Ibola told us this story, an old local folk tale about the MONSTER. She's got a lot of stories about It, all of them told to her through whispers. None of the local legends about the MONSTER were meant to be told, but older teens told their younger siblings and stories make a point of staying, so it was passed on. Ibola’s older sister told it to her when she was nine, which I suppose explains some of the stranger quirks in her personality.
The woman’s name was Red, and she was the most beautiful woman in the world. Ibola told me that all of the protagonists in stories about the monster have names related to colour, though she's not sure why. Anyway, Red lived in a village in the desert, and her lover (of course the strongest man in the world) lived in a village in the forest. Unfortunately for the budding romance, the two villages were at war with each other. The forest village worshipped the trees, and her village worshipped fire. Red and her lover knew that the villages were never going to stop warring, so they plotted to run away. Red sent her lover a message to meet her one night in the woods.
That night, Red packed up her meager belongings, and silently said goodbye to her family as she left the house. There was no moon, but the night world chattered around her so she did not feel afraid. She walked to the meeting place in the forest, and came to the clearing where she was to unite with her lover. He was standing in the middle of the clearing and wasn’t facing her. Red called out to him, but as he turned to her she realized something was wrong. It was like his skin was an ill-fitting garment that folded in the wrong places. Then his body was stretched as the demon inside stood to its full height, and his face was ripped in two to reveal the bone-white façade beneath.
The MONSTER grabbed Red with its colossal hands and carefully ripped her apart, ignoring her screams. The creature tore her organs out of her body and planted still slithering segments of her stomach and parts of her beating heart in the ground. Wherever her still living organs were planted red flowers grew. Ibola was taught that every one of the red flowers picked, Red would die a little bit more. Most kids refused to pick the flowers after hearing the story, but Ibola went out of her way to kill the flowers, wanting to put the woman out of her misery.
The plan goes into action tomorrow. Something is changing. Maybe we can beat this.