They started off as just dreams.
I started to get them when I was only six. Times were lonely then and I would sit in the corner of the playground reading and watch as all of the pretty little girls and boys used to play together, but whenever I tried to join in they pushed me away and told me to go away. I never liked people from then on. My parents would ignore me and my older brother used to tease me. I guess that’s what happens when we’re six years apart and he left the house before I even started secondary school.
I used to get called a freak, a weirdo, a child made from hell. I knew I was different the moment I started to learn my alphabet at the age of two, pressing my fingers into the pages of books and saying words that I had heard off the television or out of my parent’s mouths. They called me a miracle then, now they call me a waste of space.
When I got the first dream, it was a weekend and I had gone to sleep crying. It was almost Christmas – I remember that – as I had just got pushed down the stairs by my brother because I wanted to help with putting the tinsel on the banisters.
It was the best dream in the world.
I had landed in a forest. But this was not just any forest; it was sparkling with snow and ice crystals that danced on my eyelids. The trees where fifty feet tall, a pale mystical white, coated in ice and when I ran my fingers on it, it didn’t melt nor freeze my skin, I was just soft and tickled my fingertips.
This place was beyond beautiful.
Looking down at myself I was still in my yellow, short nightie and my feet were still being warmed by my little pink socks. The snow was soaking through them but my toes never turned cold. My brunette hair was still in its curly state, down my back and my cheeks were feeling a chill but I never had the urge to find something warm to wrap around me.
Starting to walk I circled the trees. This forest seemed to go on for miles in this beautiful, snowy way. After walking through identical paths, I was starting to feel lost and worried until I came across a smell of sweet baking, filling my nose and making me hungry. I decided to follow this smell.
After chasing this scent, running fast with a smile on my face did I find the most divine house that I had ever seen. This house was made out of sweets; liquorice pillars, gobstopper bricks, gingerbread walls, chocolate roof tiles and the smoke coming out of the rock candy chimney was pink. Being the six year old that I was I ran for the houses and grabbed a stray piece of gingerbread, hanging from the side of the door. The taste was a tingle to my stomach, and rich taste in my mouth. I had to eat more! I grabbed for the walls, stuffing my face with this biscuit that melted warmly in my mouth. Delicious.
It was only when I had dug a hole in the wall that I realized someone was watching me. Two faces. Two teenager faces where looking at me, giving me a smirk. The boy was tall with scruffy brown hair and big grin. The girl next to him had long blonde hair, tied into plaits either side of her head, and a pink bandana on the top of her head. Both of them were wearing clothes that looked as if they were out of a fairy-tale with yodelling brown dungarees for him with flowers up the trousers and puffy white sleeves. He wore beige knee-high socks and pointy wooden shoes. The girl had a long pink and green striped dress and a white apron with matching flowers around the frills. She also wore wooden shoes. ‘Are you having fun there little girl?’ the boy asked. His voice was mature so he must have been older than eighteen. I nodded, not knowing how to react to this sudden encounter of new faces.
‘Don’t be scared,’ the girl assured me, ‘but there is a lot more food inside, and it does mean that you won’t have to eat our house.’ She gave me a smile that was sickly sweet. I wasn’t sure whether I should listen to them or run away.
‘You live here?’ I asked, looking them up and down.
The boy and girl looked at each other and chuckled. ‘Yes,’ the boy nodded, ‘we’ve lived here since we were young and burnt the rotten witch to death who tried to eat us.’ I was taken aback by this but it made sense in the next couple of seconds. The boy pointed to above the door and smiled proudly at what was there. Ahag’s head, mad and menacing was hanging above the door like a sign. The eyes were still large and white, but looked like glass. Whoever this lady had been, she was very much dead.
Sudden fear ran through me and I wanted to run. They had slain this poor women when they were only young. I knew that I should escape when I could, but I didn’t. I stayed put and continued to stare at these two people before me.
‘Oh how rude of us,’ the boy said, making me jump after a long silence, ‘we didn’t even introduce ourselves. I’m Hansel,’ the boy grinned then pointed to the girl, ‘and this is my sister Gretel and you’re in Wonderland.’