Tag Archives: guest blog

Winter Wonderland Guest Bloggers Series

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Winter Wonderland Guest Bloggers Series

Hi everyone and TGIF! I know it’s kind of early to start talking about a winter guest bloggers series BUT Lil Red loves to plan in advance so we’ll consider it perfect timing, instead. As the weather changes from cold to colder, lifewithlilred will become a toasty, warm safe haven for some holiday fun. I want all of your gift buying guides, DIY ornaments, and how many Christmas cookies you can eat in one sitting. Your favorite White Elephant present will also do just as well, if you don’t feel like playing Chubby Bunny “holiday style”!

I am hoping to get this holiday party started around the second week of December. If you are interested in being a guest blogger for my Winter Wonderland series, then shoot me an email with your post ideas at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com !

THANKS!! ❤

Featured Image By: FunnyBeing

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Hot Chocolate & Halloween, My Fall Favorite Things

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Hot Chocolate & Halloween, My Fall Favorite Things

Hi everyone and happy Hump Day! This post is compliments of my friend, Geneva, from the blog GenneyDarling. You might remember this sweet little lady from her Mauve Maven OOTD during my Salute To Summer guest bloggers series. Today, Geneva is here to share her list of fall favorites with all of you. Cuddle up and get some inspiration for your next autumn outing with your friends:

Hot Chocolate & Halloween, My Fall Favorite Things

Hello followers of lifewithlilred! I am Geneva from GenneyDarling and I am writing to you guys today to tell you my favorite things about the fall season…

The fall scenery in New England: I love living in the North East region of the U.S. because of the fall time. The leafs changing colors and the brisk chill in the air leaves all of New England looking like storybook perfection.

Hot chocolate and tea: There’s nothing like a hot drink to warm you up on the chilly days of the season. Pull on your favorite fingerless gloves to keep from burning your hands, sip, and enjoy.

Pumpkin flavored everything: Now, I hate to be a basic white girl but pumpkin flavor is absolutely the best. I’m not the kind of person to get a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks every chance I get, though. I’m more of a pumpkin bread and muffin type of gal!

Halloween: One of my favorite holidays is Halloween. It’s always fun to dress up and decorate for Halloween even though I’m not a kid anymore and probably shouldn’t go trick-or-treating…OR SHOULD I?! 😉

Cuddling with your SO in warm blankets: Fall can be a busy season, so it’s nice to take advantage of a lazy day by cuddling with your boy or girlfriend and binge watching movies or a TV series.

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Cozy socks: This might be my absolute favorite part of fall. I LOVE thick wool socks. My feet are always cold so I constantly wear them around the house or with boots to go out. Sliding around on hardwood floors is another added bonus!

Sweatshirts and sweaters: Layering all of the things during the cold weather months is a must. You can always put more layers on but you can only take so many off. I love being able to layer clothes to keep me nice and snugly all day.

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Bonfires: Bonfires are fun in the summer, but are even better during the fall when it’s a little chilly. Fires are perfect for warming up and spending time with friends on a cold evening.

Baked goods: Another reason to love fall is that you can finally bake yummy treats in the oven without overheating the whole kitchen. In fact, you can use it to warm up the kitchen on a cold day. Plus, who doesn’t love eating pumpkin bread, warm cookies, and gooey chocolate brownies?!

Scary movies: I’ve never been a big horror movie person, but recently I have been learning to enjoy them more. Never mind the fact that I still have to look away at the suspenseful scary parts. A cold, dark fall night is the perfect atmosphere to snuggle up with your friends for a horror movie marathon – eyes shut the whole time or not!

I hope that all of you are enjoying the autumn season as much as I am!

Check out my other fall time posts below:

5 Nail Colors to Complete Your Fall Look

What I’m Listening to in October

Cosmic Love

Cranberry Apple Cider Smoothie

^^^ Thank you so much to Geneva for stopping by to guest post on lifewithlilred! What are your favorite things about fall? What are you being for Halloween? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Halloween Heaven Guest Bloggers Series Conclusion

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Halloween Heaven Guest Bloggers Series Conclusion

Hi everyone and happy Sunday! Yesterday, my Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series had its grand finale with a party guide to celebrate all things spooky fun. We are now back to a normal week on lifewithlilred starting on Monday, which will include posts about my trip to NYC to meet the wonderful, beautiful, charming, talented Kate of Ankhor You. Spoiler Alert: IT WAS GREAT!!!

