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Hansel and Gretel

  • Posted on April 10, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Hansel and Gretel was always an interesting story to me. Two siblings, thrown away by their family, into the woods, into the great unknown. And then, these two, usually through the intelligence of the sister, manage to make their way. Honestly, it reminds me of children in the foster system. I think, maybe, a retelling of the story with two children taken from their parents, and put into a foster home.

Perhaps that foster home is populated by a ‘nice’ woman, and her many cats. And then, it turns out she eats the children alive, mentally and emotionally, by forcing them to work to bring her money. Day in day out, the siblings would work, until finally, Gretel would realise that they needed to start making money on their own. I could see her figuring out ways to use the old Witch’s money against her, and eventually, with a little help from Hansel,  she manages to open up a bakery! That seems like a fun idea.

Toss in some faery-mechanics, such as promise-requirements and witches spells, and you’ve got a pretty cool little urban fantasy alternate universe for that. I’ve always been interested in Urban Fantasy. Retellings of old stories, or old creatures housed in a modern lifetime, it seems, captures everyone’s attention. Something about fairytales being accessible to them, makes people curious, interested. The idea that such magical things could happen to you is entrancing in the least.

I still, and always will, wish for something amazing to happen to me. And the idea that a fairytale will suddenly entrench me in it’s twists and turns, is utterly unbearably tempting. I want it. Its one of those things that makes escape manageable, that makes the mundane worth sifting through, if only to attempt to understand the magical. But what is it that makes us question reality so that gates in the middle of nowhere beg to be gone through? What is it that draws the human eye to dark places, and wonder if they contain eyes following us? What is it about human psyche that demands the magical?

I think that is what Writers and Artists tap into when they create. Some collective unconcious that craves the strange, the odd, the weird, craves difference from boredom, loss of safety over the continuance of mundanity. I explore it with abandon, when I write. I try my hardest not to be held down by what is real, but to also make it just real enough to tickle at that sense of normalcy, that hope that everything will turn out alright. But what is alright? What does one care for so much about the laws of physics and the continued processes of breathing?

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