Three Brothers: An Unfortunate Tale

Three Brothers: An Unfortunate Tale

Flash Fiction

Words: 1000 / Theme: Fairy Tale

 

Long, long ago, there were three brothers who had been sent out by their mother to make their fortunes. They promised they would make something of themselves. And they did.

So, the brothers came to the village of Little Riding, a simple but friendly place. A local legend told of a werewolf who prowled the village every full moon, looking for fresh meat. But the brothers were realistic men and simply laughed at the tale. After sharing a final drink together, they each went their separate ways.

The first brother, Benjie, who was cowardly but hard-working, wrote his mother and told her he was going to start a farm.

And he did.

One night, as Benjie was baling hay on his farm, he heard the howling of a wolf. Now, he didn’t believe the legend of the werewolf one bit, but he was scared all the same. He quickly set about gathering his bales of hay and stacking them in front of the nearby barn so that he could hide, wolf or no wolf. As he cowered behind the makeshift barricade, he heard a wicked voice that chilled him to the bone.

‘What have we here? Could it be… no… yes, it is! Fresh meat! Oh, an aroma so sweet! Time, I think, for a treat.’

Benjie shrank back into the furthest corner of the barn and covered his eyes.

‘Little pig,’ the voice pleaded. ‘Let me come in. My stomach is empty and my head’s in a spin. I just want a bite of the sweetest provision. It won’t hurt a bit, just a tiny incision.’

‘No!’ cried Benjie. ‘Just leave me alone. I’ll upset your stomach, I’m all skin and bone.’

‘Delicious!’ the voice growled. ‘My favourite’s skin. I’ll claw and I’ll gnaw and I’ll cave your head in!’

And so, with a single bounding leap, the hay barricade was demolished and there in the threshold stood a werewolf. It licked its lips and attacked.

Benjie was dog food.

Now we come to the second brother, Isaiah, who was terribly stubborn. He wrote his mother and told her he was going to live by himself in the forest.

And he did.

One month later, as a full moon glowed brightly in the sky, Isaiah was high in his treetop shelter. Like his brothers, he didn’t believe the legend of the werewolf either and he snoozed into the night. But as the night drew on, he was stirred by a howling somewhere among the trees. Far below, from the darkness, something was watching him.

‘Greetings,’ spoke the stranger. ‘Pray tell, how are you? I wager your tree house affords a fine view. But this poses a problem, for I fancy a snack. And you’re way up high and safe in your shack.’

‘And that’s the way it’s going to stay!’ called Isaiah. ‘Now, go away!’

The stranger sang: ‘Little pig, little pig, let me come up. I’m dreadfully hungry and your blood I must sup. I’m not a bad person, just caught in a rut. I regret it most strongly, still, your throat I must cut.’

‘Away!’ cried Isaiah. ‘I’m losing my sleep. And my precious head I’d much rather keep.’

‘Too late!’ the beast spat, and he said with a frown: ‘I’ll smash and I’ll bash and I’ll bring this tree down!’

And so, as if caught in a storm, the tree shuddered violently and Isaiah tumbled out. There, standing over him, was a werewolf.

Isaiah was yesterday’s news.

Finally, let us meet the third and last brother, Isaac, who was intelligent and sensible. He wrote his mother and told her he was going to live in a brick house in the village.

And he did.

Another month on, a full moon could be seen far above the village. Isaac didn’t believe the legend of the werewolf, but he was always prepared. His house was made of brick, his windows were barred, his door was bolted and he had a shotgun loaded and ready.

Sure enough, there came a knock at the door.

‘Good sir,’ a voice called. ‘I’m lost and alone. For my sins I’d like to atone. I did eat your brothers, this much is true. But this raging hunger I cannot subdue.’

‘Begone!’ called Isaac.

But the werewolf would not leave. ‘Little pig, little pig, let me come through. I really am sorry, my heart it is blue. I’m sure you’re a kind man, far more than your brother. I wouldn’t dare eat you, not you or another.’

‘You call me a pig and expect my affection? Excuse me if I raise a tiny objection.’

‘That’s it!’ the wolf roared and he said without doubt: ‘I’ll huff and I’ll puff and—’

‘I’ll blow your brains out!’ Isaac snatched up his gun.

The wolf snarled. He scratched feverishly at the door, tried to break through the windows and charged at the walls. After an hour of this, he stopped. Then, a rattling sound came from the chimney. But Isaac was prepared. A raging fire was alive in the hearth, a boiling vat of water dangling over it. As the wolf tumbled down the chimney, he fell straight into the vat. Isaac quickly slammed on the lid and breathed a sigh of relief.

The next morning, still full from his dinner of wolf stew, Isaac unbolted his door and set out to fetch water from the village well. He thought it peculiar that nobody else was up and about, but carried on regardless. He took up a bucket and approached the well. Then, as he leaned over the edge, he heard a voice that chilled his blood.

‘So you thought you could win,’ the wolf said with a grin. ‘Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin. You stewed a stray dog and I’m doing fine. Now you’re out of luck and bang out of time.’

Isaac had fallen for the old switcheroo and now he was going to die.

And he did.

The End.

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