The woman was a psycho. Everyone knew it. But they were too afraid to say anything about it out loud. Or even to admit it. She lived in a home near the forest. It was her grandmother’s home. It was a grand, beautiful Victorian house with a wrap-around porch. But the woman was always in the forest. She wore red. She often wore her favorite colors, red or black. The colors of blood and death. She did not have many friends. Only two young women who knew her since childhood; Deborah and Rebecca. The only ones who knew her secret. Her deep and terrifying secret. The woman wore a black wig, only Deborah and Rebecca knew her natural hair color. Not even her own grandmother knew the natural color of her hair. The woman was a hunter. She hunted many animals in the woods. Particularly the wolf. She had something against wolves. She despised them. Both wolf animals and wolf men alike. No one knew why. Her name was Cynthia Angel. Friends and family simply called her Cindy but the residents of her little town called her Psycho Cindy. She was twenty years old when she met the wolf. She did not know he was a wolf then. He had not yet gained the title of Big Bad Wolf. His name was Frank. Frank Dorwell.
It was September twenty second, the day Fall fell upon Pearl Grove. And the leaves began to fall colorful and glistening in Cindy’s forest. Sugar leaves, the townspeople liked to call them because they were very frosty and shimmery. Dark thoughts churned in her twisted mind as she stared out her sparkly window. A smile spread across her pale face. “The wolves will be out in packs this season.” she said aloud.
“What, Cindy? What was that?” her grandmother asked in her crackly high pitched voice.
“Oh nothing, Grandmother Rosaline. I was just talking to myself.” Cindy said as she rolled her eyes.
“Well I am going to play a tune here.” Her grandmother said as she opened the piano cover and sat on the bench. “To welcome the Spring.”
“It’s Fall, grandmother. You know Autumn? Not Spring.” Cindy snorted as she turned away from the window to face her.
“Oh you know I’m getting old. All the seasons are the same to me.” Grandmother Rosaline said grumpily.
“But this one is special. I always loved Autumn the most.” Cindy said melodramatically as she walked over to the cream colored sofa. “Leaves, a chill. Samhain.”
“Halloween.” Cindy clarified. “It always makes me giddy.
“Yeah well...” Rosaline was mumbling but then the sound of her piano playing drowned out her own voice. Cindy closed her eyes and smiled envisioning her forest in the Fall. The animals running around playing and jumping and the cold chill spiking up their fur. They would be relaxed and unaware as they enjoyed the beautiful nature. She would be watching in the brush with her crossbow waiting...Suddenly the sound of the piano lid slamming shut and she opened her eyes. “I’m playing out of tune again.” her grandmother groaned as she stood up and stomped to the kitchen. Cindy giggled to herself.
Cindy leaned her back against a tree and she held her crossbow up to admire it. A crooked smile formed on her crazed face. She stroked her long dart that would soon find its way into a wolf’s limb. The night was chilling and calm all around her but she could still feel the panic of the beasts in the forest. And it thrilled her. After all those years she still didn’t feel guilty. She still felt right. All she was doing was ridding the world of the tainted, unclean, evil, scheming wolf. A breeze picked up and she shivered only slightly. It was a night like this long ago when Cindy’s mother Missie Iris had lead Cindy into the woods. Missie’s then boyfriend Dustin was also in the woods but no one knew it then. Cindy had looked around the forest confused. She was just a child and her mother did not explain what they were there for. Cindy wore a lilac cloak and her hair was in ribbons. Grandmother Rosaline had done her hair for her. Missie Iris would never lift a finger in that way. She never did anything like that for her daughter. Even the simplest of motherly duties was considered ‘hard work’ to her. There had been leaves falling and in the gleaming dusk they looked as though they were coated with sugar. They fascinated Cindy. She gasped and pointed but Missie Iris was looking elsewhere. Cindy wondered what she was doing and she also wanted to ask why the leaves were glittery. A bird landed on a branch nearby and chirped. That did not capture Missie’s attention either. She seemed to be looking far off and amused by something. Cindy had always hated that about her. Her mother was always amused by strange things. She was always laughing to herself and it bothered and annoyed Cindy. She wished she knew what all the sick enjoyment was about. Now she had glared at the back of her mother’s head when she broke into a run. “Wait!” Cindy called out. But Missie Iris continued to run and giggle like a nymph. “Idiot woman!” Cindy sputtered angrily. She looked down at the basket she was holding and sighed. The night was growing around her. The sun was setting but the moon was not rising. Scary sounds were beginning to be heard in the woods. She shivered and began to feel abandoned, betrayed and afraid. But most of all angry and outraged! At her mother; the idiot woman.The Practical Joker. The Prankful Nymph. That’s what most people called her.
