all that’s between you and the tox is the red
Today’s title is from Clarice Radrick’s “The Red.” In this Broad Knowledge story, a girl must wear a red cloak and hood to cross a wasteland and deliver food to the Ancient, a scientist trying to discover a cure for their broken world, while evading a lobo, a crazed man who lives in the waste. Sound familiar? It’s Little Red Riding Hood, in post-apocalyptic form . . . but there’s no woodcutter to save our heroine, so she has to figure out a way to save herself.
Tomorrow we’ll look at other stories exploring the horrific side of familiar characters, but for today, we’re sticking to stories where the color red is central. Red, the color of blood and roses.
In her introduction to Sharp & Sugar Tooth, Octavia Cade describes Penny Stirling’s “Red, From the Heartwood”: “Astrid, finding herself in a polyamorous relationship with two mythological creatures who change form as well as genders, is slowly overcome by the desire to eat the apples produced by the tree-shape of her lover, but her own biological limitations are against her.”
Red runs through this story, from the title to the “speckled red” of the fruit of the tree with its “flesh as red as meat,” to the implications of all the blood that must appear by the end of the story.
About the Authors
Clarice Radrick’s work can be found in Myriad Lands Volume 1, Havok, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Nightmare Stalkers and Dream Walkers, Spellbound, Haiku of the Dead, Under the Juniper Tree, Inchoate Echoes, and The Brisling Tide.
Penny Stirling edits and embroiders in Western Australia. Their speculative fiction and poetry can be found in Lackington's, Interfictions, Strange Horizons, Heiresses of Russ, Transcendent and other venues. Follow them at www.pennystirling.com or on Twitter @numbathyal.