Tuesday, October 2, 2012

31 Days {Rooted in Love - two}

To start at the beginning ...
image from deviantart

Gretel was startled out of her reminiscing by a noise coming from the roof of the cottage.  She squinted against the sun and could just make out the silhouette of Hansel crouched at the edge of eaves.   He was hammering in new gingerbread shingles to replace the ones the crows had eaten.  Hansel had mentioned over breakfast that a woodpecker had pecked a few holes in the sugary mortar between a few of the shingles which in turn had weakened them enough for the crows to fly off with several prized cookies.  Gretel caught a whiff of the sweet and spicy smell of the gingerbread boy baking in the oven.  She had offered to make a ginger scarecrow for Hansel to mount on the roof, but first he needed to repair the damaged shingles.

While Gretel worked in the garden, caring for the sky blue lupine and the dusty purple field aster, Hansel took care of the red and white candy cane shutters and black licorice lattice of the cottage.  They were a good team and Gretel was grateful they had each other.  She was grateful she wasn't completely alone.

Again, her father's words fluttered through her thoughts, "Blood is thicker than water and family is sweeter than candy."

"Leave me alone," she grumbled to the ironweed she clutched in her hand.  "Why can't you just leave me alone?"  She stood and angrily brushed her hands against her apron again.  She needed a change of scene.  She headed to the front porch and sat in the shade of the cottage.  In spite of her efforts, her thoughts returned to the past and the day her wicked stepmother successfully abandoned them to the woods.

She remembered being shaken awake while it was still dark.  Her stepmother stood over her, Gretel's shawl and shoes in her bony hands.

"Get up and get dressed.  We're getting an early start."

"Why?  Where are we going?"

"Shhh... don't wake your father.  Get up and wake your brother."

She had stumbled around in the dark to dress and find Hansel's shoes and cloak.  Her stepmother stood at the door tapping her foot with her arms crossed sharply in front of her.  Gretel could hear her father's whiffly snore from the back room.  She thought for a moment that she might call out to him.  But then the fear that he would turn his back on her again clutched at her heart and instead she walked toward the door.

"I'm hungry," mumbled Hansel sleepily.

"We've no time to eat," demanded the stepmother, "you can find some berries along the way."

Gretel felt panic rising in her chest.  She had not prepared for this early morning exodus.  She had no rocks this time and she looked around the dark kitchen in desperation.  It was then that she spotted the coarse-grained bread on the table, left-over from last night's dinner. She quietly and quickly slipped the loaf of bread into the folds of her shawl and grasped Hansel's hand.

"Let's go."


  1. I am writing a novel for the 31 days also. Would love to have you visit! I'll be back to follow along with your story,too. Intriguing so far.

  2. Lovely take on a well-known story, but if I know you I am in for a surprise. Can't wait! I can so relate to Gretel..."blood is thicker than water." My family was notorious for this quote even though their loyalties to me were rare. Betrayal was an unfortunate and frequent occurrence in my home...Your story is already resonating. I am excited to see where you take it.


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