Pixie Van Dimple introduces…

Little Red Riding Hoodie

AKA

#LilRedHood

Pre teen Lil Red Hood stomps off with ‘Go and see your poor Gran, but DON’T go through that WOOD!’  echoing in her ears. She pushes off on her bike, phone in jeans pocket to see gran VIA the scary wood – why would she DO that? because she does not listen! 

Lil Red Hood (known to her friends as LRH!) being a bit of a BMX bike superfan, bunny hops one handed off the curb and pedals like fury to the end of the road where she dives off into the WOOD – the ‘rather unwise to even think about it’, alternative route! 

Skidding along and slicing through the muddy undergrowth LRH is distracted by the sounds of notifications pinging on her smartphone.. physically unable to ignore what sounds like constant nagging and tugging from an attention-seeking toddler, she stops dead, bike cast aside to inspect the flurry of digital activity. LRH promptly sits down getting preoccupied with Minecroft! (oooh nooo scary emoji!!)

Thoughts of sticking to plan A and just getting to Grans house, which is the other side of the wood, evaporate in a flash of blue flickering light..  Come on LRH – dangers lurk within that WOOD!

While playing on Minecroft Lil Red Hood inadvertently clones Big Bad Wolf inside Minecroft playing the Three Silly Pigs Challenge (what? in love mode??) This in itself is not at all terrifying, but what is significantly alarming is the holographic beam of radiation coming out of the phone in the form of an enormous 3D version of the Big Bad Wolf! Looming large, the Big Bad Wolf casts a dark shadow over an increasingly worried LRH!! What is this? Augmented Reality ? Virtual Reality ? the ‘Metaverse‘ ?? – obviously Technically NOT impossible!! And LRH is obviously not ‘playing’ within the safe gated online environment she should be doing and has been infiltrated by a wrongun!! A hacker??? ! is she an avatar in a weird game gone wrong??

Rather alarmed, LRH steps back in degrees of horror and amazement in equal measure, and after first being freaked out, she is drawn in by Big Bad Wolf who offers her sweets and promises her a shiny new smartphone and a brand new (fresh off Sneaker Bot – just don’t go there!) pair of trainers if she subscribes to his ‘channel’ ‘BBW Inc.’ and shares the link to all her friends (that way he would know all her contacts!)  

LRH, who is rather gullible, but more likely easily impressed, thinks the wolf is TOTALLY cool and a technical genius, and happily shares his social media channel thereby sucking in all her school friends who ALL want new smartphones and flashy trainers, into the wicked scheme! The BB Wolf wants to ‘detain’ LRH and all her friends inside Minecroft , his newly acquired app (having bought the Company) and turn them into wolfy clones destined to be transported to BBW Inc. where they will be held captive for eternity, lost to a life of metaversal misery!

The plan is to configure all the wolfy clones from the BBW Inc. admin centre programming them to ‘recruit’ more children infiltrating their devices, and transforming them into ‘clones’ too. The grown ups are corrupted according to BBW and cannot be cloned so they would be detained but transformed into ‘feeding fodder’ for the clones! ‘ BBW Inc. will take over all media channels across the world and world dominance will be complete – ‘fake news’ will just be ‘news’ ! – so the plan is so far going really well!!

Big Bad Wolf learns that LRH is off to see Gran (who is probably beyond corrupted but would be a delicious, if not substantial, ‘virtual meal’ indeed for the clones). Gran may be hard to capture since she is a bit of a Technophobe, useless at tech and actually only uses her mobile phone for ’emergency calls’ – CALLS??!! and didn’t DO apps !

Good news for BBW is though that Gran has been attending online IT training for geriatrics, along with the ever increasing aged population – ‘old people’ !, via her care & support worker and has been known to download an APP!. To seal the deal BBW suggests that LRH perhaps orders themselves a burger and chips takeout with chocolate cookies from BBW’s Grubtogo app (gran loves a takeaway and would literally fight to the death for a chocolate biscuit).

Big Bad Wolf will ‘pay’ online and it will arrive once LRH gets to Grans! 

