Thank you, Arwen, for putting the title in my head. Gen, if you want me to dress like the Little Goose Girl for your wedding, I will, because I love you. But I’ll probably do damage with that goose-crook thingie.
Once upon a time there was a young woman named Red, who lived with her mother while she was going to Massage Therapy school. One day, as the girl was idly manipulating her own fascia and wondering what to cook for lunch, her mother called her.
“Red, your grandmother’s pulled some muscles in her back. Will you zip this over there? I’d do it, only I’ve got to change the alternator in the Toyota.” She handed her daughter a bag containing organic blueberries and a couple of joints.
“She pulled muscles again? What was she doing?”
Her mother waved a socket wrench. “Something about the Congress of the Porcupine.” She sighed heavily. “She always wants to try the complicated ones…”
Red sighed too. “I’ve told her, time and again. She should stretch.” She took the bag, stashed it in her messenger bag, and went to put on her cherry red, five-buckled motorcycle boots and scarlet jacket.
Red’s grandmother lived in the next village over, through a forest of old trees and dense undergrowth. As she walked, Red idly cracked her bullwhip, flicking off pinecones and huckleberries.
All of a sudden, she heard a great crashing in the underbrush and looked up in amazement as a wolf leaped out of the dense forest. He grinned maniacally. “Hello, Little Girl! Where are you going?”
Red objected to being called a little girl; she was sixteen and quite tall, but it never did to be rude to strangers. “I’m going to my grandmother’s house.”
“Are you, now?” His tongue lolled out of his mouth in a lascivious way. Red tightened her grip on her whip. Weirdos like this just didn’t understand that it was rude to loll their tongues at a girl before a proper introduction.
“And just where is that?” He leered at her. She sighed mentally. Honestly, some people had no manners.
“It’s Mae’s Whorehouse and Hash Joint. Just off Broad Street.” Maybe he’d leave her alone when he heard she was going to a whorehouse. She tapped her whip imatiently against her thigh. Fucking perverts with their fantasies about young girls, she sighed.
“That sounds delightful. Maybe I’ll see you there.” He licked his chops.
She smiled tightly, thinking, Not if I see you first, and walked past him.
She walked up to the whorehouse and went in. “Grandma! Gram? I’m here!” She called softly, knowing that most of the girls slept late into the day as they worked most of the night. She tapped on her grandmother’s door. “Gran? It’s me.”
“Yeah.” She pushed open the door and saw her grandmother, bent at the waist, doing Downward Dog. “I’ve got some blueberries and a couple of joints here.”
“Thank God. That Robaxacet stuff does nothing. I can’t even do a Salute to the Sun!” Her grandmother straightened up. “I’ll spark up, we’ll make a compote of the blueberries, and have some waffles. How does that sound?”
“Fabulous.” Red slung her jacket over a chair. “What did I hear about you attempting the Congress of the Porcupine without stretching first?”
Grandmother blushed. “It wasn’t as bad as all that, dear. I just got carried away. You know how it is…”
Red rolled her eyes. “Get carried away after stretching, okay?” She handed her grandmother a joint. “Smoke some of this and we’ll have some blueberries and waffles.”
Just then, they heard the front door open again. Grandmother checked her watch. “It’s one o’clock in the afternoon. There’s no rest for the wicked. Go see what they want, will you, love?” She sparked a Zippo and inhaled some smoke.
Red walked downstairs. Christ, just her luck. The fucking wolf was standing there in the open door.
He grinned. “Fancy meeting you here, Dumpling Pants.”
Red rolled her eyes. “You again.”
The wolf started up the stairs. “Me again, indeed. And can I just say, what a pleasure it is to find a tasty little morsel like you in a place like this. Now, c’mon, be a good girl. I know what you are.”
She stared at him. “You think I’m a whore.”
“Of course you are.” He seemed to slide up the stairs like butter on skates. “You’re here, I’m here. Why don’t we make a little party? You know you want to.”
Red backed up a few steps. “Hang on. You think I’m going to nail you?”
“Of course you are. Look at your filthy little slut outfit, with that delicious whip and those darling boots. You’re gagging for it.”
Red backed up a few more steps, until she was on the landing. “Hang on, buddy. I dress how I want to dress. Nothing says I’m a slut.”
“You’re female. You want it. You all want it.” A string of drool dangled from his maw.
Red grabbed the newel post. “You have some serious issues. I don’t think I like you much, and I don’t really want to see you in here. You’re the kind of customer Grandmother doesn’t like.”
His eyes flashed. “She’ll like me enough when I’m done with you, missy.”
This was like living in a really bad movie or something, thought Red. Why was it that some guys just had no idea that women were actual human beings? She smiled sweetly. “Just wait a moment and I’m sure I can accommodate you.”
She grabbed her whip from where it lay coiled on Grandmother’s table. Grandmother looked up from the joint. “You all right, Dear?”
