Day One: Rewrite a Classic Fairy Tale.
Her wrinkled hands shook as she placed the bread into Hansel’s small hands. Hansel watched in fascination as the drying loaf glowed a deep red once she started to whisper to herself.
“Be brave my little ones.” She pressed her cold wet lips on Hansel’s forehead before doing the same to Gretel. Then pushed them in the opposite direction.
“Wait!” Gretel whipped back around but their stepmother was gone. Gretel’s little blonde eyebrows scrunched and her nose started to turn red.
“Don’t cry.” Hansel gave her a comforting pat. He bent down and picked up the knapsack and headed in any direction. It wasn’t like they had much of a choice. While he walked he made sure to tear off small pieces of bread to leave behind him.
“They still glow.” Gretel amazement had Hansel turning just as he dropped another piece to watch it glow before going back to its normal color.
“Come.” He commanded forcing his eyes forward.
Thousands of trees stood in front, sides, and behind them. But he made sure he kept straight. The whole point, his stepmother had said, was to get lost. And by the look of a breadcrumb in front of him and behind him, he was having no trouble getting lost. Frustrated he turned right crushing over rocks, twigs, and bugs. It felt like an hour had passed when Hansel was startled into stopping.
The atmosphere of the forest changed drastically; going from insect buzzing and bird chirping to complete silence. A heaviness weighed down on his lithe body, slowly Hansel ran his blue eyes up to the canopy of trees and sky then gazing at each of his and Gretel’s sides. Gretel saddled up close to him and her tiny fingers gripped his arm. His body tensed ready to run or fight.
A twig snapped just behind him and he could feel someone breathing down his neck. Suddenly, he wasn’t as brave as he’d been before especially with Gretel’s sharp screams running up down his body. He gripped her hand and took off, pulling her along. He whipped leaves and low hanging branches out of the way as he ran forward. As he ran he felt Gretel’s hand tearing off the big chunks of bread and throwing them down.
Suddenly there was a laugh behind him so loud and high pitched it made his ears pop. The air around him seem to ripple and he stumbled as the ground gave a tiny quake.
With the help of Gretel, his stumble turned into a front faced fall to the ground. The dirt burned down his skin, the sticks poked his ribs and legs, and a bug buzzed right by his ear. When he breathed dust flew to his mouth. Get up Hansel. Mark the path. But when he jolted upright and felt for the bread he found his knapsack empty. He pulled Gretel to her feet, watching her eyes grow back to its original size.
“Give me the bread.”
“I- I don’t have it.” She looked around and patted her now dirty plaid dress.
“What are we going to do now?” Gretel whined. She shook her head trying to get the dirty out of her curly blonde head.
Hansel turned his attention somewhere else, lest he cried and whined along with her. They were still in what looked like the same forest. Great.
“Is someone out there?” A voice shouted through the trees.
“We’re here.” Gretel shouted back and Hansel quickly cupped his hands over her mouth.
“Hello! Where are you, are you hurt?”
Gretel wrenched his hand away. “I’m doing what we’re supposed to do Hansel.”
Hansel wasn’t sure if he wanted to follow their stepmother’s orders anymore. But Gretel didn’t mind.
“We’re here! Please we need help!”
Hansel watched as a young woman appeared from behind one of the trees. The smell of her made him take a step back. They found the witch alright. The gleam in her green eyes said that she had something really bad in store for them.
The green eyed witch locked Hansel up in cage that hung several feet in the air, on a hook that hung from the ceiling. Gretel caught his expression as she placed the plates along the table. He’d been here for what felt like hours. His body ached from crouching and fighting a wave of fatigue had Hansel’s eyes and head pounding.
He kept his eyes on Gretel and the little scrap of bread he had found in his pocket. Any second now. He repeated over and over.
“I hope you are getting plump.” The young witch poked a stick through the cage at Hansel’s now protruding stomach. She had force fed him everything he could think of until just the thought of the word food made him nauseous.
Gretel watched them from across the room. She looked down to place the plate down and glaced back up and did a double take in Hansel’s direction. Her eyes widened making Hansel eyes follow in her direction. The crumb of bread was starting to glow again. Brighter this time and the vision of it made Hansel mouth curl into a smile.
“Why are you smiling? Soon you’ll be my dinner, does death excite the little one.” She poked him again with the stick.
“You’re not going to eat me.” Hansel spoke with convection. “In fact, you’re going to die.”
Gretel laughed and bounced around the plates forgotten.
The green eyes of the witch narrowed in suspicion then she laughed. “Oh, yeah, little one, with the help of who?”
“With the help of me.” Walking with a limp their step mother entered the gingerbread cabin. Her face hooded by a black shawl that hung down to the floor the door slammed behind her by itself. The young witch jumped and backed away from their stepmother.
“Witch.” The young woman snapped the word like a curse. “How did you find and enter my home?”
“Doesn’t matter,” His stepmother hands moved faster than that of the younger woman when they both reached for their staffs. His step mother was the first to release a torrent of power that slammed the young witch into the table shatter the dishes that lay on top. The wave of power had Hansel cage rolling from side to side. Hansel clutched the side and steadied the cage to watch another toss of power that had the young witch screaming in pain before her eyes rolled to the back of her head.
Keeping the staff raised, his step mother moaned in pleasure her head tilted back as the life was drained from dead witch. Hansel watched, not for the first time, as his step mother’s hair turned from gray to a deep dark black and her skin shinned a healthy tan glow. She stood straighter as her body popped back to its youthful state.
“Good job my babies.” She squeezed Gretel into a tight hug and winked at Hansel still prisoner in the cage. “On to the next one.” Her crooked smile gave Hansel the shivers as he stared at her glowing red eyes.
Hope you enjoyed. Come on, join the fun.
This week’s prompts include: