The Witch - Inspired by Hansel and Gretel

The Witch - Inspired by Hansel and Gretel

A Story by Joshua McNay

Written for the A Different Point of View contest. Written for fun, hope you enjoy.



The Witch


Inspired by Hansel and Gretel



The day is finally here! I am finally able to secure the loan to get that sweet little scenic plot out in the woods. I have saved and worked hard, to get enough funds for the plot and the building materials. My dreams are finally starting to be realized! It's about time I can say Rose Witchins, is a home owner. Here is hoping with getting out on my own space, I can finally lose that dreaded nick name "The Witch", can't stand that name. That is one of the many reasons I have chosen to live off the beaten path, villagers just don't get me. They think it's so funny to call me a witch because it's part of my name, how childish. I won’t let it bother me any longer though, I have a meeting today with a candy contractor, one of the best I hear. Most places a house made of sweets would seem preposterous, but out here it's just not widely used. I have wanted one since I was a little girl building ginger bread houses, and now I am so close to my dream. I arrive at the candy contractor’s office and see many models of previous candy homes done by them. Each one better than the last, seeing the beautiful tasty designs, I can't wait to design my own. I sit down with Rick Cotton, founder of Cotton Candy Construction, famous for their cotton candy insulation, to discuss what I have in mind for my small cottage in the woods. I talk about my thoughts of ginger bread walls, candy cane support struts, and various gum drop rivets. He is open to every idea I have, and giving me a childlike smile as we go through this process. Our meeting lasts about an hour, and I have a basic layout of my modest cottage, it’s finally starting to hit me. I am actually going to have my dream home! A week or so had gone by and I went out to the spot when they were working on my cottage. I am delighted to see so much work is already done. Seeing the ginger bread walls for the first time, my eyes started to well up. I had an image in my mind of what it would look like, but in reality, turns out is decidedly better. After speaking with Rick I learned I would be able to start moving my belongings in just a few days. I immediately went home and finished packing the last of my things, I was so excited I barely slept that night. Before I knew it the day was finally here, it was moving day at last. I could barely contain myself, I was tempted to tell the villagers off, since I wouldn't see them again. But I decided no, let’s just be done with them, this moment was just too good to waste. I walked down the partially cobble path down to my humble new home. I cross the stream, and continue down the path, as I come over the hill I see it. Like the most beautiful painting, my home was practically glistening in the afternoon sun light. I could see the potential as I walked closer to the front door. I pictured a garden to the left, there was a nice patch that was just begging for some flowers. Ok Rose, get the inside sorted before you start worrying about the outside, I thought. I came to the front door, inserted my key, took a deep breath. Ok, I was a little dramatic about it, I admit. I opened the door and I couldn't stop smiling, it was everything I pictured as a little girl. Walking around the relatively empty space, I started planning where everything would go. I went from room to room, lamp there, book case there, it was all very exciting. Then I walked into the kitchen, my favorite room by far, I had specially ordered a larger oven, as I love to bake and the more room in there, the more I could make at once. I looked inside and thought, wow I could almost crawl inside, I chuckled as that was just silly. I was finally home, now to make it mine. I spent the next couple of weeks getting everything just so. Every nick knack had its place, every shelf a purpose, no space underutilized, it was perfect.


It had been a few months since I got settled into my home. Things were going well, my garden was looking spectacular with various flowers from tulips, to orchids. The windowsill above my oven had become pie central, the smell would waft through my little homestead. It was peaceful and serene, and I couldn't be happier. Then one day a curious thing happened.  As I was watering my garden, I noticed what looked like bites taken out of the posts on my porch. Animals normally don't try and eat my place, I have occasion seem a random deer give place a lick, but that's it. I thought maybe an animal just decided to give it a go, no big deal. I fixed it up and moved on. A couple of days later, I noticed a larger chunk missing. This was bothersome, I never thought I'd have to worry about animals, I may have been wrong. I decided to be vigilant to prevent further damage to my home. I stayed up and kept an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. If animals were in fact eating my front porch, I needed to put a stop to it. This was my home after all I wanted to keep it for a long time. The first night went by, and nothing. I watched for a few more nights, but no more bites were taken. I guess whatever it was had moved on. A few days later I noticed yet another bite, what the hell! I was just irritated this time, like someone or something was messing with me. I thought, this time I'll set a trap of some kind. Catch whatever is making my home their snack. I began preparations to lay some traps around the front of my home. Nothing fancy, simple snare traps to catch them off guard. I also rubbed some local berries on my porch, berries from the trees nearby looked edible but when tasted cause discomfort. I will catch them whoever they may be, I vowed. Night came and I waited up in the darkness of my cottage, just waiting. A little after the moon was high in the sky, I heard rustling, an animal grazing perhaps? I was ready, but the rustling stopped. Just a wayward animal it appeared. I went back to my chair, moments later I heard coughing. I knew it was no animal this time. I turned the lights on as quick as I could and ran outside to see. It was not an animal to my surprise, but a child from the village. 


