The phone rang once. A clipped voice answered, “9-1-1-what is your emergency?”
“I can’t understand you. Can you speak more clearly?”
“grr-rr—umph *cough* bwaa—maa *cough—cough*”
“Are you choking?”
THUMP THUMP THUMP
“An emergency vehicle is on its way—please try to stay calm, and breathe—breathe as best you can.”
“Let me see if I can reach it—try not to swallow—DON’T SWALLOW—
Wait—I almost have it—
I’m stuck…call 9-1-1!”
“Oh dear, Wolf—
Spit it out!
That’s not what they mean by books are food for thought!”
By mid-afternoon, a constant rain pattered on the cracked tiled roof. If it weren’t for the smoke snaking from the half collapsed chimney, one might think the cabin was uninhabited. But Wolf knew better. It was on days like this when Granny invited him in. She could be certain they would be alone—no distractions. No interruptions. Wolf hungered for days like this. They always began with sharing a steaming cup of Chamomile tea and the delicious question, “What shall we read today—”
In the wee hours of the morning, a dense fog swept the forest floor clean. It wound around hulking moss-cloaked trees, slipped over mouldering hollowed stumps, and settled upon a crumbling cottage as if it wanted to hide the hovel and its secrets from the world.
Normally, the mist lifted by mid-day, allowing a red-caped girl to deliver lunch to her Granny’s house without issue, but today the thick, grey blanket made it impossible to locate the well-worn path that daily led her there. “I’m sure Granny will be fine,” the child said, closing the door. “She’s got plenty to eat, and a whole library to devour.”