But, before that, I want to extend a most heartfelt thanks to all of my incredible guest bloggers for helping to put lifewithlilred into the Halloween spirit! Each and every post was exactly what I was hoping for and I am so happy to have been able to share your work on my page. All of you are welcome back any time on lifewithlilred and thanks again for all of your hard work!!

What was your favorite post from my Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series? Who will be joining me on lifewithlilred for a winter themed series come December? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Tricks & Treats! Season & Serve Style Halloween Bash

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Tricks & Treats! Season & Serve Style Halloween Bash

Hi everyone and welcome to the final post in my Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series by the amazing Melissa of Season & Serve. You might remember this lovely lady from a previous guest post on my blog that showed you all of the fixings for a perfect fall themed dinner party. This time around, Melissa is here to wrap up my series with a how to guide to creating a spooky chic Halloween bash – costume ideas not included! Check it out and enjoy:

Tricks & Treats! Season & Serve Style Halloween Bash

Ghosts, ghouls, and goblins galore! Halloween is just around the corner and I cannot wait to celebrate! This year, I am hosting a spooky soirée at our apartment and I am bringing a few elegant touches and a fabulously retro menu to my Halloween party to set the perfect mood. Read on to see how you can throw a classy yet spooky Halloween party of your own… if you dare! Mwahaha!

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This year, I decided to aim for a more elegant vibe for my Halloween party in terms of decor. If you remember back to when you were a kid, Halloween was all about the blood, guts, and gore. While I can definitely appreciate gory decorations on Halloween, it is a bit more fitting to do this outside of your home since it can be complicated and messy (I mean fake blood is cool and all, but I don’t want to be scrubbing it off of my walls and mirrors the next day!). But what we are lacking in blood and guts, we are making up with some classy, yet scary Halloween decor. I used a combination of every day decor pieces that I had around my home, and tied them together with some cheap (But reusable!) dollar store items that I found. I then did a wonderfully simple DIY that you can keep in storage for next year’s bash. So, without further adieu, here is what I did:

For my table, I decided to decorate with mainly black pieces (Because obviously black is the color for Halloween and is timelessly elegant.) along with some gold and silver accents for a bit of shine. I used my everyday black dinner table as the base (You can always throw a black tablecloth over your table if it is not black.) and added a few tasteful pieces for decoration. I anchored the left corner of my table with my thrifted gold candlestick holders in which I placed some tall black candles… because obviously we need some spooky candlelight for Halloween!

On the opposite side, I wanted another tall piece to balance the table out, so I went for a nice, tall vase of sunflowers. These sunflowers had a dark orange color on the flowers and leaves that were almost purple – something that is not typical of this cheery flower. I found out that the florist that I went to actually made the sunflowers this darker orange color by keeping them in a tub of water mixed with red dye. If you have red food coloring, you can simply add it to your vase of regular yellow sunflowers and in two days, you will have these delightfully dark sunflowers for your table. I loved the deep moody vibe that it brought to the table scape! I also went ahead and placed my white “Casper” pumpkin next to my candles along with my dark green Kabocha squash for a bit of color.

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Next, I added my serving-ware. I placed my wooden cake pedestal to the center/back of the table to give my food some height (I’m all about varying heights on buffet-style tables.) and then placed a round, brushed gold tray and silver place mat in front of the pedestal. I loved the silver place mat for Halloween – it totally reminded me of a spider web! And, of course, where there is a spider web, there are spiders! So I picked up some sparkly plastic black spiders from the Dollar Store and placed them all over my table. I also added a few sparkly black pumpkins to the table, as well (Another great reuseable Dollar Store find!), to fill in the empty spaces.