What are you doing out here child? I asked, trying to be as nice as I could. The child began to scream "don't turn me into a frog witch!", Witch? I asked, who told you I was a witch? The child refused to answer, I undid the snare around his foot, and sent him on his way. I told the boy, it isn't polite to eat another’s home you know. No run along and please don't return. I hadn't expected to see any villagers as I was pretty far out in the woods, I guess I wasn't as far as I thought. Things starting getting back to normal after that, for a brief amount of time. I ended up catching three more children eating various parts of my place, over the next few weeks. I became so frustrated, I went down to the village to try and speak with some of the adults. Alas when I walked around people seemed to avoid me, and no one would speak to me. I became more frustrated with the whole situation, I just wanted to be left alone and I was tired of these children. A house made of candy was rare out here sure, but you would think the kids would be somewhat respectful. I decided that since no villagers would hear my pleas, I was forced to take matters into my own hands. I decided to take the nickname I was given as a warning, hoping it would keep the children away, and protect my home. I placed numerous warning signs around the woods, beware of witch, most signs said. Figure they wanted to call me that, I would use the perceived fear associated with that name to my advantage. I hated the name, but if it meant I was left alone than it's better than constant harassment. I crafted an outfit fit for a witch, and at night I would wander close to the village and just cackle around in an evil way. So rumors of a witch in the woods would take hold, and they would leave me be. Try as I might, I still managed to catch another child after all my hard work. I was done! I was tired of them invading my space. This was my home; I am not going to let them just walk all over me! I just snapped, I tried to be reasonable, I tried to be civil, I wanted to do the right thing. Despite my best efforts they kept coming, and damaging my home. I wasn't going to allow it anymore. I was so angry and upset, I feared what I might do to the next person that decided my house was a snack rather than home, I didn't have to wait long. 


I was sitting inside reading my favorite thing, Better Candy Homes and Gardens. I began to hear noises outside, I knew exactly what it was, enough is enough time to end this. I gather myself as I walk towards the front door, Ok Rose, I whispered to myself, there is no going back after this. I was ready, I wasn't going to be pushed aside any longer, they want a witch to fear? I will give them a witch to fear. I open the door to find two children, a boy and a girl, sitting next to my porch just eating away. They are startled when I open the door, I say calmly, don't be afraid children please feel free to keep eating. They look at each other, curiously but continue to eat. I offer them a warm place inside if the wanted to not be outside. Telling them that I have a nice warm fire, knowing it was colder outside, I knew they wouldn't turn it down. The kids got up and followed me inside, seeming to be more at ease after seeing I was actually nice. I sat them down and fetched them some water. What are your names? I asked, I figure I ought to know. I'm Hansel, the boy replied, this is my sister Gretel. What lovely names, what brings you all the way out here away from home? We were separated from our step mother, Hansel told me. Dear me, so you are all alone? Yes, they both replied. Well you are safe here, I told them as I walked toward the kitchen to get more water. As I stared at my reflection in my sugar glass window, I felt weak, like I wasn't going to be able to go through with it. I shook it off knowing if I didn't put a stop to it, it would keep happening over and over and I would never have peace. I decided to add a little Chamomile, into their drinks, I usually use it to help me sleep. Figure with their tiny bodies it wouldn't take much to put them down. I handed the kids the glasses, and sat back in my chair and waited for it to take effect. It wasn't long after they drank, they were both feeling sleepy. I offered them my bedroom, told them I would be fine out here. I escorted them to my room and told them to sleep well. As time passed, I was again thrown back and forth on whether or not I was going to go through with it. Could I really harm a child? Even to protect my home? I had no choice I thought, no more second guessing, it's time to act.


