Hansel ran to her.
Even though he knew that she was dead.
Even though all of his mind objected and his common sense protested.
He ran to her because he had to.
Because he believed that if he could see her again, if he could just touch her again, it would make a difference.
It would change the past.
It would erase the years of grieving for her.
She would be alive. She would take his hand. They would go home.
He didn’t know how he knew this. Maybe it was desperation. Maybe it was true. He only knew he couldn’t turn back now.
He could only go forward.
He could only run to her.
“Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaansellllllllllllllllllllllllll…” The crystals and sugar in the air shimmered her voice, making his name sound like something sung out by a wind chime. “Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanselllllllllllllll….”
Life would be good again.
Life would be sane again.
His life would by whole again.
He took a breath.
Even though his chest ached.
He opened his mouth wide.
Even though the sweetness in the air made his teeth ache.
He called out her name. “GRETEL!”