I also discovered these fabulously cool, yet elegant black glass skull cups from Homesense (A home goods store in Canada.) that I knew needed to be a part of my Halloween table scape. I added these to the table and made sure to back-light them with some tea lights to make them look extra creepy for when my guests arrived. I originally placed the tea lights in short glass jars (For safety reasons.), but I found these plain jars to be fairly boring, so I did a quick and easy DIY! I simply wrapped each glass jar with black lacey ribbon and used a hot glue gun to secure the lace around the jar. I love the sexy, sultry look that it brought to the table – perfectly elegant and spooky, if you ask me!

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Now for the good stuff… THE FOOD! When I was planning this Halloween party, I was thinking of a combination of elegant, retro, and (Of course!) spooky. Kind of like something from around the 1920’s to the 1950’s – so I decided to borrow some throw back food ideas from those eras to fit this theme and give it a Halloween twist. I chose to stick to appetizers and small snacks that people can nibble on throughout the party while they mingle. I also opted to make the majority of the recipes myself, but also improvised with some store-bought foods just to make things a bit easier for the host (Because hey, you gotta get your Halloween costume on too!). And, of course, as every good host knows, one of the key tricks to entertaining is to not make everything yourself!

So those are the tricks… here are the treats! First up on the menu is Blue Cheese and Walnut Stuffed Cockroaches… I mean dates. The look of dates always freaked me out as a kid because I thought that they looked like cockroaches. But once you get past their questionable appearance and take a bite, you will fall in love with their sweet and soft taste. It’s almost like eating candy! The recipe for Blue Cheese and Walnut Stuffed Dates is a play on the retro recipe, Devils On Horseback, which is traditionally made with prunes stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in bacon. I wanted to go for a healthier, vegetarian recipe so I swapped out the prunes for the dates and the bacon for a toasted walnut. And do they ever look spooky! Oh, and if the thought of blue cheese in this recipe is enough to scare you alone, simply change it out for a smoked cheddar or Gouda. These cheeses also taste delicious with dates and walnuts!

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Now, with it being Halloween, there are going to be many vampires around, so we are going to keep them at bay with my homemade French Onion Dip. This recipe is inspired by the old school French Onion dip made from those French Onion soup packets and sour cream. Super retro, right!? Rather than using a soup packet, you can make this dip yourself, and it won’t have any nasty preservatives or additives in it! You simply have to fry onions and garlic until they are nice and caramelized, then toss them with sour cream and Greek yogurt as well as a few other secret ingredients to lighten it up. Serve with classic ruffled potato chips or fancy vegetable chips and you have got yourself a great party dip!

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My next recipe is a play on the classic tea sandwich: Mrs. Frankenstein’s Tea Sandwiches. In other words, Cucumber-Dill Tea Sandwiches. This is definitely an old school dish, because it has been served at many fancy tea parties over the past century or so. You simply layer butter, an elevated homemade cream cheese spread, and slices of cucumber on top of pumpernickel bread and slice it into wedges. I really like the fresh, cool cucumber and dill in this recipe as many appetizers can be heavy, but this one is light and refreshing (And it will freshen up your breath from the French Onion Dip!). If you can make a sandwich, you can easily make these Cucumber-Dill Tea Sandwiches for your party!

My final savory appetizer that I made for this party was inspired by the retro pinwheel sandwiches made with tortilla wraps and deli meat/cheese. I never really liked these as a kid (I found them to get super soggy and gross). But I took this idea and made it much better with my recipe for Roasted Red Pepper and Cheddar Pinwheels. Rather than using tortilla wraps to hold everything in, I used a sheet of store-bought puff pastry. All you need to do is sprinkle it with the roasted red peppers and cheese, roll it up, slice it up, and bake! It’s so simple and easy – and it looks impressive, too! Your guests will think that you spent hours making these!

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Now, onto my favorite course: dessert. As we all know, with Halloween comes tons of sugary candy and chocolates, which is a great treat in small doses. But rather than making an overly sugary dessert or placing a bunch of candy on the table, I decided to keep things more on the healthier side with a Healthy Dessert Board. On this dessert board, I mixed store-bought and homemade treats. From the store, I picked up some maple flavored mixed nuts, coconut macaroons (I thought they looked like little ghosts.), and some crazy spooky Moon Drop grapes. I loved the deep purple color of the grapes and the elongated shape (Almost like fingers!).

