It was all an illusion hidden by the lack of light. At least, that’s what he told himself over and over. He said it so many times his words tangled into something that had no meaning. “It all light lack illusion elucidate hidden was an all the by light illusion all was it light of light lack of lack lackerty hidden illusion it an it all it was it by it the…”
Gretel’s voice called to him again.
He shivered in the cold. “Illusion lack light light by illusion all by light.”
“Hansel.” Her voice was just as how he’d remembered it. Young and sweet and shimmery. Like gold dust. Like dust motes. Like snow.
“Illusion.” His shivering worsened. “Light illusion cavalcade cold snow light cold snow lack light.”
The snow crunched under his boots. It sounded like ice. It sounded like bones.
It sounded like her bones being devoured by the witch woman’s teeth.
“Not Gretel. Can’t be Gretel. It is an illusion. It is all an illusion hidden by the lack of light. Not Gretel. Not her. Can’t be her.”
He kept walking forward. Forward to the sound of her voice. Forward to whatever was using her voice. “Illusin. Illusion. Ill. Ooo. Shun. Not real. It is all an illusion hidden by the lack of light. The lack of light. The lack of light. The lack of—-”
Light burst into life ahead of him.
He ran to it. The ground crunched a warning with every step. Il…lu…sion. Il….lu…sion. But Hansel did not heed his own warnings. Nor did he heed the ground’s.
He ran forward to his dead sister’s voice.