Disclaimer: I do not own the story Little Red Riding Hood. I just own this years-later take on it. I don't know what age you assume Little Red to be in the original story, but this story takes place when she's around 17 or 18. So, how many years since the original story is up to you.


She never told anyone about the dreams. The dreams, years later, that still haunted her. Not nightmares, there was no monster. The walks through the same forest, down the same path, past the same trees. Only there was no basket, no sunshine, no grandma's cottage waiting for her at the end of the road. There was only the forest in these dreams; the forest, and the shadow following her, stalking her, occasionally growling.

But this dream was different tonight.

After years of the same walk down the same forest path, past the same trees, this dream was different. But it was still a dream. That much she told herself, more to keep her from panicking at the strange bed, strange room, strange darkness.

On her stomach, she couldn't move. Arms stretched, but not tied, made her feel very vulnerable. A horrible growl and weight on her legs greeted her as she woke into this dream.

As claws raked down her back, she realized she wasn't wearing, well, anything. She winced into the cloth, but didn't think he'd broken the skin. Oh yes, she thought to herself, I know who you are.

As if she'd spoken it aloud, a throaty chuckle broke the dark silence. Another rake of claws, down her sides this time, followed soon after. She clenched her teeth at the pain from that sensitive skin. She thought he might've cut her that time. Just a dream, it's just a dream, she repeated. That had been her nighttime mantra for years, but tonight she needed to believe it more than ever.

Leathery palm heels pushed into the small of her back and upwards, contrary to the still-smarting, pink streaks she knew were there. Coarse fur brushed against her back as he leaned forward to grab her shoulders.

She winced again as the rough hands slid down her arms to rest over her own hands. And when the steel claws bit into them she cried out. The nasty chuckle again, and then the deep, throaty voice in her ear growled, "Mine."

She woke with a start, her breath catching at her familiar room, familiar bed, and thank goodness, familiar nightgown.

"It was just a dream," she said aloud to herself, getting out of bed. And of course it was; how could it not be? She walked down the hall to her bathroom, getting ready for the day, ignoring the pain in her back and the blood on her knuckles.