The homemade treats that I made are simple and can likely be made with ingredients that you have in your pantry right now! Bonus! First up, I made my Autumn-Inspired White Chocolate Bark. What’s a dessert board without some chocolate? I made it a bit healthier by adding vitamin rich cranberries and apricots and oil-rich walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Just the colors alone look gorgeous. It’s truly perfect for fall/Halloween!

Last but not least, I had to made something with Pumpkin Spice. And what’s a better treat than Pumpkin Spice Energy Balls?!? The basic white girl inside of me literally can’t even right now. You have all of the delicious warm flavors of pumpkin spice combined with healthy dates, almonds, and oats – such a great and healthy treat!

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And there you have it ghosts and ghouls! A fully planned and designed Halloween party. All you need is some spooky music and a great costume and you will be ready to have an amazing time! For all of the recipes featured in this post, simply click on the links or head over to my blog!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

^^^ Yum, yum, freaking YUM! Many thanks to Melissa for concluding my Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series by sharing such amazing party recipes, tricks, and treats with my readers! Which recipes from this post are you going to try out? Where do you go for the best seasonal decor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Stories & Snapshots Of “Haunted” Eastern State Penitentiary

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Stories & Snapshots Of “Haunted” Eastern State Penitentiary

Hello one and all and happy Friday! This is the second to last post of my Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series compliments of Les, who you might recognize as the author and photographer behind the post about Dreamland Park on my page. Once again, you can check out more of Les’s work at Photojournal Of Corker2. Now, sit back and enjoy his tale of a spooky tour through the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary:

Stories & Snapshots Of “Haunted” Eastern State Penitentiary

The Eastern State Penitentiary, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is one of the older prisons in the state. Built in the early 1900’s, it was made to keep prisoners in solitary confinement to reflect on the law breaking deed that they had committed. Each prisoner was kept in a single cell and locked up for twenty-three hours a day. There was no running water, no air conditioning, no books to read, nothing at all! There are four cell blocks, with each one consisting of two levels of eight feet long by six feet wide cells with no windows to let light in.
The Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) has been known to be haunted for many years. Featured on Ghost Hunters, the film crew stayed there and caught some very strange things. There have been documented reports of voices from nowhere and ghostly figures that have no explanation at all.
I had been informed of this disturbing place, so I thought I’d give it a visit. The penitentiary is huge. I was allowed to walk through the entire prison with my camera in tow. It was also quite hot that day, with temperatures up in the high 90’s. I could only imagine what it must have been like to be locked up there for so many years. The famous gangster, Al Capone, was also an inmate at this prison for a number of years. He had his own fancy cell, not like all of the others. It was much better. It had a desk, furniture, table lamps, and a bed. The story goes that he was haunted in his cell by one of the men that he killed in the St. Valentines Day Massacre, even though he was not there when it happened. On a few occasions, Al Capone, would be screaming “Leave me alone!” in his cell and there was no one there.
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Here, we are looking down one of the four cell blocks in the prison. Each cell had a sliding metal door that you could not see out of. No talking was allowed back in the early days. The door at the far end leads to the outside. There are twelve cells on each side of the block.

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Here is Cell Block C. It is pretty much the same set up as all of the other blocks. It was here that I had a rather strange happening, which I can’t explain.

The ESP has had a reputation of electronic equipment not working right for one reason or another. Batteries fail or the camera just doesn’t work. With this in mind, I made sure that my camera was in excellent working order before I left for my visit. While walking around in the cell blocks, I had taken a number of images and my Pentax K100D was working just fine. Nothing was wrong and the pictures came out great.
Then, I entered Cell Block C and decided to shoot the picture that you see above. For some reason, I pressed the shutter and nothing happened. Weird. So I tried it again.  Nothing. Looked at the camera settings and they were all okay. Tried again. Nothing!  What the heck? So, I went down the block to the open door, stepped outside and pressed the shutter again. Worked just fine! I stood there for a few seconds and wondered why it worked out there but not inside. I gathered my bearings and decided to try one more time. I walked back to where I was before, focused on the shot, and pressed the button.  It worked! Now, what went wrong? Nothing that I could tell.

