Into the Forest – Part 1

The Genre Stretch this month was to write a fractured fairytale.  So… here’s my attempt.  It’s loosely based on Little Red Riding Hood.

**

“Alexander!”

Gasping, Alexander sat up in bed.  He rubbed a hand through his hair and glared at the door.  Why was it that Michael insisted on rousing him so early in the morning?  “Go away,” he said, as he laid back down once again.

Michael pounded on the door again.  “Wake up and get out here, Alexander,” he said.  He pounded again, using his entire fist this time.  “I’m not going away, Alexander.  My next move is going to be to kick the door in and drag you out of there.”

Alexander moaned and sat up once again.  He glared at the door for a moment.  Then, something shook the entire door.  Clearly, Michael was serious.  “Fine,” he called.  Preventing the sheriff from breaking the door was more important than sleep.

He was rewarded with silence from outside the room.  Shaking the head, he slipped off the bed.  He glanced at Mischief, who was curled up on the hearth.  “Why is it that everyone in this town gets up with the sun?” he asked.  Mischief yawned widely and then stood up to stretch herself.

Alexander ruffled a hand through his hair.  Then, he quickly washed up from the basin in the corner of the room.  Once he was shaved, he dressed and then smoothed down his hair.  He opened the door to smile at Michael, who was leaning against the far wall.  “Good morning, Sheriff,” he said sweetly.  “To what pleasure do I owe this early morning wake-up call?”

“You and Sam are riding out to the Reynolds’ place,” he said.  He headed for the stairs and added, “She needs some supplies and the two of you are bringing them out to her.  If you’re lucky, she’ll give you supper for your troubles.”

Alexander fought the urge to roll his eyes.  Complaining wouldn’t do him any good anyway.  He sighed and looked down at Mischief.  “Are you coming?” he asked.  He wasn’t at all surprised when she chirped and headed off down the steps after Michael.

He sighed, shaking his head, as he trailed along behind her.  Sam was waiting for him outside.  Mischief seemed rather put out that he had a wagon that was drawn by two horses she didn’t know.  Chuckling, Sam lifted her onto the wagon seat and then looked at Alexander.  “I got a basket of muffin courtesy of Ms. Crafter,” he said, pointing into the wagon.  “She felt bad that you’d missed breakfast.”

“I’m sure that Mr. Nolan told her to save her pity, since it’s my own fault,” Alexander said, as he climbed into the wagon.  His assumption was confirmed when Sam began chuckling.  He shrugged as Mischief settled into his lap.  “I might point out that I wasn’t informed of this venture until Mr. Leonard woke me with his infernal pounding.”

“Michael said he forgot to mention it last night,” Sam said, nodding.  He climbed up into the wagon and handed the basket of treats to Alexander.  Then, he flicked the reigns and the two horses started off down the road, heading out of town.

“Might I inquire as to how this chore fell to ourselves?” Alexander asked, as he plucked a muffin out of the basket.  He arched his brows at Sam and added, “It seems to me that such a task might be better suited to Jamie, seeing as he wishes to, one day, become Ms. Reynolds’ grandson.”

“Jamie was going to do it,” Sam said, nodding.  He grimaced and added, “He came out worse after a run-in with a drunk cowboy last night.”  Alexander’s eyes widened and Sam shook his head.  “He’s all right, just got a bad bump on the head, so Jake wants to keep an eye on him, that’s all.”

“And Cassy opted to stay at the bedside of her injured beau,” Alexander guessed, nodding.  “Leaving the task of bringing supplies to her grandmother to ourselves.”

“That’s it in a nutshell,” Sam said.  He nodded towards the basket and added, “Got a pot of coffee in their too.”

“Blessings be on you and on Ms. Crafter,” Alexander said, as he looked into the basket once again.  It was a small pot, with just enough coffee for two cups.  That suited Alexander just fine.  He only needed one cup, after all.

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