. She was a mess. Her short black hair was tangled and seemingly impossible to fix. Those puffy eyes of her were reddened and watery. She licked inside her cheeks trying to increase its dryness. Sluggishly the girl stood on her feet, her toes bending from the chilly ceramic.
She stumbled some before reaching the restroom. For some minutes she stared at the tired girl in the mirror. "Gotta hurry..." She mumbled before beginning the routines.
"SCARLET I NEED YOUR HELP!" The raspy voice of the brat, Gretel caught her poor ears off guard and the girl named Scarlet flinched, plugging out the handfree from her phone. With a scowl she placed the cellphone on the dashboard, fixing her red hat as looking through the truck's mirror.
"I'm listening. Though I'd appreciate if you call the fire station instead. They do love helping people." The girl on the other side known as Gretel ignored her comment and continued screaming.
"Hansel! You know he's gone to study in college in Blessed Town. I promised him special cookies of Granny but I forgoooot!!! Today is his birthday and I really want to-"
"Oh dear. Hold on. I am not going to do any job out of my shift."
"Damn rich kids. It's all because of that witch they showet with money." Scarlet Ridinghood, the once cute little girl who could lure out a wolf with a stupid basket of cookies and endanger her own grandma, growled keeping her eyes on the road under the light of the truck. It was almost eight p.m and she had still a long way to go. If it wasn't for the cash, Scarlet would have been sleeping in her comfy bed counting the sheeps.
Her grip on the wheel tightened as she narrowed her eyes, realising that she was passing the woods.
So nostalgic yet unclear.
She knew well what a sweetie she was but that was all.
Not like she really cared. Sleeping beauty kept dreaming about a handsome man too but her husband reassured her it was all her girlish imagination.
Poor pretty thing.
Scarlet pushed the play button letting the happy country music take her meaningless thoughts away.
She was almost forgetting about how bitchy life was when the truck started making silly sounds and her worried eyes fixed on the gas meter.
Talk about extra shifts and extra gas.
Cursing Scarlet violently pulled over and slammed the door opened, hopping off. She was too small for driving heavy vehicles but hell everyone needed a job. The pissed female stomped towards the hood of the truck, opening it swiftly. Girl, this needed more than gas. Ridinghood coughed some, trying to fan away the smoke.
"I wish the witch had eaten you, Gretel. Hansel too." Scarlet whispered with a boiling expression. She gave the poor thing a good kick then headed back to the driver seat, getting her phone to call a mechanic...like Seven dwarves. They did great job.
"What the- No service?! I'll sue you all!" Scarlet threw her cell in the mud out of rage and paced around before getting her brownies to sooth herself.
And think of something.
Her mouth was full of the sweet thing as she observed the trees around. Maybe somebody was in there with his lover hiding in bushes? Great. They could give her a hand. With that happy story of hers, Scarlet bravely headed right into the darkness. "Yoohoo? Anyone there? I need help...Now. Please? C'mon!" Scarlet realised she was talking to herself.
Psycho Red Ridinghood.
Exactly what she needed.
There were a lot of things he hated about this life. He hated living in Low Fable, the town a lot less luxurious than it's counterpart High Fable. He hated the crime. He hated his tiny apartment. He hated the cramped spaces. He hated that he always got weird looks when he ordered his meat raw. He hated the beer but he drank it anyway.
Though, as much as he hated to admit it, there were some improvements when compared to the Fables past lives. Everyone seemed to distrust and even hate him just as much as they used to, but at least they had stopped running from him.
On this particular day, Liam Wolfe was sitting on his motorcycle, a cigarette poking out of his mouth. He was arguing with Humpty Dumpty, a rather fat man in a suit and no neck to speak of. The man had followed him outside and they could still hear the bass thumping from the door.
"Liam, you can't quit your shift now! It's not even six! And it's a saturday!" the man yelled at him, shaking a large cigar in his general direction. Liam dropped his cigarette in reply and stomped it out with his boot before pulling on his helmet. "Dammit, Liam! Where am I supposed to find a bouncer on such short notice!?"
"You'll think of something," Liam replied, his voice the usual gruff bass it always was. With that he peeled out, leaving Dumpty and his dump of a club behind him.
Everyone in Low Fable knew that they could hire Liam for odd jobs. Perhaps they were too lazy or maybe they didn't want to get their hands dirty. But Liam wasn't exactly the most reliable man around. When he did his job, he did it perfectly. That is, if he showed up. One good breeze on a spring day might call him off to some place no one knew about. And that's where he was headed on this day.
Low fable was small. Almost too small. You could get from one side to the other in hardly any time at all. Half of that if you were Liam on his bike. In a matter of minutes, he found the hidden gravel road that led through the woods on the outskirts of town. It ran parallel to the road connecting the two Fable towns, then slowly drifted away, just far enough that you could hear the very little traffic that passed through and yet not see it.
He slowed to a halt and parked his motorcycle beside a tree. An old cottage was hidden back here. It was falling apart, and Liam had the faintest feeling that it was somehow brought over from the Old Life. Maybe it used to belong to the three bears. Whatever the case, it didn't matter now.
Liam had set up a hammock between two trees just outside. He pulled off his helmet before heading over to it. Before flinging himself into it, he reached a hand into a hole in the tree and pulled out a beer bottle he had been saving for later. After he cracked it open, he jumped into his makeshift hammock.
The breeze made its way from the road and rustled the trees slightly. He closed his eyes and felt himself relax. The hair on his arms, though already thick, grew thicker. His beard did the same. And just as he was feeling his teeth sharpen, he heard a car roll to a stop.
He opened his eyes quickly, exposing yellow irises. The next time he blinked they faded back to their usual deep brown. In those few seconds, the hair had shrunk and the points of his teeth vanished, leaving him looking exactly as he had when he got there.
"Fuck," he muttered, running a hand down his face. "Can't a guy catch a break?"
The last thing he wanted was someone finding his hiding spot. Not to mention with a Big Bad Wolf lounging around without his human looks. That was just signing up for trouble.
He slid off the hammock, waiting to hear anything of note. Of course his sense of hearing and smell were greater than most, so even from here he could hear the shuffle of feet and the hood of the vehicle open up.
Stalled, then. Out of gas. His mouth twisted up into a crooked grin. He could play the nice guy. Act as if he's helping them get back on the road and pickpocket them in the process.
The truth is that the economy wasn't that great in the Low side, so he was never opposed to doing what he had to do. He was the Big Bad Wolf after all.
All that time trying to change was for nothing. When [i she] thought she saw some good in him she had to have been wrong. Even in the Old Life when she persuaded him to start living in his human skin more than ever, she never really doubted that there was good in him somewhere. But it was all bullshit, right?
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