With that, I finished my tour and took a few more pictures with no problem. It was getting unbearably hot and I was eager to get into the air conditioning of my car. On the way back home, I was thinking of what could have gone wrong. The only thing that I could come up with was that a spirit from the past interfered with the camera in some way. Did it? I will never know.
The Eastern State Penitentiary has ghost hunts during the evening hours that you can sign up for and pay a small fee. If you want to learn more, just type in “Eastern State Penitentiary” and a complete story of this place will show up.
^^^ Thank you so much to Les for relaying his story of stepping foot into the Eastern State Penitentiary for an eerie tour through the past. Glad you made it out alive to tell the tale! Are there any “haunted” locations in your area? What is something that scares you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Vampire Vixen & Clowning Around Costume Makeup

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Vampire Vixen & Clowning Around Costume Makeup

Hello! Today we are going to explore two more costume makeup looks compliments of Allison, who taught all of you on Sunday how to create a gorgeous sugar skull MOTD. Once again, be sure to follow Allison on Instagram at: allicat.mua for more of her amazing makeups like the ones seen below:

Vampire Vixen & Clowning Around Costume Makeup

*Allison mentioned in her sugar skull tutorial that all of the makeup products used in her looks can easily be duped with drug store or Halloween store cosmetics and the same rings true for both of the looks seen below. Bear in mind that these are all basic steps, and Allison encourages all of you to get as creative as you wish with her looks!

Vampire Vixen

Products Used:

Base/Face: 

  • bareMinerals Combo Control primer
  • Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion
  • Kat Von D Lock-It concealer in White Out
  • KVD Lock-It Foundation in Light 42
  • KVD Shade and Light contour palette
  • White face powder from Spirit Halloween
  • Rubies fake blood

Eyes/Lips:

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette
  • KVD Serpentina palette
  • KVD Ink liner in Trooper
  • IT cosmetics Superhero mascara
  • Eyelure false lashes

Step By Step:

*Note that this look can easily be a beautiful every day makeup look sans the blood!!

  1. Apply primer all over your face and eye primer, as well. Set the eye primer with flesh-colored eyeshadow.
  2. Face First: Apply under eye concealer and foundation, then set with a white finishing powder. Contour using a navy or dark, cool-toned shadow.
  3. Fill in brows if necessary.
  4. For the eyes, apply a transition and crease shade, then BLEND. Apply a black shadow as a base only on the lid and BLEND. Then, layer a burgundy shade over top and BLEND again.
  5. Apply liner, mascara, and false lashes if desired.
  6. Apply fangs and have fun with the blood!

Clowning Around

Products Used:

Base/Face:

  • bareMinerals Combo Control primer
  • Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion
  • Kat Von D Lock-It concealer in White Out
  • KVD Lock-It Foundation in Light 42
  • KVD Shade and Light contour palette
  • White face powder from Spirit Halloween

Eyes/Lips:

  • NYX white eyeshadow base
  • KVD Mi Vida Loca Remix palette
  • bareMinerals Pewter loose eyeshadow
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow in Dark Brown
  • KVD Everlasting liquid lipstick in Echo
  • KVD Glimmer Veil lipstick in Satellite and Rocker
  • KVD Ink liner in Trooper
  • IT Cosmetics Superhero mascara
  • Spirit Halloween blue false lashes and press-on pearls

Step By Step:

  1. Apply primer all over your face and eye primer, as well. Set eye primer with flesh-colored eyeshadow.
  2. Face First: Apply under eye concealer and foundation, then set with a white finishing powder. Contour using a navy or dark, cool-toned shadow.
  3. Fill in brows if necessary.
  4. Outline the triangle shape using the white eyeshadow base and a small, fine brush.
  5. Apply and blend out your desired eyeshadow shade along the outside and inside of the triangles.
  6. Fill in the triangles with shimmery shadow.
  7. Outline the triangles with glitter.
  8. Apply eyeliner, mascara, and false lashes if desired.
  9. Apply press-on pearls to the tips of the triangles.
  10. Apply lipstick or colored shadow for the nose.
  11. Apply lipstick and over line it to create as large and creepy of a smile as you want.

