This is the result of a ten-minute* writing prompt in my writing group. It’s cute and silly, and right now, I can really use a little cute and silly.
(*I did edit a little just before posting this up.)
The prompt was: A brother and sister only one year apart in age; what happens when they’re teenagers and dating one another’s friends? When in doubt, go immediately to fairy tale!
“Hansel? Who is he?”
Hansel leaned around his sister. The sigh escaped before he could suck it in. “Leave it alone, Gretel. You won’t like him.”
“But will he like me?”
“Everyone likes you. Why do you even ask? Even the witch liked you better.”
“Oh, don’t be silly. She didn’t like either of us. She was just hungry, and you were a little more plump.”
“You were the one with boobs at nine. I was like an orange on a toothpick.”
“Forget about her.” Gretel flipped her flaxen braids. Flaxen. Was that even a word anymore? None of the girls, flaxen-haired or otherwise, would even look his way since the oven incident. In his circles, rescuing was done by a dashing prince, and the rescued a fair damsel in distress. He was totally screwed.
“Come on,” his sister nudged. “Tell me about him.”
Hansel took a bite of his sandwich, stalled by chewing it those 30 chews he got into the habit of making, back in the cage, when every minute outside the oven counted. “His name is Jack. He’s pretty dumb. I heard he traded his mother’s last cow for a sack of beans.”
“Beans? That does sound dumb. He’s kind of cute, though.”
“You’re going through my friends a little fast,” he said. “I won’t have any left after you’re done breaking all their hearts.”
“Don’t be so selfish. I offer to fix you up with my friends all the time.”
If there was anything worse than being the fair damsel in distress, it was being set up by his dashing prince. Hansel took another bite, another thirty chews. Anyway, Thumbelina was a bit small, Belle was into big, hairy guys, and don’t even get him started on Goldie. What a bitch. There was only one girl he’d even had any interest in, and she’d been sleeping close to a year now. He was pretty sure it was going to last a while more. Maybe Ovengate will have simmered down enough by then to give him a shot.
“Just introduce me.” Gretel smoothed her braids, pinched her cheeks. “Come on. Please?”
“Fine.” Hansel flopped his sandwich onto the tray. He slid along to bench to Jack’s side. “Hey, Jack. Want to meet my sister?”
Jack looked up, a little dazed. “Uh, the blonde over there? Sure. Why not?”
Hansel waved Gretel over. “Jack, Gretel. Gretel, Jack. Now I’m going back to my sandwich.”
Sliding back to his place at the cafeteria table, he listened in, just to be safe. Jack was all right, but Gretel was his sister. And, embarrassing as it was, he did owe her.
“Beans?” Gretel laughed, tossing those braids. “Why would you do such a thing?”
“I’m not sure,” Jack answered. “The old guy was just so convincing. My mom tossed them out the window. This morning, there was a beanstalk the size of a tree. I think there’s something to it.”
Hansel went back to eating. Jack was one of the last of his friends to escape his sister’s attention. There was still Quasi. His place was kind of noisy, but at least they were both outcasts. And thank goodness he had no worries about his heroic yet slightly shallow sister ever being interested in him.