(Another epic retelling of a classic fairy tale, hope you enjoy.)
Hansel and Gretel, twins at birth, were the son and daughter of the mighty king Adalbern. At the age of sixteen, they grew restless at their home and set off in search of glory to prove their worth beyond royalty. On one such occasion, they heard of a strange occurrence in Blackthorn Forest. The two curious royals traveled to this land, before entering the forest however, the duo fell upon a village. Entering the center, they found that no one was outside of their homes, all of which had been boarded up to prevent entry. One of these they approached and heard the whispers of citizens inside the structure.
A villager unlocked the door and asked, “Are you an ally or foe? Where do you hail from? Why have you come here?”
Gretel, the fairer talker of the two responded, “We are friends. My name is Gretel, daughter of Adalbern, and this is my brother Hansel, son of Adalbern; we seek glory and to rid this village of its oppressors. Speak so we may know what we must vanquish.” The villager sheepishly stepped out of his door, revealing that he wore a full set of armor and seemed to be heavily injured.
Hansel is perplexed, “Why are you hiding warrior? Where is the rest of your company?”
“Gone sir. I am the only survivor.” The man responded. “My name is Franco son of Godwine, the friend of the gods. I was sent by my father to liberate these people with my men. But we were destroyed in the face of the enemy or enemies… I am still not sure which it is…”
Gretel questioned, “What do you mean brave soldier?”
“We came to the forest and found a lone wolf feasting on the flesh of one of the elders of this village. When we approached, the monster turned quick and used its mighty jaws to rip through one of my men’s armor and tore his leg off before it disappeared. While we looked, a mighty bear swung its paws from behind us and brought down a fourth of our company. One of my men was able to shoot an arrow at the beast, causing a scar across its face. The bear hid away, and we thought it was over, when from the sky arrows began to rain down above us. A seventh of my men and I were lucky enough to put our shields up while the rest perish. With the remaining soldiers, we began to retreat when we saw the wolf again, this time though he had fancied a scar. The scar of which the bear had worn. To my despair, I watched as the rest of my comrades were eaten alive as I fled for my life. I have disgraced my family and name, but I bring information and warning to any who may enter.”
Hansel responded, “We mourn for the loss of your kin but how did you escape from the forest? The land changes as one enters, no man can emerge from it alive.”
Franco explained, “My father Godwine once had to journey to slay a mighty boar for the gods. The divinities favored him and gave the tool to escape the paths. This object I give to you. It is the Crumbs of Credon, a bag full of rock hard crumbs that shine when the moon is full. Take this so that you might escape with your lives. May the gods favor you.” The twins took the Crumbs of Credon and went on their way. After crossing over the river and into the forest, the pair felt a presence nearby that watched their every movement. They began to drop the crumbs knowing that the forest had a malice beyond its roots. As they reached the very center, they saw smoke arising from the tree line. Carefully they approached and found a peculiar sight that neither had ever seen. A house made of of delicacies stood in front of them, the main structure made of gingerbread. Frosting kept the parts together while the framework was made of candy canes. Decorating the roof were gumdrops as big as their heads. Tentatively they approached, having not been able to eat for what seemed like days. As they partook on the goodies before them. the door swung open and a figure emerged from the house. The two drew their swords but lowered them after beholding the creature in front of them. The creature was a beautiful young woman who was covered with skins of animals layering her lovely hourglass figure.
The stanger spoke, “Weary travelers, where have you come from and why are you in this terrible forest?”
Hansel responded, tripping over his words from his befuddlement that was caused by her beauty, “I am Hansel, son of Adalbern, and this is my sister Gretel daughter of Adalbern; we have come to slay the beast that has oppressed this land.”
“My name is Ada, and I welcome you here. Please eat and rest brave travelers. I offer my home to you and everything found within it.” Said the stranger with a wink.
Hansel responded, “Lead on fair maiden.”
Ada led them inside, but before Hansel followed, Gretel grabbed his arm, “Something is not right with this woman. Take caution brother and let us focus.” Hansel nodded and entered with her sister.
After a great feast, Gretel laid in her bed to slumber and so does their hostess in their separate rooms, but Hansel was restless. He stood up from the table where he remained sitting and entered the chambers of Ada who was waiting for him. The woman invited him to her bed where they fornicated for hours. As Handel tried to leave, he heard ancient and foreign words emitted from behind his back that caused the young hero to drift to sleep. Gretel who had been awaken from the sounds emitted from the fair maiden in her bedchamber, peeked into the room of Ada. The beautiful woman looked at the now asleep Hansel after casting a sleeping spell on her guest.
“My hunger needs to be met, a taste could not hurt.” Said Ada before ripping the right arm off the sleeping warrior and devouring it. As she looked toward the door with bits of Hansel in her mouth, a scar formed across her face. Finally, she sees Gretel looking through the door way. In a fury, Ada grabs a kettle from beside her bed and captures her female guest inside it. Bewildered by the magic displayed, the young heroine was unable to escape the power that kept her trapped.
“I guess I will dine early tonight.” Shrugged off the monster as she took the kettle straight to the oven; her mouth watered at the feast she was about to savor. In Hansel’s dreams, the god Andhrimnir approached him.
“Hansel, you have been enchanted by the creature you seek. Her grip on men is fierce and she seeks to eat all of mankind; causing the gods to put an end to her crimes. If we intervene, we will be forced to use magic so fierce that your world will not survive our wrath. You must vanquish her now while she is weak. Strike for the scar and beware her powers. I will help you defeat her by giving you the Stone Arm of Bucegi.” Hansel awoke and looked at his new weapon that was attached to his missing arm. He ran out of the bed chambers and found Ada with the kettle close to the fire.
“Face me wench! You who is despised above all! You will die for the shame you have brought upon me!” Screamed Hansel. Ada turned and saw the Stone Arm of Bucegi, causing fear to twinkle in her eye. The prophecy she was told many years ago, stood in front of her.
“Shame dear Hansel? You came to my chambers to fill your lusts. It is you who has shamed yourself. As for that new toy of yours, an oracle said that one day a man with a stone arm would come to vanquish me. I do not believe in such fate and will not die today. Your taste I have tried twice now, let us see how you will taste in the bottom of my gut.” Ada then transformed in front of him by uttering hidden and strange words. The wolf described by Franco appeared in front of Hansel. The shapeshifter leapt forward knocking Hansel back through a wall. He writhed in pain as he tried to recover, when the mighty wolf pounced on top of him. Raising his sword, he forced the sword between the teeth of the creature only holding it back mere inches from killing him. Its might jaws bit down, and the sword shattered into many pieces that clouded the air. Hansel wiggled free from under the beast as the dog was stunned. Remembering the words of Andhrimnir, he rose the Stone Arm of Bucegi and landed a punch on the face of Ada. Her skull was crushed into nine pieces as her body shook and then was still. Hansel freed Gretel from the kettle, receiving a hit on the head for falling for the creature’s seduction. Together the two dragged the shape shifter’s body through the woods. They followed the path of the Crumbs of Credon that was laid before them until it brought them to the village. Praises were sung from the villagers as they came in triumphant from the quest with the corpse of the wretched creature. After a brief celebration, Franco asked to join them on their search for glory, and they gladly accepted his company. The three then went on to travel the world and their names were written into history.