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^^^ Many thanks to Allison for creating a total of three stunning looks for lifewithlilred’s Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series. Want more? Be sure to follow Allison’s Instagram page at: allicat.mua ! What is your favorite look that Allison created? Which look do you plan on trying out this Halloween? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Red! A Retelling Of An Old Story

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Red! A Retelling Of An Old Story

Hi everyone and welcome to the next post in my Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series, written by a professional story teller. Yeah, Simon Brooks, the author of the piece that you are about to read literally gets paid to visit libraries, colleges, and businesses to tell folk and fairy tales. Dream job, much?

When Simon emailed me and told me that he had a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood that he created, I jumped at the opportunity to have him on my page. What better place to tell the tale of Little Red Riding Hood than on lifewithlilred?! And what’s more, Simon was kind enough to record his tale on his SoundCloud page special for all of you. I cannot recommend listening to it enough, because it’s truly incredible. Simon’s story starts in the belly of the wolf and will be sure to get you in the spooky spirit of Halloween faster than you can say “Little Red”! Listen along to the recording as you read and enjoy:

Red! A Retelling Of An Old Story

By Simon Brooks, © 2017

It was dark, damp, and hot. The air was filled with rancidity. The old woman felt around the slime covered walls, which gave and moved to her touch. She felt a jolt and was bounced around and for a short while was not sure which way was up and which was down. Then all was still. Sitting up, she felt the walls press against her. She heard gentle rumblings, was jolted again and felt it become slightly and slowly more damp. There was an acidic smell to the new dampness, not unlike wine. At least it was warm. Silence and stillness and what seemed like eternal darkness ruled for a while.

Then, the old lady could hear murmurings and mumbles, but could not make anything out. The woman was glad to try to hear what the noise was; it was a distraction from the claustrophobia that she was beginning to feel. Then, another sudden jolt, a roar, and she was bounced and jostled around and felt something land and press against her. There was barely room to move before; now she was crushed almost beyond endurance against the stinking, slimy wall. The old woman did not move and then muttered to herself: “It’s dark in here, but at least I am still alive.”

“Who’s there?” said a tiny voice.

“Is that you, Little Red?”

“Grandma! Did the wolf eat you, too?”

“Well, I suppose he did, my little one.”

“I’m sorry Granny, it’s all my fault.” The small voice began to tremble, so Granny pulled her grandchild in close and hugged her.

“Don’t be silly. How can it be your fault?”

“Well, me and Mama, we made some bread for you ‘cause you was poorly and I was supposed to bring it to you with the wine. And I was s’posed to come straight here, but I never did,” said the girl. “It’s so hot, I can barely breathe.”

Granny spoke softly. “There, there.”

There was a sudden movement and they heard the sound of liquid rushing towards them. It poured over them both. Red cried out and Granny held the girl tighter. There was that acidic smell again. In another place it might have smelled good. Maybe. Granny said, “Well, what happened?” She tried to clear the warm liquid from Red’s face.

“Mama told me to come straight here, but I didn’t,” said Red.

“Well, what happened?” Granny asked again.

The girl sniffed and said, “I met a wolf on the path, Granny.”

Granny’s voice was patient and soft. “What happened, Red?”

“He asked if he could walk with me as it was such a nice day and I said ‘yes’. He was big, but really thin, Granny.”

“There, there. What happened?” There was more noise and some moving, then nothing.

“He asked where I was going and I told him. That I was coming to your house ‘cause you was poorly and I had bread me and Mama made and some wine for you. The wolf, the wolf, he said maybe I should pick some flowers, too. That if you were poorly, flowers would make you happy and feel better.”

“Yes, they would, my dear. Yes they would. So you strayed off the path?”

“I did, Granny. I strayed off the path, and then he was gone. And I came straight here.”

Granny was quiet for a while. “That wolf, the old sinner. I bet he thought he’d come here and make a meal of us both.” She sniffed the air and her clothes. “And wash us down with the wine, of course.” She sighed and thought. “I’m sure that there’s a way out of this, if I could think of it,” she said.

“It smells in here, Granny.”

