Meanwhile, I have the pleasure of introducing Fraser Sherman and his heroine from "Red Moon Rising," which will appear in the forthcoming anthology Straying from the Path: New Tales of Little Red. It's a comic take on the fairy tale, with some nice depths and twists I didn't see coming.
Do you like any of the stories you’ve heard about the world as it was back when the sun came up and the moon changed phases? Maybe you’ve got an old favorite from when you were a kid.
Oh, Jeeeeeez, when Mom told me I had to sit for this, I knew these questions were going to be lame! I’m seventeen—I don’t have favorite fairy stories any more!
And you don’t believe any of that, do you? Why do you suppose the adults you know all harp on about that stuff?
Believe in the moon disappearing and some bright glowy thing replacing it? Why not ask what Santa Claus is going to bring me for Christmas?
Adults do it because they loooove to hear themselves talk. And parents thinks kids’ll behave better if they lie about how everything used to be different and everyone stayed virgin until they were married and girls never showed any skin, that sort of thing.
You mother doesn’t have much that’s good to say about your father. Do you have any memory of him before he left your family?
No, I don’t think he stayed very long. Mom said once that the last thing he said was ‘My, what a big belly you have.’
I figure he must have been pretty cool, because Mom says I’m a lot like him. Still, to leave like that ...
Nobody wants to say what happened to him. What’s your guess?
They say in the village he ran off into the woods. And some of them snicker, like it’s a joke I’m too dumb to get or something.
Maybe it was Mom’s fault. There are times she starts lecturing me that I think it would be great to just to stop following the path to Granny’s house and never come back.
You’re pretty sick of your mother telling you about how you don’t know this and you don’t know that. I bet there’s a lot of stuff you do know. What do you wish you could get your mother to listen to?
Did Mom tell you to ask me that? Yeah, she’d just love to find out what I ‘know’ wouldn’t she?
All I’ll say is, if she realized half of what I know, I’d be on curfew forever. Uh, that was off the record, right?
What do you think when you see your neighbors making the evil eye sign at your grandmother?
Umm, that they’re stupid? I mean, Granny can be a bit boring, sure, when she starts talking about how she used to be so important and all that, but she swears she wasn’t a witch. When I tell people that, they just get this odd look as if they meant something else.
I guess it’s no wonder she never leaves her house. I’d be scared too if a bunch of inbred hicks got that weird about me.
What do you do when nobody’s telling you to do anything?
When I’m with a boy, believe me, I tell them what to do. And they do it; there’s not one boy in this town who wouldn’t ... But you wouldn’t understand, you’re what, almost as old as Mom?
Look, I’ve got better things to do, so this is like, over.