The True Tale of Hansel and Gretel
The True Tale of Hansel and Gretel
‘Oh, heavens forbid, Hansel, get up here!’ Mrs. Comporthricie yelled down from the balcony. ‘And get that lazy, no good, dead beat, dog crap sister of yours to come with you!’
‘Yep, okay,’ Hansel said. He pulled back his slingshot and hit the rat that had been gnawing at his dinner bones.
‘Yep?’ Mrs. Comporthricie glared down at him. Her oversized nostrils flared like a bull from hell. ‘Yep, what?’
‘Yep...Demon?’ Hansel pulled up his brow and looked at her. ‘Sorry I forget what you are sometimes.’
‘Why, I ought to just...’ Mrs. Comporthricie rolled up her tattered dress sleeves and hopped off the balcony and onto the dirt living room floor. She yanked Hansel by the ear and flipped him over, leaving his rump exposed in the air. She spanked him with the flat of her hand. ‘Won’t you just listen to your mother?’
‘Stepmother,’ corrected Gretel, standing up from behind the trash, or as their father called it, tomorrow’s meal. Her hair shot into the air in all directions as mice scurried in between the locks. She gave their stepmother a black-tooth grin. ‘You know you’re only our stepmother.’
‘And thank the gods of fate for that.’ Mrs. Comporthricie threw Hansel off her lap and stood up. She cleaned her hands with her dress as if touching the little boy were enough to give her the plague. ‘You know, your father wants his beef stew before midnight tonight.’
‘Ugh,’ said Gretel. ‘Are we going to have to ransack another town for him tonight?’
‘Don’t “ugh” you me,’ said Mrs. Comporthricie. ‘I’ve had things on the bottom of my shoe more useful than the lot of you.’ Mrs. Comporthricie turned around. The sight of the two creatures was just too much for her to bear.
‘Just do it already,’ said Hansel. He walked up to her and wacked her on the rear end.
Mrs. Comporthricie turned around so swiftly that Hansel fell over. She lifted her hands and bolts of blue electricity shot from her fingers. Horns and fangs sprouted from Hansel. Fur covered his body and he shot up till he broke through the thatch of the hutch. A foul reeking odour drifted off him.
‘Ugh,’ said Gretel. ‘You smell like the witch who died in a monk’s armpits!’
‘Oh, shut it,’ roared Hansel from far above their heads.
Mrs. Comporthricie turned on Gretel. ‘Your turn.’ The lightning struck Gretel and soon she stood beside her brother. One could not tell the difference between the two giant ogres.
‘Now, get going!’ Mrs. Comporthricie pelted their bellies with stones. ‘I have to fix the roof again!’
‘Fine, fine, fine,’ said Gretel. ‘We’re going.’
They swung their legs forward and with their big, hairy bellies, they broke through the cottage wall. They bounded into the forest, breaking down the first of the trees. With each step they took, their bellies jiggled like jelly. Birds, goblins and trolls parted as they approached.
Hansel felt a squish between his toes as they waded through a lake. He lifted his leg and pulled the nixies from his foot. Their barbs made them such pests. He tossed the squealing creatures to the banks and waved them goodbye as they writhed in pain from the lack of water. Already, their skin was as dry as parchment.
In the distance, they saw the faint glow of a kingdom. Hansel shivered at the thought of all those people. He didn’t like crowds a lot.
Hansel and Gretel turned their ears to the east. The sound of horses, approaching in the distance rumbled towards their ears.
‘Hansel,’ said Gretel. ‘I think, they think we’re going to raid them.’
‘Oh, but sister, I know that’s what they think. Look at their banners.’ Gretel cupped her hands over her eyes and stared through the trees.
‘Ah,’ said Gretel. ‘I see the banners now.’
Stitched on rich silk were the words, Die Ogres! Die!
‘Not very creative, are they?’ said Gretel.
‘No, not at all.’
Hansel wrung his hands around the base of a tree. With a hard tug, he freed its roots from the ground. Hansel hefted it like a club.
Gretel strolled over to a tall pine. She gave it a shove and a humph and the top snapped off. She pulled it over her shoulder and held it like a spear.
The knights spewed from the trees.
Hansel beat them like little ants while next to him, Gretel impaled them on her spear. Soon she had a human kabob. The taste for blood woke in her. She moved the limp, rag-doll bodies to her lips.
Hansel hit her so hard she toppled over and nearly impaled herself. The squirms from the soldiers sounded like dying rats beneath her body.
‘Sorry,’ said Gretel. Hansel gave her a hand and pulled her back to her feet. ‘I forgot myself.’
‘Let’s just kill rest of the brutes and ramshackle their city. We can talk about it later.’
In a matter of moments, there was not a single man left. Except one.
The final man held two fingers to his mouth and furrowed his brow. A low, almost silent, whistle rang through the air.
Hansel bent down and tried to grab the man. He hopped back, on one of his feet and went on whistling. Hansel brought the full force of his fist down. He fell over and with a loud snap, landed on a bed of trees. His eyes closed.
Gretel bent down and felt his heart. Nothing. She glared up. Her blood-shot, red eyes could have killed the man on the spot as he danced and whistled just a few feet in front of the fallen Hansel. Two trees had fallen neatly just next to him.
Gretel lashed out and tried to grab the man. Her fingertips just touched him. The man hopped onto her hand and danced his way up the length of her arm. With a loud whistle, he pulled a dagger from his belt. The man danced his way along Gretel’s shoulders.
She tried grabbing him, but as much as she tried, her fingers just kept missing the man. With a start she realised what the whistling was for.
The man grabbed onto the hair that grew on her ear and climbed on, always whistling. He danced further in.
Gretel pushed her grubby, fat fingers into her ears. She tried grabbing the man. But he was more like a little moth in her ear now. And he was laying his eggs in her.
With each thrust of his dagger, the man whistled a little louder.
Gretel also heard a new sound. The sound of flesh expanding, The man began to grow inside of her ear. Bigger and bigger.
Gretel’ head busted open like an over ripe water melon. She dropped to the ground with a loud wail.
The man stood on top her dead body. He gave the wilderness a little bow.
With one last whistle, the man turned into a little dove and flew away.