Red Riding Hood just got real.
Shipped off to live with her aunt in Radcliffe Wood, Ruby is glad to be far away from her overbearing stepfather.
But something is very wrong in this small town. Her new friends are quick to warn her about the local monster legend and she might have already made an enemy of the resident mean-girl. Add on two hot boys - This will definitely be a year to remember.
I was in trouble. I knew it the second I walked through the door.
It hadn’t even been my fault. Not that anyone cared about that little fact. This senior, Marc, who was always flirting with me and not understanding any of my not-interested signals, grabbed my butt at lunch and then of course Greg, the boy I actually liked and I think liked me, shoved him and told him to back off. Insert some chest-beating and add on exactly three exchanged punches and you have a fight – over me.
Mrs Robson and the principle, Mr Clark, had called it incitement to violence and of course they called my parents; it had been wishful thinking that maybe they hadn’t, or just maybe Mr Clark had believed me. Yeah right.
Our house was a blocky two-story factory special, which means it looked exactly the same as every other house for three blocks. Inside was nicer with living room and kitchen downstairs and bedrooms upstairs. The walls were pained warm colours and there were pictures of me as a baby and me as a teen along with pictures of mum and my stepdad Barry. The only pictures of my dad were in my room.
Barry was sort of okay when I first met him but after he married my mum he started in on all this man-of-the-house crap. There wasn’t a second that he wasn’t on my case about something and mum always took his side. And apparently nothing was about to change today.
They were standing in the foyer when I walked in. Mum had her hands clasped in front of her, some grey showing through her long blonde hair. Barry was slightly taller than mum with short black hair that all came from a central point in his head. He had his arm around mum’s shoulders as though comforting or protecting her.
“Young lady.” He was using his man voice and it took effort not to roll my eyes. “We need to have a talk.”
“How about we go and sit in the lounge room,” mum pitched in. “I’ve made some cool drinks.”
Uh-oh that was bad. Drinks meant a long talk. Drinks meant they’d been preparing this, talk, for a while before I got home. Crap. I dropped my bag in the corner and nodded.
“Yes, sir,” I said. Barry had made it clear that since I refused to call him dad, (as if!) I was to address him as, Sir, to show respect.
The joke was on him. I could call Barry, sir, all day – it didn’t mean I respected him.
We sat down on the sofas situated either side of a small glass coffee table; me on one side and them, together, on the other. For the first few minutes mum busied herself pouring lemonade into tall glasses and insisting we all grab a chocolate biscuit each. She’d brought out the big guns. I was in deep s--t.
After another minute a look from Barry made my mother stop fussing and sit back.
“As I’m sure you’ve guessed,” Barry started, “we’ve had a call from your school. Again.”
“Do you even care about my side of the story, or does that part not fit into your already formed lecture?” I said smartly.
“You watch your mouth,” he snapped. “This is a very serious matter and it calls for some serious adult decisions to be made. I’d watch my tone if I was you.” His voice dropped maliciously low for that last part and there was no missing the thinly veiled threat.