The Witch-Cursed Woods - YA Hansel & Gretel Retelling Feb 7, 2019 13:06:32 GMT -5
Post by paxwrite on Feb 7, 2019 13:06:32 GMT -5
The woods held secrets. Deep and dark and breathing. Whispers that rustled through the leaves. A chill wind murmuring of monsters and magic and death. They were a part of the forest, twisting along the branches and clawing at any who might dare to enter, any who tried to pluck their hidden truths like the tune from a cittern. This is lovely and evocative.
No one went into the woods. And if they did, they never came back.
But together, my brother and I would I would use a more active word here- planned to? step into the forest I'd always feared. The Witte Wieven rumored to live there were our last hope. The Wise Women, and the way they mixed magic with herbs, were all we had left. The local physician had no cures for Papa.
A litany of prayers filled my head as I stared at the fortress of trees before us. I could taste the words on my tongue, sharp with fear, as my soft benedictions drifted to the heavens. The wind whipped at my skirts, pulling the sapphire fabric against my legs as if tugging and telling me to go back, to follow its hushed plea and return to our small cottage at the edge of town.
I almost listened.
It was only Hendrik, standing next to me like the duke’s own guard—strong and tall—that kept me rooted to the ground. His blond hair ruffled in the chill wind, and the look on his face said he heard a different message than I did. One that told him he could conquer the woods and live to tell the tale. His gaze was unwavering as he stared at the forest before us. He held his shoulders back, looking every bit accepting of the path we had to take. I wished I felt as brave as he looked.
But it was a simple thing to appear brave when my brother denied the truth of the stories. Of the creatures that crept through the forest in search of prey.
Hendrik narrowed his eyes at the wall of trees before us, until I could barely see the hazel of them that matched my own. It was as if he thought that staring at the forest long and hard enough would show him fact from fiction.
“Do you really think any Witte Wieven actually live in there? That they can help us?” I asked my brother.
“More than I believe that boemannen exist,” Hendrik said. But the slight waver in his voice and the way his knuckled turned pale as he gripped the dagger Papa had given him made me think otherwise. It made me trust that he understood the dangers after all—even if he didn’t believe them.
A chill that had nothing to do with the bitter wind made me shiver. The forest belonged to them. The boemannen. They were darkness made alive. Wisps and shadows of evil that stole any children that dared to play too close to the woods.
“Piet said he saw one only two months ago.” I squinted at the trees, searching between the massive oaks and hoping to find nothing creeping in the shade below. Far more lurked in the forest than the boemannen. I gripped my scarf tightly against the cold, trying to hide the way my hands shook.
“Piet says a lot of things.” Hendrik slid the plain but shiny silver dagger into his belt. The tip of the blade caught on the leather before he slipped it into place, his hands uncertain and unused to holding a knife. “And none of them should be believed.” Your writing is beautiful I'm already invested in the story and want to read more. Thanks for sharing!