Gingerbread house

chapter 3

There then followed a glorious -if short- chapter in Hansel's imprisonment. Every day he passed the bone through the grate, always fearfully, but time after time it worked: he managed to deceive her. She grew angrier every day, meanwhile he ate and ate and ate to his heart's content. Gretel worried for him, implored him not to -she was convinced the deception would fail any day- but he had started to grow arrogant. He felt his own cleverness, he started to revel in the witch's anger; every time she shrieked at him, he smirked in her face. At night, he went to sleep thinking of the delicious food he was to be served tomorrow, feeling comfortable and contented, and fatter every day.

This time did not last long. The witch, infuriated, started to bring him more and ever more food. One night he could not finish it all, so he simply hid it in the corner of the room, intending to eat it later. The next morning, however, when the hideous face appeared at the grate, she barked:

"Boy! You have not eaten your supper from yesterday! You will eat that as well as your breakfast, or you will have cause to regret it! Now, let's see how fat you are getting!"

Shaking, he stepped up and passed her the bone. How was it that she could not see him, that she could be tricked by the bone, but she could tell that he hadn't eaten it all? Perhaps the food really was bewitched?

"Not fat enough! NOT FAT ENOUGH! Still too thin! Eat those scraps as well as your breakfast, boy!" She screeched, and vanished.

The next night, he still could not finish it all. He passed Gretel all that he had left, but Gretel could not eat all of it. He begged her to hide it somewhere in the cottage.

In the morning, the witch knew. She flew into a fearsome rage - he heard her shrieking and banging about, the sound of something heavy being smashed against a wall, then her footsteps clacking along the passage towards his prison. He shrank into a corner, trying to brace himself - she thrust her face up at the grate:

"NO MORE TRICKS! No more tricks or it will be the end of both of you, miserable brat!" She vanished again.

The awful realisation dawned on him that she would always be able to tell if he didn't eat everything he was given. He would have to eat it all himself.

She brought him more and more food every day; soon he found that he could not keep up, and yet he had to. He was always full now, and always afraid; there was no rest. This was not his freedom, but his hell. His body ached all the time, his mind became dulled. He no longer found anything delicious, it was all an endurance. He became so fat that the tattered clothes he had been wearing all this time would no longer fit him. Gretel managed to sneak a woollen blanket to him at night so he at least had something to cover himself with, and would not catch cold. Wrapped in his blanket, he stayed up all night, eating, eating, and dreading the morning.

One day, the inevitable happened: he was woken by the heavy door banging open, and the witch growling:

"I have had enough boy, today is the day!"

Before he understood what was happening, she flew blindly into the room, grasping at the air around him until she grabbed hold of him.

"What's this!" She shrieked, "You are a plump little boy after all! You will do nicely for my supper!" She cackled, hauling him up by his wrist, dragging him out of the room. He scrambled along the passage, struggling to keep up with her, until she flung him into the kitchen.

The kitchen was hot, with a dry, parched heat. He had been used to the cold of his miserable cell and instinctively tried to turn his face away, but the whole room felt like a furnace.

"Open up the oven girl, I mean to devour this boy this very day!"

Gretel was standing in the middle of the room, utterly stricken. She looked at Hansel in a panic.

"I - don't know how to. I've - I can't remember how open the door, I-"

"Stupid girl, you have been cooking every day these past months! Here, I will show you!"

The witch marched impatiently towards the oven and began to heave open the door. He glanced at Gretel, terrified. She glanced back, something stern in her expression, a split-second decision being made. As the witch pulled the door all the way open, Gretel suddenly lunged across the room and leapt up at the witch, shoving her with all her might into the hot oven. Hansel rushed over, and they slammed the door shut.

The awful wails, the shrieks -especially the sizzling, bursting noises- Hansel could still hear those sounds, even now. He had been tormented by them in his dreams for years afterwards.

Gretel didn't want to stay in the cottage a minute longer, and so next they were struggling with the front door, wrenching it open, falling out into the sunlight, the trees, the sound of birds...

Gretel darted off, straight ahead, calling to him to follow. He started to run - but he had not run in this new body before. He lumbered forward as fast as he could, the shock of the weight smacking him with every step.

When they had come to the cottage, running together through the trees, drawn on by their appetites, he had easily outrun her. Now his appetite had been more than sated, and he felt it keenly. He watched her sprint ahead, hair whipping behind her, skinny legs pounding the dirt. Suddenly she was out of sight.

"Gretel!" He shouted, panicking, "Wait for me! I can't keep up!" He was slowing down, his breath ragged; he collapsed onto the ground, wrapped in the blanket.

Gretel reappeared at the top of a hill, and then started to run back down towards him. As she approached him her steps slowed, and she gazed down at him as if seeing him for the first time. Her eyes were suddenly full of pity.

"Hansel - oh, Hansel!", she exclaimed, "I'm so sorry, I didn't think..." he had never felt more helpless, even all the time he was a prisoner...
6 chapters, created StoryListingCard.php 5 years , updated 4 years
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Comments

Built4com4t 4 years
Nice twist on a classic fantasy...I hope you find time for more
Hereiam 4 years
Absolutely incredible story. Would love to read how she coyly returns him to the blimp of his youth. Yummy stuff.
Stanton 5 years
It hits my nerves and make me longing for more. Thanks for writing it. I hope his journey into her fangs and her cage will go on.
GrowingLoveH... 5 years
This story is captivating.

I want to read more, and I savor every bit. I never want it to end.

Chapter 5 ends with such beauty and draws me in. I love it!
HanSelo 5 years
You write wonderfully. I can't wait for more!
Hansel4witch 5 years
Amazing smiley
Lry 5 years
You great writing skills, it's really fun to read
TheFeedress 5 years
Thank you!
GrowingLoveH... 5 years
What a wonderful take on this feederism-inspiring tale! You are brilliant.