With that BBW zaps himself back through the network into LRH’s phone app (or has he? are we sure?). LRH jumps on her bike and pedals off like a torpedo zig zagging through the muddy wood and flies out of the other side whilst performing an impressive wheelie!

LRH lands on terrafirma at the end of Grans cul de sac and she screeches to a dramatic stop on Gran’s front drive with a show stopping  bar spin straight out of extreme BMX bike stunts! Several pairs of bespectacled eyes peek out from behind closed curtains in collective distain. Don’t they even have a life?! 

The bike flung on the deck, LRH leaps over the gate to the back door which is always unlocked! Why??

The takeaway will come soon thought LRH – if the Dumb Delivery Boy can find the right house! Should get a ‘You’re in for a full-on face filling bonanza’ text on the phone any minute! 

LRH trips through the door and shouts ‘Gran ! you here!’ In a muffled, I have a giant burger in my mouth kind of voice (which was probably due to her new dentures or was it?), Gran could be heard to say ‘ In here love!’ LRH follows the sound through the hallway shuffling through cat hairs, old newspapers,  and digestive biscuit crumbs (Gran was visually impaired – that is VERY short-sighted, and couldn’t see them!),  and nearly comes a cropper over a pile of old vinyl records. In fact make that a few piles of records – Gran was an die-hard Led Zeppelin fan and loved a bit of hard rock and psychedelia and would indulge herself frequently trying with some difficulty to recall the good times and bad times whilst ‘dazed and confused’!! 

Gran was also a hoarder and would not throw things away. Back to that later! LRH bounds through the bedroom door flings the door back on its hinges and sees Gran lying in bed looking a bit rough to be honest. OMG Gran! Whatsup? LRH wades through piled up plastic bags filled with junk and tied up with elastic bands, to get nearer to Gran. EEwww! No way! screeches LRH  

Gran your eyes! They look ginormous in those glasses- a bit freaky if you ask me! 

Got to get a good look at you love! growls Gran, – did you say ‘growls’ ? What?

Hmmmm, – and Gran! Not being rude or anything, but your NOSE! Now that’s Humungus – soo embarrassing! 

Staring at LRH with her steely magnified eyes, Gran eyeballs LRH feverishly – then booms ‘GOT TO GET A GOOD SMELL OF YOU LOVE! LRH backs away in disgust and pulls up her hoodie over her head and zips it up so high you can’t see her face! 

Just then LRH’s phone pings the news that the Dumb Delivery Boy is at the door with the burgers which is really good news.. And it certainly excites gran who starts dribbling and foaming at the mouth! LRH can’t see a thing so unzips the hoodie a bit and before she lunges for the door, sees Gran’s white fangs and purple tongue hanging out dripping gunk, panting and giving it some on the growling front (again!) 

LRH stares at Gran’s mouth and then at her phone! She thinks she may have been infiltrated by AI bugs which has made her brain freeze in some kind of AR nightmare!  Or Gran has been invaded by a gruesome filter! She checks her knees to see if they are red!! Then says as if in Bot mode ‘What the….? Gran! Your MOUTH! You have THE BIGGEST MOUTH & TEETH – and POO  BREATH ! GROSS!! 

The phone pings again then again LOUDER!  – Dumb Delivery Boy is banging on the back door.. 

Gran rises out of her bed like a sinister black spiky monster, all teeth and claws, all very disturbing!  ‘GOT TO GET A GOOD TASTE OF YOU LOVE! AND WHERE’S THAT DUMB DELIVERY BOY WITH THE BURGERS?! (Gran was getting REALLY greedy!)… 

LRH flips out at the sight of Gran coming at her like a rabid dog! How does LHR know what a rabid dog looks like? Anyway, she decides that hiding in her hoodie is not going to save her, and the ‘woodcutter’  who usually rocks up in these situations – (LRH has never heard of a woodcutter, and even if she had, what would one be doing in Gran’s cul de sac??) just would not cut it! LRH ducks Gran’s clawed hand as she tries to grab her..and falls backwards into a pile of plastic bags filled with Gran’s old junk ..does Gran not DO recycling?? LRH by this time is well aware that this is NOT Gran at all but the BBW!! What the …..?? LRH scrambles to get up and grabs at a half open bag to find something to launch at the BBW – which turns out to be  a fishing trophy belonging to poor old Grandad, long gone ! LRH wacks BBW around the chops and sends him flying into the wardrobe across the room. The wardrobe door flies open and dozens of tins of dog food fall out on top of BBW which is rather a shock since Gran does not have a dog! BBW clearly in a frenzy by what has happened and because he does not have a can opener, howls like a mad dog baring jagged teeth seething and seeing red! then leaps up to wreak revenge on LRH and the Dumb Delivery Boy with the burgers too! Heeelllllppp! 

