Our prompts here were: The red box, the blue-edged side of darkness, and the white moon of winter. To Orion, under the influence of reading Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series of fractured fairy tales, the prompts suggested a dark fairy tale. She started with the setting and let the character lead the way. This Little Red Riding Hood, though, doesn’t need a woodsman to save her.
A COLD WINTER’S NIGHT
The white moon of winter, its old man’s face sharply drawn, shone brightly on the dappled landscape. Sometimes it hid from the girl among the branches of the winter-bare trees. The snow underfoot squeaked with her every step. She longed for color, any color to prove she hadn’t fallen into a black-and-white illustration from one of her storybooks.
Stumbling over a tree root, she almost dropped the long narrow box she carried. Darkness painted it ebony, though she knew its stain was bright red, its carved lid inlaid with abalone shell that winked at her as she fumbled with it.