Rose and the Old Woman

(You can read the previous episode here)

 Tree of Life - detail

Tree of Life - detail

The Old Woman took Rose deep into the forest where there stood an enormous tree. Under the tree, beneath the roots, was a door to a long, deep tunnel. In they went and down, down, down, until they came to a small clearing on the earthen floor. It was cold and barren with only the dimmest of light coming in from above. There was a small table with two chairs and two beds on either side of the room. In one corner was a large pot on a stove with bones and remnants of yesterday’s meal scattered about the floor.

The Old Woman ordered Rose to make dinner, then hobbled over to the smallest bed and went to sleep.

Every day while the Old Woman slept, Rose cooked and cleaned and plotted her escape. And at night when Rose lay sleeping, the Old Woman disappeared, returning each morning before dawn.

“Try to escape and I’ll catch you and eat you!” the Old Woman cackled, and so Rose did as she was told.

One day, when the Old Woman was fast asleep, Rose heard a small voice calling her name...