I paced around the kitchen, trying to figure out what I would do. Knife was too messy; well what else is there? I looked around, I knew there were poisonous herbs around, I could go out and get some. No, what if I couldn't find some and they grew suspicious. I paced more and then stubbed my toe, and I finally saw it, my oven. It was big enough for me, I thought, surely I could fit a child in here. With the latch on the front, it would ensure them not getting out. It was thick enough that it would mask their screams if any, I didn't want to hear those. I prepped the oven, and began to walk toward the bedroom. I peered inside the bedroom where the kids were fast asleep. I approached the side of the bed with Hansel. I thought I would take care of him first, as he was older and more likely to cause a problem. I remove the covers from him, and pick him up. Being sure to be as quiet as possible as to not wake either of them. I carried Hansel out of the room and moved toward the kitchen, I placed Hansel on the table. The oven was nearing as hot as I could make it. I opened the door to the oven, a wave of heat washed over me, it was quite intense. I picked up Hansel, whispered goodbye my child, and placed him in. I got the door shut and the latch closed. I looked away as I couldn't look. I started to hear muffled screams, I covered my ears as the sound was too much. Oh my god, oh my god, I thought I really did it! I stood there shaking, in a state of disbelief that I actually did that. I noticed the screams had faded, so I looked into the oven through the viewing window. I noticed scratch marks on the glass, and I ran to the sink and threw up. I knew what I had done, I became sick. I should have just poisoned them I thought, this was much too cruel. As I slowly began to gather myself, I heard a creak from the floorboards. I turned around quickly and there was Gretel, barely awake rubbing her eyes, asking where Hansel was. I was at a loss, I thought she would be out for far longer. Did she hear him in the oven? Oh god, I thought, I don't know if I can do that again. The little girl, just stood there in the doorway, she was still groggy from the Chamomile. I tried to walk back toward the bedroom telling her, her brother went for a walk. A walk? She asked, I told her yes, he wanted so fresh air so I suggested a walk. Oh she relied, He wouldn't go anywhere without me, she said. I was starting to panic, I just wanted her to go so I could think. Then she started to sniff, what’s that smell? she asked. I was baking a pie for you too for the morning I quickly replied back. Ooh let me see!!! Before I could stop her she ran towards the oven to take a look. In horror she screamed, Hansel!!! Is that my brother!? She screamed. I didn't know what to do, I was out of options, this one was probably going to be messier. I went over and grabbed the knife from the counter. I put it behind my back and started to walk towards Gretel. Now child don't be silly, I sad. Why would he be in the over? It's him, I know it is! He didn't go for a walk, you killed him!! She shouted. I didn't have a choice! I told her. It was never going to stop! I took the knife and lunged at Gretel, she saw me moving and ran. I missed! I needed to finish this now before it gets any worse. I chased her around my living room, trying to grab hold of her. I was unable, and when I was blocked by my chair, she went for the front door. No!!!!! I screamed, but it was too late she was already out the door. Terrified she was going to expose what I had done, I followed her out into the woods.


She is fast! I thought as I followed behind her as quick as I could. No matter how out of breath I was I couldn't stop. She was a loose end and I needed to tie it. I needed to do it fast because at the pace we were going the village wasn't far off. Oh god! If she makes it to the village...No! I can't think that. As I rounded a bend, I lost sight of her. Where was she? I wondered, she must be tired by now, I thought. As I walked around trying to locate her I noticed little white pebbles, almost as if they were left as a trail. Maybe she is following these, I had to act fast, so I too followed them. It took me on a strange track, away from the main one. I wondered who left these, was it the kids? Or maybe some hunter trying to find his way home? No matter, I hurried along, and there she was. She was catching her breath on a broken tree. She hadn't seen me yet, so I got low and started to sneak towards he as best I could. I was growing tense as I inched towards her, knowing any second she could start running again. What if I can't catch up to her again? No time to think that way, I needed to finish what I started. She is only a few feet away now, I can feel my heart pounding in my chest, this was it. Slowly I inched towards her, *Snap* I look down and I stepped on a dry twig. Gretel notices me and starts to run. No!! I scream as I chase after her. You won't get away from me this time! I shout. I can tell she was tiring; her pace was much slower now then at the start. I was gaining on her more and more. We are getting too close to the village now, if she keeps running she will reach the village in a matter of minutes. Fear is starting to set in, as thoughts of what the villagers will do to me for killing a child. As we were running Gretel tripped over an exposed tree root, now was my chance. I pounced like a primal cat, I was on top of her. She struggled to free herself, but with my body weight on top of her, she stood little chance of escape. Why are you doing this? She cried out. I just wanted to be left alone and live in peace! I shouted. People keep bothering me and eating my home...So? Your house is made of candy! She replied, what's the big deal if someone has a bite. My home is not a snack!! I shouted at her seemingly silencing her. I didn't want to have to do this, you and everyone like you left me no other choice, I exclaimed. It ends now! I raised the partially rusted blade up over my head readying a strike. The way the moonlight hit the blade is was almost beautiful. With one swift motion, Gretel no longer struggled. As I watched the life fade from her, I fell back onto the ground and started crying. I knew I had become a monster; I really had become a witch. I regained my composure, and picked up Gretel's body. I wasn't going to leave her out here to be feasted on by any number of wild animals. I carried her back to my cottage, now filled with an unpleasant odor from the oven where Hansel was still inside. I preceded to open the oven and place Gretel inside with her brother, as I closed the door I told them both, I am sorry.


