Reva loved the color red. She wasn’t quite sure why, though her ex suggested it was because her mother always dressed her up in a little red hood when she was a kid.
“That’d be strange if that was what did it,” she’d replied. “Considering that damn thing was of no use to me, and is probably what nearly got me killed.” Greta (said ex) had shrugged at that but didn’t give anymore opinions on the matter. They’d both lived strange lives and any mention of the past was usually a tedious conversation. Too many scars figuratively and in her case literally.
In any case Reva shook those memories away too. She probably loved red because it was practical in her line of work. You can’t have blood stains if you’re wearing blood colored clothes.
“What do you think buddy?” she asked her companion, a large black wolf who was currently chowing down on breakfast. She had been finished eating for a while and was beginning to loose herself in the uncomfortable silence. The wolf in question looked up at her and tilted it’s head clearly understanding that she was speaking to it. Alas he did not respond. Not that he ever did, mind you. “Precisely,” Reva nodded. “Red is just practical. Now hurry up and finish we’ve got a job to do and this part of the woods is disgracefully dense.” The wolf did as was commanded then looked up again expectantly. If only hunting down other creatures was this easy, she thought sourly. Despite her history with the beasts, Reva was never the type of hunter to harm anyone or anything she’d deemed innocent. This guy had not only saved her life, but he’d proved himself to be a gentle and agreeable creature so she’d allowed him to come along for the ride. She hadn’t come to regret that yet, though she realized docile or not her accomplice was still a wild animal.
Taking a crumpled up wanted poster from a compartment on her belt, she took one last look at the subject before heading south deeper into the forest. Currently they were looking for a witch, which to be honest wasn’t her usual M.O, but being strapped for cash did that a bounty hunter. She knew she was risking seeing Greta (and by extension her irritating brother) again by taking on the job, however she hoped her terrifying chaperon would prevent any would be harassers this deep in all the trees and overgrowth. Overgrowth, that after an hour had begun to look all the same.
“Shit,” she hissed trying to see which direction the sun was in. “Well buddy it looks like we-” Reva was cut of by a particularly mangled up vine. The wolf leapt forward and caught her with his teeth by the collar of her shirt before she fell backwards into a clearing. After a few moment of awkward attempts to regain balance, Reva shooed the animal away and (looking more carefully at the ground this time) pushed past the brambles and into the area she’d almost fell into.
“I stand corrected,” she grinned. “Shit retracted.” Motioning the wolf towards her she attempted to push as much of the thick foliage out of his way as possible. She’d hate to have to detangle him later. Behind the wall of fauna there was a wide open space and in that space was a tower that looked like it was miles high. “Just like the creepy old lady said.”
Moving quickly until she was right underneath the window that was at the very top Reva began looking around for any sign of an entrance or stairs. Of course the witch wasn’t going to make this easy, she thought after making her way around the whole tower. Then again, she figured, it’s not like she knows why I’m here. With that, Reva stood once again underneath the window and cupped her hands around her mouth.
“Hey! Anyone up there!” she shouted. Nothing. “I’m not going to hurt you, I was just passing through and I believe I’m hopelessly lost!” Witches did love a good lost victim, so she’d hoped that would sweeten the pot. Unfortunately either the magical being in question had already gotten her fill and wasn’t about to be tempted or the intel was bad and she simply wasn’t there. Before Reva, could make up her mind on which theory she’d wanted to pursue she heard a voice call out.
“Is someone there?” Reva looked up and took a few steps back. Due to the sun’s glare and the distance it was hard to make out, but the voice in question sounded soft and the face attached didn’t really resemble the drawing. Although, given what she was dealing with it was best to stay on guard anyway.
“Yes,” Reva called back. “I’m down here! Who are you?” The woman (who was now more visible in the window) looked down and seemed to assess Reva.
“Well given that this is my home,” she replied. “I think I ought to be asking you that.” Reva pursed her lips.
“Fair enough,” She granted her that. “My friend and I-” Reva gestured to the wolf-” have gotten lost and we kinda need some shelter. It looks like rain and I have no idea when we’ll find the path again.” The young woman squinted and gave them both a once over. Reva could see her far clearer now. This was definitely not the witch from the picture, or if she was she had on a very beautiful disguise. The woman’s eyes seemed to shift colors as she moved and her lips were full and made Reva think instantly of strawberries.
Strawberries, she frowned. She needed to stay focused. “We don’t want to impose,” she added hoping to look far less competent than she was, which was difficult to do with a large animal and all the compartments on her garment.
“I suppose you can stay,” the woman said. “But only for one night, my mother doesn’t like guests. However lucky for you she’s out of town.” Reva nodded. Mother huh? “Stand back!” Reva hopped a little further out of the way, and for the third time that day she found herself caught of guard. The lady threw a long braid out the window that managed to touch the ground and still have a considerable length. “Well climb up!”
“What about my wolf?”
“I figure we can work that out when you get up here”
“Alright well I’m coming up now so brace yourself.” Reva grabbed hold of the braid like it was a climbing rope and hoisted her self up. She winced in pain temporarily forgetting that she was working with only one real arm. Her other one (which was unceremoniously bitten off) had been replaced from the elbow down, by a metal contraption she still had trouble getting used to. Taking a deep breath and putting her feet against the wall she maneuvered her body until she achieved the perfect climbing to bouncing off the brick ratio. She checked quickly when she was about half way up to see if her knife was still in an easy accessible spot before finishing the climb. Once she hoisted her self inside the tower window she gave the whole place a quick once over. It was certainly more spacious than it looked.
*Author’s note: Aaaaand I’m going to stop there for today. This is probably the longest piece I’ve written in a while (for Fiction Friday) so this is my makeup for last week. In case you didn’t know I love fairytales and I’m sure you can guess witch three (or maybe it’s four 👀👀👀) I’m referencing in this story. This might get another update (possibly even this weekend), but I’m more than likely going to draw Reva at some point (see: @costumed_fiend on instagram). Until then bye!
**In case you’re interested, it’s quick and direct: