Gingerbread house

Chapter 1 - part 1: chapter 1

Hansel did not pause to linger on the terrors of his childhood until they were long behind him, when he was a man of nearly 32. Gretel had married a man from the village and had started a family of her own, and their poor father had long since died; Hansel had not yet found himself a wife, so he was quite alone. His days were long; he worked hard, determined never to return to the poverty of his youth. He had become a successful carpenter, well respected for his craft.

Of late, however, in the evenings alone by his fire, in the house that he had built for himself, the memories of that time had begun to haunt him again: the forest. The night. The cottage. The witch. He felt unsettled by remembering these things, but considered that he was grown now, and ought not to be frightened by them. More and more often, he began to return to these thoughts on purpose, to turn them over in his mind, and try to puzzle out their meaning.

The memory that came to him clearly was the thousands of stars they could see in the black night, through the gaps between the trees. How they had shivered in the cold, talking in hushed whispers, treading carefully in the dark. Always, the dreadful possibility of wolves. How suddenly, in the crisp night air, they found themselves surrounded by the warm, intoxicating scent of gingerbread, rich and sweet. They had thought they were dreaming, but then found that they both could smell it. They wondered if it could possibly be real. They followed it, the heady scent drawing them onwards, their paces quickening until they were nearly running, until suddenly the trees fell away behind them, and to their amazement they found themselves in a glade, and saw the cottage.

It was magnificent, like something from another world: it was brightly coloured, and seemed to glow from within. The windowpanes glittered in the moonlight; smoke from the chimney curled upwards into the night. Now, as well as gingerbread, they could smell spun sugar, candied fruits, marzipan. They crept towards it, wonderingly, until Hansel could reach out and touch the low-hanging roof. To his surprise, it broke easily, and a piece of it snapped off in his hand.

"Hansel!" Gretel whispered, "What are you-" but, overcome by hunger and the smell of the gingerbread, he had already put it in his mouth. It was warm, as if just freshly baked, with a treacle softness, and a gentle hint of spice. Hansel had not eaten for days by that point - it tasted so delicious that he nearly fainted.

Gretel, wide eyed, stretched up and broke off a piece of the roof for herself. She took a bite from it, uncertainly, then gazed up at Hansel in astonishment. The children immediately set upon the house: they broke off handfuls of the roof, devouring mouthful after mouthful, giggling with delight and the sweet rush of sugar in their blood... until the silence of the forest was split by the sudden harsh scrape of a latch being lifted, and the creak and slam of a door being thrown open. Angry footsteps. They froze in horror, mouths full, hands full, covered in crumbs, the instinct to run hitting them just a second too late...
6 chapters, created StoryListingCard.php 5 years , updated 3 years
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Comments

Built4com4t 3 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 4 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... 4 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.