I didn't sleep that night, how could I? I had done something so horrible, sleep was not deserved. I left the kids in the oven overnight and thanks to the immense heat, their bodies had become no more than ashes. I turned off the oven and removed their remains. I went over to my shelf and grabbed a larger container to place them in. I would at least do them a kindness in a way and not just discard them in the trash. After placing the ashes in the container I sealed it up and placed it on the counter. I was going to spread their ashes around the forest as an apology to the poor children. Before I could do that I needed to fix a thing or two. First off the smell, my place had an odor most foul about it. So I put some pies in the oven, that should fill my place with a much more pleasant aroma. While the pies were baking, I took the container and took a walk towards a stream a little way from my home. I said a few kind words of regret and spread their ashes in the creek. I returned to my home, where it was now filled with the wonderful scent of blueberry pies. It was quite the beautiful scent, much more pleasant than before. I was ready to put this horrible mess behind me, forget that it ever happened, and that is what I did. I started going about my regular day, tending to my garden and baking things. A couple of weeks went by and when I was in the market in the village to get supplies I began to hear whispers, as people talked about me. Did they know? How could they? I learned that the kids father had reported them missing, and that the kids step mother was being held for questioning as she was with them last. There was a rumor of the witch who lived in the woods was responsible for the kid’s disappearance. It was being told to kids as a tale to keep them in line, like be good or the witch will get you! This worked for me, if there was a sense about my place people would stay away. That's all I ever wanted, peace and quiet and to be left in my solitude. Little did they know the rumor was true, it mattered not, if they believed the tale, good. I was finally happy, no longer was I worried about my place being eaten randomly. It seems as though I finally got what I wanted all along. One night I was woken up by what sounded like children's laughter. I walked around to see if anyone was around but no one was. On other nights I was woken by screams, yet no one was around. I was finally alone, but am now seemingly haunted by the two kids. What have I done...

© 2016 Joshua McNay

Author's Note

Joshua McNay
Review if you like. I should note I know I probably don't know how to write people talking all that well so please take that into consideration if you review. I am working on it so I would love opinions on it. Thanks!

My Review

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Thank you for your submission, For dialouge i think it would be more understandable if you were to do something like:

"something" she exclaimed

"Something" he retorted

that kinda thing but the whole plot line was fabulous, i did like how you added her thoughts before and the conflict she had with herself as well as the guilt of it afterwards.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Thank you for submitting into the contest.
First up, I'd recommend some more spacing, break it into more paragraphs so it's less intimidating to the writer..!

The idea behind the story is thoughtful and nice.
I don't really get the motivation behind it.
Why -did- she want a house made of edible candy..?
And throughout the story she seems like a really nice person,
Her baking the kids to save her house just seems out of order and out of character.

The twist at the end isn't as much as a twist, since it really leads up to one powerful climax.
Don't be discouraged, You'll get much better with time, and you seem to have the knack for thinking about interesting twists and turns. Keep working!

Thank you for the story!

Posted 2 Years Ago

Thank you for your submission to the contest.

Posted 2 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Joshua McNay

2 Years Ago

you're welcome.

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3 Reviews
Added on February 6, 2016
Last Updated on February 6, 2016
Tags: Fairy tale, fabel, fantasy, witch, candy


Joshua McNay
Joshua McNay

Grand Junction, CO

I write about a Little Red Fox, I hope you enjoy his adventures as much as I do! Thanks for stopping by and as always thank you for reading! Featuring art by Emily Chan, be sure to check her work o.. more..