Red stopped being able to speak as she huddled over and started sobbing. Red’s therapist sat across the room from her in a dark corner, sitting in a comfy chair with a clipboard and a sheet of paper. The bright sunlight was on Red, making her hair radiate like fire.
“Is it true that the entire village was being harassed, harried and attacked by the wolf?” asked the therapist.
“Yes, yeah, it’s true. But everyone acts like they are the only ones who get to be sad about what the wolf did to them. They are the victims and I am the hero...and do you know what the worst part of all of it is?”
“No, I don’t. What is the worst part of it for you, Red?”
Red sobbed a loud, singular sob. “I didn’t even kill the wolf! It was the hunter. It was the hunter who came and saved me from the wolf and hacked it into pieces with his axe. Parts of Grandma were still in his stomach!” She sobbed even more.
The therapist scribbled a few notes on the clipboard.
“And you know what else?” Red asked.
“What is that?” said the therapist in response. Red seemed to need him to respond periodically before moving on with her story. He noted it on the piece of paper on his clipboard.
“No one wants to marry a hero! All the men want to be a hero. I try to tell them that it was really the hunter who did it, but they don’t believe me. They say I’m just trying to be feminine. The women in the village get mad when I say it was the hunter because they all want their girls to grow up to be heroes. Oh, sure, I can get free ale and bread from the townsfolk anytime I want - but I’d rather have a husband.”
“Red,” said the therapist, “our time is running out today. But it sounds like we have a lot of work to do. We are going to be able to get you happy again, we’ll just need to meet a few times a week. Is that something you can do?”
Red wiped her sleeve over her tear-stained cheeks. “Yeah, I can do that,” she said.
“Great, now...let’s discuss payment,” said the therapist.
“Oh, I hadn’t thought of that,” said Red. “I haven’t had to pay for anything in a very long time.”
“Yes, yes, I know,” said the therapist. “But you have a lot to pay for.”
The therapist stood up out of his chair and walked into the light in the center of the room. Red could now see the long snout and beady eyes of a wolf. The wolf removed it’s hat, letting his ears loose. "You killed my father," it said.
Red screamed. Where was a hunter when you needed one?