"A new twist to 'Hansel and Gretel'.

By Ami E. Bowen aka Skayda

A cold rain had been falling all morning. Hannah Heinzberg gazed from her fogged bedroom window and sighed. Her strawberry-hued haired framed her heart-shaped freckled face perfectly in frizzies. She shifted her slight weight to a more comfortable position and rested her chin upon her wrist.

She heard a scuffling behind her and realized that her twin brother, Adam, was awake even though it was nearly five in the morning, and stood behind her. She turned to see him standing there in his blue pajamas, reddish hair mussed atop his head like the stiff ends of an old broom. He rubbed the sleep-dust from his eyes and yawned,

"Hannah? What'cha doing?"

"Nothing," She whispered, and glanced over at the bedroom door which led to the second room in the two bedroom house fearfully, "Hush, you'll awaken them!"

Adam nodded, his blue eyes, (the same shade as his twin sister's), wide.
They both knew what would happen should they accidentally arouse their parents.
Suddenly, the hallway outside their room creaked and the doorknob began to turn. Hannah gasped and leaped down from the window-sill, padding on bare feet to her bed. Adam ran for his own, each twin bed had beeeeee________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________need to think of a plan to come back."

"Why?" He asked, "I want to go away."

"So do I," Hannah said, "But, not now. It's too soon. Trust me, Adam."

He nodded, always trusting his sister to do what was best for him, Hannah always had. And she always will.

Hannah stayed up all night trying to think of a plan and finally fell asleep in the middle of a thought. She awoke with a cramp in her neck and the imprint of book on her cheek.
She was taken, along with Adam, in the family car on a so-called family outing to the park. Their mother had even brought along a basket of fried chicken and potato salad.

"Go play, now," Their mother smiled kindly, and hastened to get them to the playground, "We'll call you when it's time to leave."

Hannah caught the sneering glance she sent towards the man at her right and reached for another piece of chicken.

Hannah nodded, feeling the food lie like a heavy stone in the pit of her stomach as she took her twin by his hand and led him to the swings.
For hours they played, even when Hannah watched her parents running towards the car, get in and drive away, they played.

Darkness fell, Hannah no longer had the energy to push the swing or climb upon the gym. She sat down in the sandbox beside Adam, tears in her eyes, for she knew they were truly lost and abandoned.

"We have to go now," She said to her brother, "We can't stay here all night."

So they went and they walked. Down streets and alleys and roads they walked, they walked nearly all night in an attempt to find home.
Finally, her eyes fading with weariness, Hannah spied something strange. She rubbed at her eyes and pointed.
Some miles away, many colors of bright lights twinkled in the night. She smiled down at her twin and they headed for the lights.

Soon, to Hannah and Adam's surprise and delight, they came to a house of white brick and red roof, the twinkling many-hued light all around it were Christmas decorations left hanging since December. Hannah, who adored the holidays, clapped her hands and ran to the door, dragging poor sleeping Adam along with her.

"Hello, dear," An old woman, bent and wrinkled, came to the door, "Won't you come in? I have food and clean beds for you both, my own children bring their own children to visit once in a while."

"Thank you," Hannah smiled in her tiredness, "My name is Hannah, and this is my brother, Adam. We are lost."

"Lost?" The old woman said, "My, how did that happen?"

Hannah told her the story of what had happened to them as they sipped hot tea and munched buttered rolls.
The old woman clucked her tongue and shook her head, murmuring how selfish some folk were.

"You may stay here, dears," She said, "I am a lonely old woman who would love the company of two young things running about, you would do me good, I say!"

"Your nice," Adam said, and glanced at his sister, she nodded and so he smiled, "Hannah thinks so too!"

The old woman was indeed nice. A few years went by and soon Hannah was reverted to taking care of the old woman in her last and final days.
On the eve of the old woman's, who had told the children to call her Granny, died, the woman gave to Hannah a small cross and a prayer written on a sheet of paper. Hannah wept as she read the prayer, for it was a prayer for lost children.

The next afternoon, as Hannah was trying to think of what she and her twin would do to live now that their guardian was gone, although the body had yet to be taken out of the house, Hannah came across a small wooden box tucked away in a corner of the kitchen as she was cleaning. It was the kind one puts special papers in and she found the small silver key which fit into the lock to open it.
She gasped at the contents.
Birth certificates.
Two of them.
Adoption papers.
A snapshot of her parents and the name....scribbled across the bottom of the photo, "Heinzberg, Hans and Anna" and a photo of a young woman with tears in her eyes holding two tiny newborn infants swaddled in pink and blue blankets.....

It all hit Hannah in a few swift blows, she backed away and didn't know to laugh or to cry. It did not matter, it did not matter. She waited with her twin for the daughter of Granny to show up, as she would when her mother ceased to make her customary phone call every night at six, she waited for her mother, her and Adam's real mother.

Hannah and Adam's life, after that, turned out to be better than either could have expected. They not only found their real mother and father, but gained two younger sisters and a fluffy white cat as well. As for the cruel Heizberg couple, well, it seems they were killed not long after abandoning the twins in the park that afternoon. They perished in a housefire. The man on the television news said that it was due to a lit cigarette falling on a the sofa. Hannah recalled how her adoptive mother would often doze off with a lit cigarette hanging haphazardly between her long pale fingers as she watched the television daytime shows. Hannah had always feared a fire.
Her fear had come true. As well as her dreams of 'someday'.

~ End ~