The Silence of the Red Lamb

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Review Chain

This is for Archia's mental health awareness contest. This is sort like a short flash fiction poem I wrote. It's about what it's like living with PTSD, the process of escaping, and I sort of compared it to a Grim fairy tale. Everything I wrote is brutally true and this is how I deeply felt. There's no really trigger warning, it's pretty subtle but does have dark undertones.


We all have our own castles, with many walls protecting ourselves, even though we don’t know that we do it to ourselves. In fact, I’m comparing myself to the story of the- 'Three little pigs and the big bad wolf', since the whole story has to do with how the big bad wolf blows down houses. The big bad wolf is like manipulation, also the way I'm building my defenses of my heart in a castle, and deciding how much effort I put into protecting myself. 


If the big bad wolf blows down my castle, I shall consider it an invasion of someone pushing me towards my dependency on them, yet sometimes you can be tricked into being the naïve lamb in the wolf's eyes. If someone barges into your life, making you feel like a little red riding hood by trusting a wolf who navigates you away from the comforts of your loved ones. The wolf wants to eat your trust for them, with the wolf wanting to fill you up in their warm belly, and biting your loved ones away with their sharp teeth… one by one. Once you realize you’re alone with the wolf, you pull the red hood away from your body, and see the many dents of your castle falling down like bricks. 


It’s scary to find yourself back in the tower, discovering that the big bad wolf has chained you up without you noticing. It’s painful as thorns to break the chains off of you, hearing the howl of the wolf taunting itself in your nightmares. You're managing to break yourself free, running through the many hallways of your castle, and feeling the wolf chasing you down like prey. You become timid and unsure of yourself, skittish like a jack rabbit as you feel your heart always racing with dread. The big bad wolf is always hungry, loving the taste of submission on your sweaty skin.


You then find yourself alone in your castle, but you’re not completely alone. The sound of your voice echoes throughout the halls like bustling waves. Suddenly, you want to sing your heart out, since all this time you keep thinking your own voice belongs to the wicked sea witch. You want to dance and twirl around, trying to ignore the stiffness of your body. It's almost like when the little mermaid Ariel got a pair of legs in exchange for her colorful fish tail. Every step you take, you then want to shout so that everyone can hear your voice like a clap of lightning. However, you then hear the wolf howling like a wicked rain storm, but you keep on screaming because you don't want to be ignored anymore.


The wolf prowls closer to you by the second, yet you keep on screaming as you get closer to the balcony. You look down and see the ocean waving down at you invitingly. You then look up at the midnight sky, pondering if you want to fly above or sink down below. The chains upon your body don't feel as heavy, yet it still feels sharp like the wolf's deadly claws you let touch your broken body.


You ignore the wolf's growls to get away from the balcony, but then your mind is fully made up when the wolf says it owns you like a shiny chew toy. You decide to jump off the balcony, even though you almost decide to let yourself drown for a second. However, you finally let down your hair, letting the stars swing your long hair across the ocean. The stars that tenderly hold your hair are the loved ones who never truly leave you alone. They always bring a light of support for you, no matter how cloudy and dark your mind may be.


You're no damsel in distress, you're saving yourself and that's all that matters in the end. Of course, it's so easy to say you have a happy ending for escaping, but you still find yourself lost in the nightmares.


You're a fighter and remember it's never your fault when you truly believe of the wolf as being your very best friend. You may at times regret never locking up the wolf, but the reassurance is that the wolf may find its own predator in sheep's clothing.




Submitted: October 08, 2021

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Truly marvelous! I liked how this turned out to be a literal story of the wolf chaining red riding hood and her escape later as well as the personification behind it, with the wolf being the insecurities and negative effects of a trauma pulling one down deeper and forcing to hurt the loved ones trying to help. The vivid imagery where you compare the loved ones to stars gently clinging on to the hair of red riding hood is beautiful. The part where you give two options amidst the wolf's howls "if you want to fly above or sink down below" is thrilling and the way red riding hood finally gained the courage to be free from the wolf is inspiring. I also loved the twist you gave for the classic red riding hood. Overall, an amazing piece of work, Kudos!

By the way, you might want to watch out for the extra space before 'nightmares' in the penultimate paragraph.

Mon, October 11th, 2021 4:58pm


Oh wow, thank you so much for your kind words and feedback! I deeply appreciate it. I felt a bit vulnerable posting this. I thought I could trust this person who I thought was my friend when I was a teenager. However, this friend of mine turned into the big bad wolf and kept eating my away my fighting spirit. I am really glad you liked how I turned this into a fairy tale, I always thought grim fairly tales had a morale to the story, but could be severely dark at times. I'm really glad you like the imagery, I tried to make it poetic and kind of whimsical in a way.

I felt like if I made it real as possible, I couldn't truly write it because that chapter of my life still brings back old wounds to this day. So I was like make it seem like a fairy tale, but add the dark truth to it, but add poetry and the inner feelings I never got to fully examined. I'm glad you liked the star comparisons, yes, I felt so alone but my family knew something was wrong with me. I didn't tell them what was wrong, cause I was hurt and scared, and putting my hair down in a sense was a way for me to finally leave this toxic person. Oh yeah, if you want to fly above or sink down below, I'm glad you liked that comparison:}

Oh, yeah, booksie format been giving me trouble, but I will still try to fix it. Funny enough, that's actually the best format I got so far lol. Anyways, Thanks again for your feedback and I'm glad you like my own tale of red riding hood. That really meant a lot:}

Mon, October 11th, 2021 11:56am

Matthew Hair

This is a powerful story. I don't have any criticism to point out. But the imagery and symbolism at work here just blows me away.

You have a very strong voice in this story. I think that's the heart of this. You tell the story well. It feels like the narrator is spilling their guts from a lifetime of dealing with this wolf. Marvelous work.

Wed, October 13th, 2021 2:20am


Thank you so much! I gladly appreciate it:}I really glad you liked the imagery, cause that was my main thing to convey for this poem/story. Yeah, when I wrote this down, it was kind of my inner feelings typing away. This is a chapter in my life I don't like to talk about much or I kind of just shut it down. I'm really glad you enjoyed it, Thank ya:}

Sun, October 17th, 2021 7:28pm


Being hurt by close friends must have been really painful. I could feel the anguish in your poem. It was very powerful. I'm glad you could extricate yourself from the toxic person. It must have been a very difficult process. But like you said, only you can save yourself. Others don't really know what happened, they could only be there to support you from behind.
In the poem, when you said you let down your hair, it reminds me of a society in Asia, I heard everytime they want to forget/let go of their past they cut their hair (to divide the time between the old me and the new me).  For your, it is letting down your hair. To show you are letting go.  Great work :)

Thu, October 14th, 2021 12:45am


Yes, I was hurt by a wolf, but different type of wolves in a pack as well. I learned and grew from that experience, but at times when I think back on it brings different emotions. There was a breaking point, I felt threatened and just knew I had to get away from those toxic wolves. I actually didn't know what I was running from, but being away helped clear my head and showed me how much in danger I could have been in. Yes, I did compare it from a culture in asia, my friend one time told me about that comparison and I had to put in here. I learned to let go and trust people again cause it took me quite some time. But I learned it's okay to be vulnerable, but don't let a person force you to be vulnerable. Thanks so much for your feedback, I was nervous posting this, but everyone's feedback makes me like I've been heard:}

Sun, October 17th, 2021 7:38pm


Always love to see some new fairy tale takes, and this one really takes it in a new direction. Personally, I'm not usually a big fan of second perspective in fiction, but your combination of second perspective and first perspective with both the narrator and reader was quite entertaining and a very bold choice. The only thing I think that dissuaded my interest a little bit was that the narrator sometimes felt a bit too direct on conveying the message and sometimes felt a bit lengthy, but I understand that the buildup was necessary and I still quite enjoyed your story. Good luck with the contest!

Mon, October 18th, 2021 12:48am


Oh thank you so much! I always love to see a twist of fairy tale, so I'm glad to see I did it justice. Cause red riding hood was personal favorite of mine as a kid. I'm glad you liked how I did second and first person, I just felt like it fit this particular story to get my message across and I'm glad you liked it. Yes, totally get it, when I was writing it I had these emotions kind of tied up and tried my best to make it smooth as possible. Do you know how you have so much in your head and you try the best way to convey to reader what you're thinking? Overall, I'm glad you liked how it was necessary to build up the tension:} I won't lie, I felt like I was holding my breath when I wrote this, cause it's a chapter in my life I never quite wrote down really. Thanks, I'm hoping for the best, but overall it was a great opportunity to talk about mental health cause its a topic that needs to be more talked about.

Sun, October 17th, 2021 7:51pm


What an astonishing story!
You are a great writer with the special ability of talking to the readers' heart. It is really wonderful how you made some folk tales into life stories. The WOLF is someone or a thing that comes after our lives no matter who we are. The advice was represented nicely from the story. You talked straight to the point in the last few paragraphs. Felt like you gave voice to our inner feelings. We all are not alone! We all have beloved ones. Keep faith on them! If they are honestly with you, they'll never let you down!
No point to criticize at all. This is one of my favorite entries so far............
~Good luck for the contest. Keep up your amazing writings =)

Sat, October 23rd, 2021 4:57am


Omg thank you so much! I’m really glad you enjoyed the story! Yes exactly, I wanted to convey straight to the point with the last paragraphs with inner feelings and realizations. I always found fairy tale and real sometimes can blend together. In life there’s a moral and for fairy tales there’s a moral to a story. Yes indeed, I wanted to reassure the reader that no matter what, no one is alone. May it be people can relate or may it be there’s people waiting for you that want to help. Sometimes when we feel down, it’s harder for us to reach out for help, but reaching out to the right people for help makes a difference. Anyways, thanks so much for your feedback I deeply appreciate it:) I’m really glad you liked it, I was actually a bit scared to share it bc it’s a part of my chapter in life I don’t really talk about much. Thanks again:)

Sat, October 23rd, 2021 9:40am


I really loved reading this and I thought it was so brave of you to write it. It can be so hard to be vulnerable but really incredible.
I really liked how you compared this to fairytales, because Grim fairytales are actually quite gruesome. People think they're cheery and happy, but they're actually not but there's always meant to be something to learn from it. I think you have learnt from your experiences and are able to use that now to be stronger. This was really well written and very engaging to read.

Sun, October 31st, 2021 5:20am


Thank you so much! And for having this contest that gave me the courage to post this. Yes, exactly, when I read the grim fairy tales I'm like disney really glossed over a few details lol. The little mermaid one and the snow white story, I can't look at it the same way when I found out the truth lol. Thanks, yeah, I learned and grew from this experience. I felt like heavy subjects, sometimes comparing it to a fairy tale, I feel like helps ease the pain and easier to talk about. I think when someone wrote the grim's tale, there was some truth about it, just like how the disney version made it more kid friendly. Anyways, thank you so much:} I really appreciate it.

Tue, November 9th, 2021 9:08am

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