Cindy began searching for the source of these noises and behind one bush she saw the crouching figure of a man. He was shaking the leaves and making a whoosh sound with his mouth. Cindy glared at him and tried to control her fear. He stood up when he saw he had been spotted. Dustin. She recognized him immediately. Her mother’s boyfriend. Cindy never liked him. Now he laughed and skipped from side to side. “Playful moron.” Cindy muttered. He disappeared and reappeared behind her and made a low guttural laugh. Cindy stepped back. She wanted to yell at him and kick him and run away. But she was also trying to figure out what he was up to. Why the games? Why the sneaky scheming? Why did everything about Missie Iris have to be a sick, demented twisted joke? Dustin was hiding now from tree to tree and peaking at Cindy. Every time he peaked his face looked dark and evil and Cindy thought how ridiculous and small he was. He broke a branch and scratched it on a tree. The sound boiled Cindy’s blood. The whole situation was odd and pointless and it boggled her mind. Now he stepped forward and made a face.
“You low life mange! Lower than an animal of any forest! Lower than dirt!” Cindy suddenly said in her low deep voice which was too mature sounding for a child. Dustin was shocked by her words and he grew serious and stared down at her. “Stupid child.” he said in voice which was hoarse and growly like a monster’s. “You know not in what things you meddle with. What your mother meddles with.” He turned his head to the side and then back at her. Cindy did not know what he was speaking of. She wished he would have elaborated but the next words out of his mouth were an insult. “You will be my daughter soon. I will marry your mother-”
She kicked him in the leg. He spat and struck her across the face. She stumbled back and looked up at his monstrous face. The moon was still not out for some odd reason and she wished she could see more of his facial expression. Why was he being this way? He was never Mr. Nice Guy but he was never Mr. Evil either. And he will never be Mr. Father.
“Like I said before. I will marry your mother! And we will be a goddamn family!” he said through clenched teeth. Cindy felt for a big branch on the ground. And as Dustin got carried away with his smack talk she stood up and hit him hard over the head with it. He was knocked out and she was surprised and proud of herself. “She never keeps ’em long enough for them to ask her that.” She said as she looked down at his unconscious body. Before she departed the moonlight finally shone through the tree branches and she saw that on his arm he bore the mark of the Wolf.
But that night was long behind her and she liked to forget about the part about him chasing her through the woods before she knew who he was. She ran for miles running and ducking and dodging with branches cutting her. Until he finally showed himself and she stopped running. It was not long after that when Dustin was found lying face down in the leaves with an arrow in his spleen. The wolf became the most hunted animal in the forest after that. To the townspeople it was a mystery and Cindy was very proud of that.
Now she stood in the cool forest holding her trusty crossbow and smirking in the moonlight. Her twisted smirk looked more wolf-like than any facial expression Frank Dorwell ever bore but she would never let anyone dare tell her that. She was not the bad guy and she never was. Frank, Dustin and other men like them were the bad guys. And she would put an end to them all. She slowed down her breathing and listened to the sounds drawing closer to her in the forest. She could hear branches snap and she could hear the breath of another presence. There was a wolf nearby and she could sense them perfectly. It was no other animal. She always knew when it was a wolf. She felt her heart pace quicken with giddy anticipation. It was aware of her presence as well but was it prepared? She thought not. They were never prepared to face her. They were good at hunting any other beast. They were good at attacking and mauling every beast of every size and every human. But never her. Cindy was invincible. She raised her crossbow steadily and surely, her smirk growing ever fonder, her dark eyes firm on the target. She moved her stealthy finger and whoosh.