by Max Barry

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by The Tastiest Parts of Beepee. . 46 reads.

Storytime: Little Red Riding Zess

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, in a land far, far, away there was a little girl called Zess who lived in a village near the forest

Whenever she went out, the little girl wore a red riding cloak, so everyone in the village called her Little Red Riding Zess.

One morning, Little Red Riding Zess asked her intelligent and kind mother Si-topia if she could go to visit her venerable and spritely grandmother Auphelia as it had been awhile since they'd seen each other.

"That's a good idea," her mother said.  So they packed a nice basket for grandmother. The basket contained Midandian SPIT, East Sakhlin brownies and a large wad of cash. When the basket was ready, kissed her mother goodbye.

"Remember, go straight to Grandma Auphelia's house," Si-topia cautioned.  "Don't dawdle along the way and please don't talk to strangers!  The woods are dangerous."

"Don't worry, mummy," said Little Red Riding Zess, "I'll be careful."

But when Little Red Riding Zess noticed some lovely flowers in the woods, she forgot her promise to her mother.  She stopped and picked a few, watched the butterflies flit about for awhile, listened to the frogs croaking and then picked a few more. 

Little Red Riding Zess was enjoying the warm summer day so much, that she didn't notice a dark shadow approaching out of the forest behind her...

Suddenly, a large Steampunk Engineers appeared beside her.

"What are you doing out here, little girl?" the Engineer asked in a voice as friendly as she could muster.

"I'm on my way to see my Grandma who lives through the forest, near the brook,"  Little Red Riding Zess replied.

Then she realised how late she was and quickly excused herself, rushing down the path to her Grandma Auphelia's house. 

Steampunk, in the meantime, took a shortcut...

Steampunk, a little out of breath from running, arrived at Grandma's and knocked lightly at the door.

"Oh thank goodness dear!  Come in, come in!  I was worried sick that something had happened to you in the forest," said Grandma thinking that the knock was her granddaughter.

Steamy let herself in.  Poor Auphelia did not have time to say another word, before the Engineer gobbled her up!

Steamy let out a satisfied burp, and then poked through Auphelia's wardrobe to find a nightgown that she liked.  She added a frilly sleeping cap, and for good measure, dabbed some of Auphelia's perfume behind her pointy ears.

A few minutes later, Red Riding Zess knocked on the door.  The engineer jumped into bed and pulled the covers over her nose.  "Who is it?" She called in a cackly voice.

"It's me, Little Red Riding Zess."

"Oh how lovely!  Do come in, my dear," croaked Steamy.

When Little Red Riding Zess entered the little cottage, she could scarcely recognize her Grandmother.

"Grandmother!  Your voice sounds so odd.  Is something the matter?" she asked.

"Oh, I just have touch of a cold," squeaked Steamy adding a cough at the end to prove the point.

"But Grandmother!  What big ears you have," said Little Red Riding Zess as she edged closer to the bed.

"The better to hear you with, my dear," replied steamy.

"But Grandmother!  What big eyes you have," said Little Red Riding Zess.

"The better to see you with, my dear," replied the engineer.

"But Grandmother!  What big teeth you have," said Little Red Riding Zess her voice quivering slightly.

"The better to eat you with, my dear," roared Steamy and she leapt out of the bed and began to chase the little Zess.

Almost too late, Little Red Riding Zess realized that the person in the bed was not her Grandmother, but a hungry Engineer.

She ran across the room and through the door, shouting, "Help!  Steampunk!" as loudly as she could. But Steamy caught her and gobbled her up likety-split.

A hunky woodsman Erinor who was chopping logs nearby heard her cry and ran towards the cottage as fast as he could. But as he arrived, he noticed Grandma Auphelia had already chewed her way out of Steamy from the inside using her her own teeth. Steamy lay dead and bleeding on the floor.

Grandma Auphelia was a strong and independent woman who didn't need a man to save her.

The Tastiest Parts of Beepee