“That is does, dear. That it does. It’s dark and hot, too, in case you hadn’t noticed.” Although Red could not see her grandmother, she knew that she was smiling. Red could hear it in her grandmother’s voice.

The humidity rose and rose. Granny tried to take deep breaths, but found it hard. The fetid air grew heavier until there was a great rumbling roar and release. For a while Granny and Red could breathe a little easier.

There was a slight movement and it felt like something was pushing in against one of the walls of the wolf’s stomach. A shining point came through the wall and with it, a thin sliver of light. The sudden brightness grew as the slit grew. After the complete darkness, the light made Granny cover both her own eyes and those of Little Red. More light poured in and a pair of hands followed.

Little Red was pulled from Grandma’s grasp and lifted out of the belly of the beast. Granny cried out. The hands reached down again and carefully lifted Granny. They both blinked in the bright light and saw before them a tall, strong, kind-faced huntsman. Although he smiled at them, there was something about his face that told Granny how both she and her granddaughter looked and smelled.

“Are you two ladies alright?” He asked. He looked about and got a cloth. After dampening it, he handed it to Granny who wiped her face and hands clean. A basket lay on the floor, and flowers were strewn about. An empty bottle lay on the floor next to an untouched loaf of bread, still wrapped in a cloth. The table had been pushed across the floor and a chair tipped over. The old lady stood, still shaking a little, and wetted the cloth once more and began to wipe off Red. The young girl clung to her grandmother, looking back and forth between the huntsman and the wolf.

The huntsman began to pick up the belongings, which had been knocked onto the floor, and straightened the house up a little. He said: “I’ve been tracking this old sinner for a while, now. Sorry I didn’t find him sooner.”

Granny looked at the huntsman. He was handsome and made Granny’s heart skip a beat. She smiled at the man. “Thank you. For saving us and for picking up the mess.” Granny looked over at her bed and saw the wolf with his head flopped back and belly opened up. “Please take it away.”

The huntsman pulled the sheets around the wolf and took the body outside. Granny washed Red’s hair at the water pump in the kitchen.

When the hunter came back in, he told them that he had skinned the wolf and butchered the meat. “No point in letting it all go to waste.” His clothes were rough but well made. The boots heavy and worn, but looked comfortable.

Granny remembered her husband, when he had been alive. He had a pair just like them and he used to say that they were as comfortable as slippers. She smiled at the memory, but then shuddered again, thinking of the wolf.

The man looked around the house and then at Granny. “Well, there is a reward for a wolf’s pelt. It doesn’t seem right to me that I keep it all. After all, I found the sinner in your house.” He moved from one foot to another, slightly embarrassed. I’ll bring you the money or we could split it,” said the man.

“No need to do that.” Granny stroked Red’s hair with lavender oil, trying to get rid of the smell. “If you had not been tracking him, I don’t know when we would have got out. You keep the money.”

“If you say so. Thank you. Can I help out here? Should I send word to anyone?”

“No. We will be fine now. If you could burn the bed covers and sheets, I would appreciate that.”

“Of course.”

So, the house was put right again. The great pot was boiled and the water poured into a small tin tub into which Little Red was thoroughly scrubbed. The pot was boiled again and Granny washed herself. She picked some lavender and rubbed the leaves over both of them. Granny dressed her granddaughter in some of her own clothes, and the two laughed at such a small girl dressed in such roomy clothing.

While the washed clothes dried in the sun, the girl’s hooded red cloak flapped in the warm breeze. Together they made some soup, which went very nicely with the bread that Red had brought.

Before dusk, they went out together and picked some new flowers and put them in a vase. The flowers Red had arrived with were broken and trampled. Red’s mother and father visited a couple of days later to check on them both. The hunter had told them that the wolf had been found and killed and that Granny and Red were fine.

Although it needs not to be mentioned, I will say that Little Red never strayed from the path again; unless it was with her grandmother to pick flowers.

^^^ Wow! Infinite thanks to Simon for sharing his newly penned fairy tale with my readers. If you enjoyed this piece, then I urge you to check out Simon’s page for more stories and audio recordings of his work! What is your favorite fairy or folk tale? Which fairy/folk tale frightened you as a child? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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