By Patti Perry-Armes © 2015
Online: May, 2015
(Editor's Note: Patti Perry-Armes lives in the country, just outside Knoxville, Tennessee. She enjoys writing short stories, particularly about rural life and living in the Appalachian region. A number of her stories have been published in anthologies, and both print and internet magazines.)
Protruding branches grabbed like outstretched arms, as I made my way down the well-worn wooded path. It seemed they did, at least to a little girl of six. Sometimes I ran from their grasp, but more often, I pretended to be Little Red Riding Hood, on her way to grandmother's house. Because I was usually carrying a basket of fresh baked goodies, the role seemed to fit. Mama often sent me to visit the sisters and take them goodies. They lived just a short distance through the woods, but it seemed such a long way. I was an only child without any neighborhood children to fill my days, so a visit was always a treat. And they always made me feel so grown-up.
The sisters lived alone and neither had married. They had taken care of their mother for most of their lives, until her death. There just hadn't been time for suitors. They seemed so old to me with snow white hair and thin wrinkly skin, browned while working in the garden. In reality, they were probably only in their early sixties.