This popped into my head last night. I thought it would make a nice heart-warming story. Hope you all enjoy ^-^
Red was lost.
Halfway through the forest, and she ended up lost. She checked her map again, seeing that she had been holding it upside down the whole time. Oh, great… she thought bitterly.
She was on her way to visit her grandmother, when her curiosity got the best of her, wanting to step off the trail for a short while and explore the woods, figuring she could find a shortcut to her grandmother's house… only to realize her mistake. What made it worse was that wolves had been reported in the area, and the ten-year-old began to tremble.
"There's got to be a path around here, somewhere- oh!" Red began to say, when the map was suddenly blown out of her hands and into a puddle. "No, no no! Oh, no…" she knelt down, picking up the soggy map, seeing the directions blotching together, the words washed away. "Why did this have to happen to me?"
She covered her face with her hands, beginning to sob. The sun was starting to go down, and she'd be lost in the woods all night, a victim for the wolves and other wild animals… all because she had to explore, to set foot off the trail. It's all my fault, if only I had listened to mom's advice and stuck to the path… now I'm lost in a wolf-filled forest! she thought, bitterly. Oh, God, please help me… I need to find my way out of this mess!
*Crunch, crunch, crunch*
Red froze, hearing something stepping on the dead leaves. Wolves, she didn't doubt. Seeing a shadow stepping out from around a tree, she gasped, covering her face with her arms, bracing herself for an attack.
"Excuse me, are you lost?"
She opened her eyes, looking over and seeing a man. Not a wolf. A man. He wore a white coat over his outfit, with a purple scarf and a blue scarf. On his head there was a dark-green cap with specks on it, and he wore red gloves. His hair was brown, he had a thin beard, and his eyes were brown as well, and gave her a gentle gaze.
"Y-Yes, I am…" she stammered, staring at him. "I wandered from the path,"
"Don't worry, many people have wandered from the path before. I'll show you the way back," he held out his hand, helping her up.
His touch was warm, giving Red a sense of light-heartedness, and suddenly her fear of the woods vanished. "Your hands are so… gentle," she commented.
He smiled. "The better I can hold on to another's when guiding them,"
They began walking, and Red looked back, seeing that the man's shoe-size was bigger than hers. Being of inquisitive mind, she found herself saying, "You leave really big footprints,"
"The better to guide those who wish to follow me,"
Red studied him a little more, looking back at his eyes. "Your eyes are so…" she began, trying to find the right word. Infinite? Round? Distant? She wanted to use them all, but what came out was, "big."
"The better I can watch over my children, especially when they're alone."
"You have long arms, too,"
"The better I can hold someone, so they can feel comfort."
"You also have a nice smile," she found herself smiling a bit as she said this.
He chuckled. "The better I can let someone know how much I care about them, and how easier it helps them feel happy," He then stopped. "Well, here's the path."
Red paused, seeing that he was correct. "Oh, thank you!" she hugged him… and felt the man hug her back. She felt a sense of warmth in her heart just then, feeling safer than she had ever felt before. She lied her head on his chest, hearing his heartbeat… the most magnificent sound she heard. "Your heart… it sounds so wonderful,"
He smiled at her. "That's because the most wonderful thing I can give is my love,"
Red slowly pulled away, then gasped. What used to be the man's hat was now a crown of thorns; his coat was now a robe with a purple sash and a blue sash; and his mittens had disappeared, replaced by what appeared to be spikes with blood… though his face remained gentle.
"Go now," He told her. "Your grandmother is waiting for you, and be sure to stay on the path, okay?"
Red nodded, then rubbed her eyes.
The man was gone.
Without hesitation, she ran down the path to her grandmother's house, where her grandmother was waiting for her on the porch. "Red, there you are! I was afraid you had gotten lost," she said, hugging Red. "Oh, thank God you're alright,"
Red nodded, looking up at the sky. She was curious about the man who helped her, and at first wondered how he found her… then she realized he had been watching her all along. "So do I, grandma," she replied.
From that day forth, Red never strayed from the path again, and always remembered that if she were ever to get lost again, someone was always there to guide her.
And she would always follow.