LRH makes it to the bedroom door but her phone drops out of her jeans pocket.. through the hallway she sees the Dumb Delivery Boy literally fall in the back door and knock over an ironing board which lands on the turntable on the sideboard – the needle jolts and lands on the vinyl on the deck. Black Dog booms out of the speakers in a heavy metal assault on the eardrums! Even BBW is stunned!  The Dumb Delivery Boy is now entangled in old cables and phone chargers going back to 1998 and looks a bit fed up! 

BTW where IS Gran ?? LRH has forgotten all about Gran and is thinking about how to get her phone back! At that moment she notices BBW has dropped his phone in one of Gran’s biker boots which was in the cat basket (she didn’t have a cat either!). LRH grabs the phone and there are millions of notifications pinging away on the screen!  Touching one it opens up Minecroft and just before BBW and his big bad breath bears down on her from out of nowhere, she hears a familiar voice coming out of the device! It is Gran’s voice and she can see Gran running around in circles waving madly with both arms in the air,  inside a pig pen with the three little pigs!   She is trapped inside MINECROFT! BBW swipes the phone out of her hand she sinks to the floor rather unimpressed, zipping up her hoodie as she goes!

Well this is all a bit of a mess you might say! What we need is someone to help out before LRH is zapped into Minecroft too and probably Dumb Delivery Boy with the burgers, who may prove useful later! BBW is a control freak with a large ego and an opportunist, and loves manipulating and converting all his victims, all part of the game! He has promised himself a reward of a feast of piggy minecroft pies and juicy steaks for himself and his army of wolfy foot soldiers, more like comrades, after boasting to them that he could get 1000+ followers in one afternoon trapping them in Minecroft using his media channel to hook them in. 

There is only one person who can help! Yes! Pixie Van Dimple! And as it happens she is in the area notified by a security alert on her phone! Pixie flies in like a US Navy SEAL through the open back door, all red hair and cape flapping! BBW is distracted by the sight of so much RED and bites his own tongue and yelps! Pixie zaps him with her Actual Reality Reversal Portal app! 

AND he is irreversibly transported back into Minecroft! Now to get gran out and disable the BBW Inc. account! Pixie logs into MInecroft programming and types in some codes. Gran is freed via the Virtual Reality Reversal portal and appears in front of their eyes a little dizzy and needs a sit down and a cup of tea! Pixie meanwhile disables the BBW Inc. and Minecroft accounts having been given special admin rights! Go Pixie Van Dimple! 

Dumb Delivery Boy ate the burgers while all this was going on and leaves without a word, burping as he disappears out the door buzzing off on his escooter.. (is he wearing a helmet? – ok! ok!)

LRH a bit bewildered, but otherwise perfectly fine, slopes off to ‘put the kettle on’ via the bedroom to retrieve her phone and Pixie takes the opportunity to have a chat! 

LRH agrees to always listen to her parents, never speak to strangers, on or offline, and always remain vigilant and aware, look after herself and her friends, STAY SAFE! And on your way home Lil Red Hood, DO NOT go through the WOOD! 

Published by lynnmcallisterauthor

Lynn lives in Twickenham with her family. She has worked in education for some years and was compelled to write about the current issues affecting the pre-teens of today, sensing a need to highlight the dangers of living in s technological bubble! Lynn originates from Lancashire and grew up in Lincolnshire, moving to London in the 1990's migrating from South East London to South West London over the years. Her girls provide the inspiration for the protagonist and heroine in the drama, Pixie Van Dimple! ...more

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