Once upon a time, there was a man that no one loved more than his grandmother. She loved the way he would sometimes remember to call her when she was lonely. This man, when he hit puberty, grew a beautiful red beard and everyone where he went people said, “Look at that, there goes Little Red Riding Beard!” Most people said this out of mockery but Little Red Riding Beard thought they were complimenting his beard and smiled and waved whenever someone said it.
One day his mother said to him, “Come, Reginald —“
“That’s not my name mom.” He scoffed.
“Fine, Little Red Riding Beard, your grandmother has fallen and broken her hip at the retirement home. She’s close to death and the only person she wants to see is you. You have to go visit her.”
“Oh em gee, mom, do I have too? That place is so depressing.” He stomped his feet in protest. He hated visiting his grandmother at the retirement home. It smelled like talcum powder and depression.
“I’ll give you twenty dollars, okay?”
“Fine, okay, I’ll go.” Little Red Riding Beard went to the closet and pulled out a matching red cape he had ordered on the internet a week before. He tied it around his neck and flapped it for effect.
“Are you really wearing that?” his mother sighed. She did not understand her son at all.
“Capes are really in this year mom, you just don’t get it.”
“I don’t want to get it, Reginald. Just remember, go through the park to get to Grandma’s and stay on the path. There are lots of crazy people hanging out in the woods around the park.”
“Whatever.” He flapped his cape with another flourish and left the house to go visit his grandmother. It was a long way to his grandmother’s retirement home and he knew that if he veered from the path he could probably get there faster.
As soon as Little Red Riding Beard stepped off the path he came across a Furry dressed as a wolf. He had clip on wolf ears, long nails, and a tail sewn onto his pants.
“Good day, Little Red Riding Beard.” The wolf said with a howl.
“Get out of my way. My mom is paying me twenty dollars to visit my drag of a grandmother.” Little Red Riding Beard had no time for this and tried to step around the wolf.
“Where does your grandmother live?” the wolf asked.
“At some boring retirement house.”
“I really like your cape.” The wolf complimented.
“Thanks, I bought it from the internet.”
“Can I have it?” the wolf asked.
“Get out of my way, I’m not giving you my cape.” Little Red Riding Beard stepped around the wolf.
“I’ll buy it off of you!” said the wolf, “twenty dollars.”
“Screw you, I bought this for a hundred dollars.” And Little Red Riding Beard skipped around the wolf and continued on his way. The wolf watched him go before disappearing into the woods. He wanted that cape and he was not going to give up until it was his.
The wolf knew the park very well and made it to the retirement home before Little Red Riding Beard. He asked around and because the nursing staff really did not care about their jobs anymore, they easily told him where Little Red Riding Beards grandmother was. The wolf went into her room and saw a frail old lady on the bed moaning in pain.
“Are you my grandson?” the grandmother asked the wolf.
“No, I’m not. I just want your grandsons cape.” And the wolf crossed the room and pushed the grandmother off the bed. He took her nightgown, leaving her naked on the floor, and put it on. Without much care, he shoved the grandmother under the bed and stuffed a sock in her mouth. He then crawled into bed and dimmed the lights.
Little Red Riding Beard took longer than needed to get to the retirement home. He got distracted by a hot dog cart and ate two hot dogs before making it to the retirement home. When he arrived in his grandmother’s room it was dark and hard to see.
“Grandmother, are you in here?” he asked.
“Of course Little Red Riding Beard.” Said the wolf in his best grandmother voice, “ leave the lights off dearie, they hurt my eyes.”
“Come here, dearie,” said the wolf, “I want to look at you.”
Little Red Riding Beard did not want to get closer to his grandmother but he knew his mother was paying him twenty dollars to do so. He shuffled closer into the room. His grandmother did not look right, he thought, maybe it was old age.
“Grandmother,” he said, “what big ears you have.” He gestured to his grandmother’s head. The wolf chuckled nervously.
“Just a new style of hearing aid, my dear. The better to hear your angelic voice with.”
“But, what happened to your glasses?” Little Red Riding Beard asked.
“Laser eye surgery dear, the better to see you with.” The wolf was getting nervous. Little Red Riding Beard was asking too many questions.
“But, grandmother, you have way more teeth than the last time I saw you.” Little Red Riding Beard was beginning to doubt this was his grandmother and wondered if he had entered the wrong room.
“Dentures, child, the better to smile at you with.”
“And your hands are really hairy.” Little Red Riding Beard pointed out.
“All the better to snatch that cape from around your neck, you idiot!” the wolf jumped out of bed and began to pull at the cape around Little Red Riding Beards neck.
“Get off me, you weirdo! This is my cape. Buy your own.” The two of them began to struggle and make lots of noise. Eventually their fight got so loud it drew the attention of an orderly who was still interested enough in his job to find out what is going on. The orderly, wearing a plaid scrub and a lumberjack beard, came into the room just as the wolf and Little Red Riding Beard tumbled over the bed and knocked it aside. As they crashed to the floor, the orderly saw the naked grandmother on the floor with a sock in her mouth.
“What the hell is going on in here?” The orderly bellowed and he saw that the wolf was wearing a nightie and he stormed into the room and pulled him off of Little Red Riding Beard.
“Call the police!” he yelled at the crowded that had gathered at his yell. When the police arrived, they arrested the wolf and marched him down to the station. Little Red Riding Beard was reunited with his grandmother and all was well.
“Thank-you Little Red Riding Beard, you saved my life,” his grandmother said once she was back in bed, “you are a good grandson.” Little Red Riding Beard did not have the heart to tell his grandmother that he was never going to visit her again because today was really weird and not worth the twenty dollars his mother had promised him.
“Okay grandma, see you next year.” And Little Red Riding Beard skipped back home and promptly forgot about his grandmother until Christmas when she sent him five dollars in a card.