Have you ever wondered what happened to the characters in fairy tales, after we leave them? Well this is where we find out.
Hansel Grimmson narrowed his eyes. Was the marzipan soffit cracking again? He’d only recently patched it up. The shortage of ground almonds had been predicted when the sky- and then sea-almonds ran out. So many people treated marzipan as a panacea for all their building ills, only to realise too late that confectionary construction only made sense when applied with a magic trowel.
He turned away and headed for his shed to fetch his ladder. His own fault, of course. Setting up a YouTube channel to try and exploit his and his sister’s fame after their high profile eviction of Old Ma Witch from Sweetmeats, the now world renowned gingerbread cottage had seemed a shrewd move. But first it was the visitors nibbling this and having a slice of that. Then the brainwave to broadcast his diy remedies that led to all the complaints from people trying to replace chipboard with flapjacks and mastic with marshmallow. He’d even been sued by one couple who’d developed pneumonic diabetes from inhaling sugar dust.
‘Hot chocolate?’ Gretel stood by the back door wiping her hands. ‘I’ve some muffins in.’
Hansel checked behind him. You couldn’t be too sure who was eavesdropping and they couldn’t afford any more setbacks to their reputation. ‘Do you have anything… savoury?’
Gretel blanched. Her eyes skittered in every direction. ‘Hanny, stop it. You had cheese yesterday, and soup the day before. You can’t keep indulging these urges.’
‘Don’t be silly, Gretty. I can control it.’ But he wasn’t even convincing himself. Instead he pointed at the roof. ‘We need to replace the marzipan, before winter. Otherwise our roof might become crumbly. I suppose I could gratin it.’
‘You can’t use cheese. The planners told us the only reason Old Ma Witch got permission the build in the first place was because of the sucrose grants.’
‘That and she turned the leader of the council into a frog. Again.’
‘You could try a nutty topping?’
‘Actually I thought I might try fudge. It’s easy to make, there aren’t likely to be condensed milk shortages and so long as global warming doesn’t melt it, we should be fine until we can source the almonds. Or we might think about selling.’
‘Who’d buy it?’
‘I heard a rumour that Goldilocks is getting out next week. And that middle pig has settled with the insurers.’
‘They accepted the huff-puffery exclusion wasn’t included?’
‘Where would we go?’
‘Everyone is always saying we will live happily in the Ever-Afters. Time we found out.’