Big Bad Wolf

Drawing of a girl in a red hooded cloak, from behind, in a purple forest at night, with a full moon. Caption reads: "Watch out for the big bad wolf."

Big Bad Wolf short story by Iris Carden

Five storeys below Brisbane’s Roma Street Police Station, is the headquarters for the Human Defence Unit. Its members are drawn from among the highest performing members of military, intelligence, and police forces throughout Australia, along with select highly specialised members of the civilian population. The Human Defence Unit and its elite staff are neither police, military nor intelligence. They do not exist.

HDU Senior Agent Jo Burns was asleep. In her dream, she was following a little girl in a red hooded cloak through a strange purple forest.

“Slow down!” she called to the girl.

The girl replied, in her deceased daughter Katie’s voice, “Hurry Mummy! Watch out for the big bad wolf.”

Jo looked up to see the full moon, and heard the long howl.

She woke up with a start, to see a long-nosed hairy face, with eyes reflecting purple in the low light, close in to her own face.

“What big eyes you have, Grandma,” Jo said, as she raised both feet and used them to push the wolf away. She scrambled out of the tangled sheets and blanket and ran from the room.

The wolf picked itself up and followed.

“Run Mummy!” she heard her daughter’s voice from her dream. “The big bad wolf is coming.”

She could hear the wolf gaining as she ran into her home study, and locked the door behind her. It was a heavy, solid door, but it wouldn’t hold the wolf for long. Just long enough, Jo hoped.

She opened a cupboard door, to reveal her gun safe, and entered the code.

The door to the room splintered and the gun safe opened.

Adrenaline pumping, Jo grabbed her work gun, and a sliver bullet from the box.

As she loaded, the wolf entered the room. It was almost on top of her, when she heard Katie’s voice yelling, “No! Go away big bad wolf!”

The wolf flew backwards hitting the wall high up, and sliding down.

Jo loaded the gun.

As the wolf got up again, she fired.

The wolf collapsed, bleeding, panted rapidly for a few moments, whimpered and died.

“Katie?” Jo called hesitantly to the room.

There was no answer.

“Katie? Are you here?”

The dark empty room did not answer.

“Katie!” Jo yelled to the darkness.

Still, the darkness failed to answer.

Katie was dead. She was a small child. What unfinished business could she have, strong enough to keep her in the living world?


Human Defence Unit Stories


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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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