Electronic Literature never fails to fascinate me; the lengths of its reach is unmeasurable. Every week, with each reading, I learn a new way of utilizing electronic literature. This week is by far my favorite, though I think I say that every week. However, this week was different. I was taken back to my childhood, to one of the most popular stories of all time, the one my mom read to me infinite times, the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but this time with a twist!
Donna Leishman brings a modern twist to our beloved traditional tale, and I’m here for it! Upon entering, let me quickly say the background is once again black (it’s just not my blog if I don’t mention the background color). Then a red box appears, with a couple of options on the left side from a launch button, portfolio, enquiring minds, thesis, and lastly, a research tab. Each of these little sections contains information from Leishman herself. After skimming through each section, I finally began my journey by clicking on the evident object we were meant to click on, the book.
A woman appears, and I couldn’t tell who that was supposed to be, perhaps our narrator. Then a sentence surfaces, stating “once upon, not so far away,” and immediately, we are taken to a view of multiple buildings. One of the buildings has a glowing orange square calling our names, and as we click on the glistening object, we enter Red’s home, where her mother, whose face we couldn’t see, was handing her a basket. From here, I was at a dead end. I desperately clicked on every object in the room, hoping something would happen, and then finally, the painting of the trees in the background took me on a stroll with Red. We see her running through a forest, then the wolf is following her, and finally, she’s found plucking flowers that were in the shape of the letter X, perhaps foreshadowing the danger that is up ahead. As she picks flowers, she suddenly falls asleep, and for once, the reader has a choice, to either let her dream or wake her up.
I went through the story multiple times, and each time the dream sequence was different and quite unusual. She’s at a meat market in the first dream, where she changed into a rebellious black outfit, and then the alarm goes off. There is a strange boy in the second dream, images of old-school radios falling like rain in the backdrop, and then an angel appears; Red seems to be crying, but the angel does nothing to help, and then the alarm goes off once again. I correlated these images to a rebellious and strong girl but also a little helpless under the circumstances.
I went back one more time, and this time, while Red is running through the fields before falling asleep, I came across her diary. The diary was telling; she had an image of the wolf boy with hearts all over it. The following pages confessed her love for the wolf boy. So then she wasn’t helpless then? She knew the boy was a wolf; this screams unconventional love!
I finally chose to wake Red up, and the story continues to progress. We follow the wolf boy into Red’s grandmother’s house. When Red arrives, she finds that the wolf boy has already eaten her grandmother. Then the screen turns black, and we find Red lying on her grandmother’s bed and is pregnant with a wolf child. MIND-BOGGLING. She took the sinister route and got into bed with the big bad wolf! This story reminded me of Stephanie Meyer’s novel Twilight, where Bella falls in love with a vampire and, knowing the circumstance, still pursues her darkest desires.