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Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel

A Story by Raleighwheels

A more modern retelling of the story I did for a college class


Hansel and Gretel



            Summer was always the least favorite season for Marge Flemming.  The sound of her two children, Hansel and Gretel, playing drove her crazy.  The rain was coming down hard outside, but that didn’t stop the two kids from having fun in their imaginary world.  Hansel, with a blue blanket tied around his neck, ran around the house pretending to be a superhero, while Gretel ran screaming and wildly flapping her arms.

            “What’re you supposed to be?”  Marge asked Gretel as she took a long drag on her Virginia Slims.

            Gretel stopped and took a moment to catch her breath before replying, “I’m a dragon!”

            As Marge rolled her eyes, Hansel yelled from the kitchen, “Yeah!  She’s the evil dragon, and I’m trying to protect the city from her!”

            “Whatever,” Marge murmured as she took another puff.  “Why don’t you two go down into the basement and play?  You’re so loud, and I can’t hear what the guy on TV is saying.”

            Gretel looked disappointed for a second before a smile returned to her face, and she ran to go get her brother.

            Marge cringed when she heard the basement door smack hard against the doorframe.  The patter of the kids’ feet down the creaky wooden stair sounded more like someone running their nails across a blackboard to her.  The muffled sounds of the kids playing came up through an air vent in the corner of the living room, but Marge had a great solution for that problem, she turned the volume of the TV up to drown the sound out.

            After a few hours, Marge decided to prepare dinner.  Not being much of a cook, she heated up some children’s TV dinners, and cooked a chicken potpie in the microwave.

                Marge and the kids sat in the living room watching TV and eating their radiated food.  The children were more interested in playing with their food than eating it though, but Marge tuned them out and stared deep into the glowing screen.

            After taking a bite out of a chicken nugget, Hansel turned to his mother and asked, “When is Daddy coming home?”

            Marge had heard this question at least a hundred times before, and every time she had to answer it, she grew more annoyed with the kids.

            “You’ve asked this before, the answer still is the same,” Marge snapped.  “Your father is off in another country fighting bad people.  He won’t be back until all the evil men have been stopped.”

            For the rest of the night, Marge ignored the children, only speaking to them when it was time for bed.  She ordered the children to take a bath and brush their teeth.  Then, she escorted them into their separate rooms and helped them into bed.  Gretel’s request for Marge to read a bedtime story fell upon deaf ears.  Marge pulled the covers over Gretel’s little body and quickly made her way to the door before the child could speak another word.  Marge then repeated the same swift process with Hansel.  With the children in bed, she breathed a sigh of relief and returned to her chair in the living room to watch her late night shows and puff another cigarette.

            The next day was much better, the sun was shining, and the birds were chirping as the kids ran downstairs begging for Marge to make them breakfast.  Once they were preoccupied with eating their toaster-made waffles, Marge poured herself a cup of coffee, lit a cigarette, and went back into the living room to watch the news.

            After finishing their breakfast, Hansel and Gretel went to their rooms and got dressed.  Soon, they were running around the house playing a game of tag and blocking Marge’s view of the television screen.

            “Why don’t you kids go outside and play?” Marge said, irritated.

            “Okay!”  The kids yelled while jumping up and down.

            Marge got up from her thrift store recliner and shuffled to the kitchen in her slippers.  She got out a few slices of bread, a jar of peanut butter, and a squeeze bottle of grape jelly.  The kids watched with excitement as she made each of them a sandwich.  She then put the sandwiches into a paper bag and threw in two juice boxes and a little baggie with some off-brand crackers.

            “Here,” she said thrusting the paper bag into the hands of Hansel.  “Now, go outside and play.”

            Hansel and Gretel told her goodbye as they ran out the screen door and into the field on the side of the house.

            After playing tag and chasing field mice, the kids started to get bored.

            “Hey, let’s go into the woods,” Hansel suggested.

            Gretel looked into the dark clump of trees and said, “We aren’t supposed to.  Remember, Daddy told us to stay away from the woods.”

            “Well, he isn’t here, is he?” Hansel replied as he grabbed her arm and started pulling her along with him.

            “What if we get lost?” Gretel said nervously.

            Hansel stopped to think for a second.  Then, he dug into the lunch bag and pulled out the baggie of crackers.

            “We can use to crackers to make a trail so we can find our way out.”

            “Hey!” Gretel exclaimed.  “I was going to eat those!”

            “Too bad,” Hansel said as he pulled a cracker apart and dropped a piece at the start of the trail.

            The two walked through the woods, dropping crumbs along the way.  They stopped every so often to look at birds in the trees, or deer running in between the trees.  After walking for what seemed like hours, they came across a little paved driveway running through the woods.  Hansel dropped a pile of crackers at the edge of the woods where they emerged, so that they could find their trail again.

Hansel and Gretel curiously followed the driveway back into the woods, until they spotted a small house with a beautiful flower garden in the front yard.  The sweet smell of pies tempted the kids closer.  The smell of the pies made them forget all about the sandwiches their mother had made for them. 

