Hansel and Gretel, the latter in the lead, followed the old lady into a sitting room, which seemed to be one of the only two rooms in the house. There was a stable connected to the room, which was empty.
“Um, we were just wondering if you-” Hansel began, only to be cut off mid-sentence by the old lady.
“Oh don’t worry, I have plenty of food to spare. Do you like pies?” she asked.
Gretel looked at Hansel. “Uh… yeah, we do.”
The little old lady pulled a huge saucepan out of a cupboard, filled it with pastry, and placed it into a gigantic oven, large enough for herself to fit into. After a few minutes, she lent down, peered through the oven door, and nodded to herself.
She opened the door, and steaming heat erupted out of it. She grabbed two large tea towels, pulled them on, and tried to pull the huge pan out.
“Could you please give me a hand, dear?” she asked, looking at Gretel.
Gretel stood up, and walked towards the oven. “Sure.”
She grabbed another tea towel, leaning down to the oven, and took hold of the pan. The oven was so hot it felt like her face was blistering.
“It’s heavy, all right,” Gretel agreed, straining to move it out of the oven.
“Yes.” The little old lady moved towards her. “It is.”
And with that, she rushed forward at Gretel, and pushed her into the pan.
Or, at least, she tried to.
Gretel, suspicious of the kindness of the old lady the minute they had been invited into the house, twisted the moment she felt the old lady’s hands upon her back, grabbing those same hands, and pulled instinctively.
The old lady fell into the oven, the clear glass door closing with her. Then she began to change from a harmless, stooped old lady to a withered hag, the heat of the fire melting her skin and bone.
Hansel and Gretel looked away, and, as they did so, caught sight of a plump boy peering out at them, mouth gagged, from the stable. He said something unintelligible, eyes wide with excitement.
Gretel walked over to him, carefully peeled off his gag and unlocked the stable door. The boy took a deep breath before speaking.
“Thank you for freeing me, I’ve lost track of how long I’ve been trapped here,” he said in a rushed voice, looking towards the oven. “Don’t feel bad about killing that old witch, she traps children here, feeds them, and then eats them.”
The boy walked over to a cupboard and opened it. Inside was a safe. The boy fiddled around with the door for a few moments, until, with a sliding screech of metal, the door opened. A tidal wave of jewellery and gold flowed out, hitting the floor at the same time as Hansel and Gretel’s jaws.