By Tamara Clay
Copyright© 2012 by Tamara
Red went into the Forest alone because she could. She was tired of being isolated from the world. Tired of being told that because she was a woman or rich or pretty that she should shelter herself from everything except her parents’ money and bad reality shows on television. Besides, her granny was sick and she had to help.
Her mother loaded one of their maids up with soup, bottled water, and crackers and told her to take the basket to granny in the rough neighborhood of Forest Glade, called simply “The Forest” by locals. Red’s granny insisted on living there despite the fact that her neighborhood, once a nice little barrio of Miami, had become irredeemable hood. No amount of pleasing or pestering could get the old woman to move. She loved her house and that was that.
Red bribed the basket from the maid with a pair of size seven Jimmy Choos, determined to see her granny and take her the comfort foods her mother was too much of a pussy—scared to death of her rich husband’s wrath—to do.
Nearly every day, Red’s father talked about a shooting or a rape or home invasion that happened in granny’s neighborhood. Then he would look at his wife as if to say “one day something bad like this is going to happen to her mother. It was only a matter of time.” Her father could be a real dick sometimes. Most days, he was full of shit and talked just for the sake of wanting something to say. He also loved to bitch about her asking everyone to call her Red. He's go on and on about how she had a perfectly good name and only low-rent girls went by such "common" nicknames. He loved to nitpick and liked bad things to happen to other people just so he could gloat and say how right he was about whatever sociological or political disaster he recently predicted. Red usually ignored him.