They approached the window sill that the pies were setting on to cool, when a woman appeared in the window.  They both started to turn and run away, when the woman called out and reassured them that they were in no trouble.  The woman asked if the children were hungry, and invited them inside.  She served them hot turkey sandwiches and gave them big glasses of cold lemonade to drink.  Once they finished their meal, she cut them big pieces of cherry pie for dessert.  She didn’t say anything to the children, but just watched with a smile as they gorged themselves on her food.   

After filling themselves with the most delicious foods they had ever had, Hansel and Gretel both started to feel very tired.

“Come with me,” the woman said, motioning for them to come to her side.

She led the two down a long hallway and showed Gretel a spare bedroom that was decorated with all the things any girl, especially Gretel, could ever want.  The woman helped Gretel into bed and gave her a loving peck on the forehead.  Then, she led Hansel to a room made up for a boy.

“Do you have kids?” Hansel asked as he looked at the toys pouring out of a toy box at the far end of the room.

“No, but I am always entertaining guests,” she said with a loving smile.

The woman then sat down on the bed and watched as Hansel eagerly played with some of the toys in the room.  After a few minutes, his playing slowed down, and he told the woman that he was really sleepy.

“Here,” she said patting a spot next to her on the bed.  “Come sit next to me.”

Hansel then went over and sat down.  He nervously started swinging his feet as the woman started rubbing his back.  He didn’t know what to do when the woman started touching places that he was always taught were to remain private.

“Stop,” Hansel said with a quivering voice.

“Oh, come on,” the woman said.  “It will be okay.  No one will ever know.”

For the next few hours, the woman did things to Hansel.  Hansel closed his eyes and tried to imagine he was somewhere else as she had what she called “fun.”

When she was done, she laid Hansel down on the bed and reminded him not to tell anyone what had happened.  She then left the room for a moment and returned with Gretel.  Unaware of what had happened to Hansel, Gretel asked if he wanted to play with her.

The woman watched the two children before saying that she was going to go get them some treats from the kitchen.

As soon as she disappeared, Hansel grabbed Gretel’s hand and said, “We need to get out of here!”

“But why?” Gretel asked.  “I’m having fun!”

“Just trust me!” Hansel said back to her.

He quickly got up and pushed a window open.  Then, Hansel stacked some story and coloring books on top of each other and he helped Gretel climb out the window.  He could hear the footsteps of the woman coming back as he started climbing through the opening.

He landed in a small clump of sweet smelling flowers, but he didn’t have time to enjoy their aroma.  Hansel got to his feet, grabbed Gretel’s hand and the two of them started running down the driveway, looking for the pile of crackers Hansel had left as a marker.  After several frantic seconds of looking, Hansel found the trail and he led Gretel back towards home.

Tears ran down Hansel’s face when his house came into view.  The children ran as fast as they could through the field and into their house.  Hansel ran up to Marge, who was still wearing her stained bathrobe and slippers from earlier in the day and started crying.

Marge rolled her eyes at him and asked, “Oh, what’s the matter?”

Hansel started telling her all about the woman in the house and what she had done to him while Gretel was sleeping.

“She did what!” Marge yelled as she jumped to her feet.  She ran over to Hansel, gathered him up into her arms and gave him a big hug.

Marge ordered Hansel and Gretel to go to their rooms, and not to come out until she came and got them.  She paced around the room trying to wrap her head around what Hansel had told her.  Soon, she picked up her phone and started calling her friends to tell them what had happened to her son.

Eventually, people started showing up at the house.  Marge went into detail, telling them exactly what Hansel had told her.  The crowd started screaming in outrage and it was suggested that they all go to the house and confront the woman.

The angry mob marched through the woods until they came to the driveway.  They then made their way to the house and started screaming for the woman to come out.  The frightened woman refused the crowd’s orders to come out and face them, but instead she huddled her bedroom, occasionally peering out at the mob through her blinds.

The group went into a rage when they saw the eyes of the woman peeking out at them.  Someone threw a rock at the house, and before anyone knew it, sticks were lit on fire and hurled at the house.  The people cheered when the roof and bushes lining the edge of the house caught fire.

The woman tried to run to a back door, but was frightened back into the house by the faces of several snarling people.  Soon, the woman was overcome by the smoke and the heat of the fire.  She collapsed by the door, and soon the fire consumed the house.

The crowd watched as the roof of the house collapsed, and cheered when the walls crumbled to the ground.  Once the fire died, and the house was nothing more than a collection of burnt timber and ash, the anger of the crowd subsided and they made their way back through the woods and away from the rubble.

Marge shook the hands of several of her friends and watched as they left.  The crowd dispersed, pleased that justice had been dealt to the nasty woman.  Once Marge was alone in her yard, she recomposed herself and went into the house and made the children a meal that only a loving mother could make.

© 2013 Raleighwheels

Author's Note

Still needs some editing and reworking.

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Added on June 12, 2013
Last Updated on June 12, 2013



Selinsgrove, PA

I'm trying to get back into writing. I've been thinking of stories for years and have a large list of ideas down. I tend to write more horror and supernatural stories. more..

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