The children turned their backs on the screams of anguish. A wailing and caterwauling as of the denizens of Hell itself split the crackling confines of the single room. Overheated candy popped in the lush walls, overcooked gingerbread smouldered in the crossbeams, but Hansel and Gretel refused to leave until they knew her dead.
It took time, too much time, but like everything in life she came to an end. The fire returned to a simmering warmth, as the acrid smell drained from the room. Before long, they were just a normal brother and sister holding hands before a spitting fire. Or so it seemed?
It was the smell of singed carpet that made Gretel sniff, the sizzle of stray sparks that made Hansel tense. But it was that laugh, that cackling unmistakable laugh that made them both turn. Her eyes burned crimson and bright.
She was aflame, but alive. Burning hands supported her weight, as the witch crawled from the inferno. The children ran, of course they did, but the door was locked, the windows boarded: there was no escaping the candy house. Hansel and Gretel were undone. Perhaps, soon, too be overdone.