“No problems, Gram.”
The wolf was lounging against the banister. “Can we take this somewhere a little more, ah, private?” He leered again. It was beginning to get on Red’s nerves.
“Let me explain this. I am not a prostitute currently working at this establishment. I am the proprietor’s granddaughter, and am here in a social capacity. What don’t you get?”
He looked momentarily discomfited, but then the leer was back. “I’m getting you, Honey.”
She sighed again and brought the whip out. “Do I have to drive you off the property?”
He chuckled. “A sweet little thing like you? You ain’t gonna go after the big bad wolf all by yourself, are you?” He stepped forward.
Like a snake’s tongue, the whip lashed out and caught him by the leg. She yanked. His leg shot forward and the rest of him fell back. She heard his head bang every step on the way down.
She sprang down the stairway, whip raised. “You done now?”
He groaned. “I’m suing.”
“Why? Because you’re a misguided misogynist who doen’t respect a woman’s boundaries?” The whip cracked again, flicking him on the ear. He flinched. “Or is it because you have no idea that women are actually people with their own agendas?” Flick. His nose this time. “Maybe you had a troubled childhood or a domineering mother or something?” Flick. Yelp. Flick. Yelp. Flick. Yelp. each time, the whip connected squarely, perfectly with his nose. “Whatever the case, get the fuck out.” She stood with the whip trailing from her hand, the other on her hip.
He rose unsteadily. “You really have a problem, missy.” He tried to tower over her but thought the better of it when he saw the whip stir a little, as though of its own accord.
On the porch, he turned again and snarled, “You really, really don’t know what’s good for you.”
Almost lazily, she raised the whip and cracked it not two inches from his nose, making him flinch. “Sure I do,” she said. “Getting assholes like you out of my life, and out of my Grandmother’s house. That’s good for me.” She flicked her wrist and the whip snapped again on his chest.
He yelped and slunk down the steps.
Just then, a buff woodsman came strolling along. He took in the situation, shifted his axe on his giant, muscled shoulder, and asked, “Can I help you, missy?”
“Thank you, no. This guy was just leaving.” The whip whispered one last time, and the wolf fled.
The woodsman smiled. “Ain’t it a fine thing when a little girl like you can take care of herself?”
She looked at him levelly. “Yes. It is.”
“A fine thing, indeed.” He took a deep breath. “Do I smell waffles?”
“Yes. grandmother’s cooking some.”
He smiled, the dimple in his chin a yawning valley. “I do love waffles.”
Red looked him over. “Me too. ”
He grinned in what he probably thought was a lazy and charming way. Red had another adjective for it: Half-witted.
“I sure wouldn’t mind coming in and sharing those waffles,” he offered. “Seeing as I’ve just gone and chased off that wolf.”
Red couldn’t believe her ears. “What?”
“That wolf. He was plainly about to eat you alive. If it weren’t for me, you’d be at his mercy right now.” He used his axe to clean his fingernail, with little effect.
“Excuse me? I got him to the bottom of the stairs and out the door all by myself, thank you very much. You had nothing to do with it!”
He chuckled indulgently. “Little Missy, you’re just full of fire and vinegar, aren’t you? I can see you gettin’ all riled up about this whole Women’s Lib thing, and that’s nice. In its place. But you know as well as I do that you needed a man to come in here and take control of the situation.” He smiled indulgently. “Though you look mighty nice in your little red getup.”
She snapped the whip again, jerking the axe from his grasp, catching it easily in her own hand. “Listen, mister. It’s all nice of you to check and see we were okay and stuff. But your attitude sucks and I cannot wait for dinosaurs like you to die out.”
He eyed her warily. “So you’re not gonna invite me in for waffles.”
“No, I fucking well am not! I am going to eat waffles with my grandmother, and you are going on your merry little way!” She tossed the axe back to him. “Do I make myself totally clear?”
He sneered. “Oh, I get it, you’re one of them lesbians. Ya coulda said. Can’t get a man, can you?”
She forebore to answer.
“That’s what you’re mad about. Girl action not doing it for you, huh?” He leaned in closer, and she smelled the rank scent of his lack of commitment to personal hygeine. “You’re too ugly to catch a man, that’s why you’re here, with your little red outfit and your whip. You need a symbol to get you off.” He gestured to the whip.
Red stepped forward. “Yes, Mister Woodsman. I am a diesel-sucking dyke of the first order. I am angry because I can’t get a man. You got it exactly. In fact, your overpowering manliness has me all a-twitter.” The whip snaked forward, and she wielded it for sound as much as anything. Snap! “So much,” Snap! “That I am going to,” Snap! “Show my anger,” Snap! “By whacking your dick off!” One final snap and he howled with pain as the whip made contact with the buttons on his 501′s. “Now get out of here.” She turned on her heel, went into the house, and closed the door.
The waffles were excellent.