Welcome to #ComedyBookWeek, an annual, online celebration of humor in writing. Today Nicki Elson is going to take us for a walk into the woods with an excerpt from her twisted fairy tale novella, HANS & GRETA. But first, how about a video preview…
Excerpt from HANS & GRETA by Nicki Elson
TWIGS SNAPPED UNDERFOOT, and the pale light of the moon dimmed as the branches overhead grew thicker.
“I can’t believe they ran out of food,” Liesel complained.
“They were hardly out of food,” said Hans. “They just didn’t have any more of what you liked.”
“Pepper knows I swore off carbs years ago, and did you taste that pâté? It was completely inedible. I’m glad she’s so smitten with her new huntsman boyfriend and all, but venison-wurst? Gag me with a harpsichord.”
Hans reluctantly followed his fiancé deeper into the woods. “Be nice.”
She glanced over her shoulder and smirked, lifting her long skirt to expose a teasing ankle. “Oh, I plan to be.” Skipping ahead, she disappeared behind two fat tree trunks.
Hans paused and barely managed to stifle a groan. Six months ago, such flirtation would’ve elicited a completely different kind of groan. But six months ago he’d barely known her. Back then she’d simply been the pretty daughter of a wealthy financier—the ticket to saving his father’s woodcarving business. He’d truly believed it would be easy enough to fall in love with her, but as the months ticked by he realized that no amount of wavy blond hair nor evenings spent with her plump lips applying just the right amount of pressure to his various pleasure points could make up for the rotting carcass of a soul that resided beneath all that beauty.
He couldn’t go through with it, not all the way to the wedding. But he’d play along with the engagement. Before the church bells started ringing, however, the financial documents would be signed, his father’s business would be saved, and he could break off the relationship quietly, tastefully, finally. Until then…
“Liesel, stop! We’re going to lose our way if you go any further. We really should get back.”
She peeked out from behind a tree several yards ahead. “Didn’t you drop any bread crumbs?” Her long, lean arm emerged from behind her back, and she flourished a pair of white, lacy panties and dropped them to the forest floor. “Guess we’ll just have to leave something else behind.”
She dashed off again, further into the forest, and Hans clenched his fists, tempted to turn around and leave her to be the victim of her own folly. But then he thought of his father—his kind, gentle father who’d already lost so much—and took long strides into the forest.
He found her leaning against a tree, waiting for him. A silvery beam of light broke miraculously through the leafy branches to illuminate her sensual form, casting an enticing glow upon every curve. Even Hans, jaded against her as he was, couldn’t help but admire the vision. He reflected that his lot wasn’t the worst that could befall a man and didn’t resist when she reached out and pulled him to her.
Pressing his fiancé against the rough bark, feeling her mouth open readily under his, he attempted to set ethics aside for the moment and give himself over to passion. She clearly wanted it—she always did—so who was being hurt?
The acrid aftertaste of cigarettes bit at his tongue. The sour flavor of stagnant garlic and whatever else had been on that edamame she’d sucked down earlier choked him. Reflexively, he pulled back.
“This again?” she whined.
“I’m sorry, love. Truly I am.”
Pouting, she ran a polished fingernail along the side of his face. “What are we going to do with you?”
“I think the question is, what are you not going to do with me?”
She huffed. “I just can’t understand why you’re more concerned with my virtue than I am lately. You had no problem deflowering me months ago.”
“Your flower had already been de’d,” he retorted but switched tactics when he was met by a cold glare. “Maybe it’s not about virtue; maybe it’s more about wanting to cool off for a bit so that it will be special on our wedding night.”
“Or maybe it’s all about what you want, and what I want be damned!” She purposely dug her fingernail into the side of his face as she scratched down and pushed away from the tree, away from him. Her eyes carried a wild glint he’d become all too familiar with. “Perhaps I’ve made things too easy for you, hm? Perhaps what you really want is a chase!” She took off into the darkness.
“Bitchy and crazy,” he muttered to himself as he moved forward, less than eager to catch up.
See what happens next at Nancee Cain’s blog tomorrow.