Welcome to #ComedyBookWeek, an annual, online celebration of humor in writing. Today I’m hosting one of my favorite authors, Nicki Elson, and her twisted fairy tale, HANS & GRETA. Yesterday at Feather Stone’s Romance Under Fire blog, Nicki took you by the hand and lead you into the forest with Hans and Liesel (bet ya thought I was gonna say Greta, huh?). Today she pulls you further in—if you dare…
Excerpt from HANS & GRETA by Nicki Elson
“Liesel! Darling!” Hans called into the trees a full hour later. He’d lagged too far behind and had caught nary a sign of her.
“It actually sounds as if you care.” Her sardonic voice had come from above.
Snapping his gaze skyward, he peered through the murky night and saw her perched on a high branch. “How in the hell did you get all the way up there?”
“I’m not sure, actually. Adrenalin, I guess.” She scanned the ground.
“You have no idea how to get down, do you?”
“It’s not that far. If you just stand right there.” She pointed directly below the tree.
“And catch you? I appreciate your confidence in my brute strength, but no matter how narrow your waistline, you’re not exactly a tiny little kitty ca—” His sentence was cut short by his own scream when the spiky tip of her high heel caught him in the forehead.
“What’s wrong, sweetums?” Liesel cooed with false innocence. “I was only trying to make myself lighter. Ready for the other one?”
He scowled at the threat but recollected himself. “For your own safety, I suppose you better drop it—gently—to the ground. Then you can use your feet for traction on the trunk. I’ll stand just underneath in case you slip.”
“My hero,” she drawled. Swinging her legs over the branch and around the trunk, she slowly inched her way down.
Hans stood dutifully below, holding his arms at the ready. When she was still several feet from the ground, a loud crack of snapping wood echoed through the forest, and she dropped onto him. The force knocked him off balance and they toppled to the ground in an awkward heap, his back slamming into the unyielding forest floor.
Liesel erupted with hysterical laughter while he held still, attempting to assess the impact of the fall on his spine. She spun around on top of him and kissed the tip of his nose. “That’s what you get for being such a wretched tease.” Sitting with her rump firmly planted on his chest, she opened her mouth wide in a yawn. “Enough fun for the night. Take me home.”
Determining that a few bruises were the extent of the damage, Hans slid his hands under his girlfriend and gently scootched her bottom to the forest floor. “About that,” he said, rising to stand and peering into the black night. “You took me on so many twists and turns, I have no idea where we are, and without the sun, I have no way to determine direction.”
“What are you saying?” Liesel asked. Any hint of mirth had drained from her voice. “Tell me you’re not suggesting we sleep here!”
“Do you have any other ideas?”
“How about we head back the way we came?” Picking up her shoes, she stepped off in a direction Hans was pretty sure was incorrect, but since he really had no idea, he followed her lead. Walking all night would at least be better than fighting off her advances until dawn.
Walk all night they did, with Liesel bitching through much of it while Hans bit his tongue. As the night drew on, she quieted, exhausted, and agreed to take a break. Hans sat with his back against a thick tree trunk and guided her to curl into his chest with his arms wrapped around her for a blanket. She fell asleep immediately and he soon followed. When they awoke, pale pink light showed through the branches. Hans noticed that the forest was much brighter just ahead, so he helped Liesel to her feet and grasped her hand, leading her to an illuminated clearing.
“How utterly charming,” she murmured in a voice that sounded like it was still dreaming.
Hans couldn’t disagree. Before them lay a hilly expanse carpeted with bright green grass. Butterflies dipped and scurried among the patches of blooms randomly scattered about, and even the fat bumblebees looked friendly. A small chicken coop stood aside a flourishing garden in one corner of the yard, and a darling cottage was plopped in the center of the meadow. Everything about the house was delightful, from its thatched roof to the cobblestone path leading up to it.
Liesel ambled forward. “I’d swear it’s made of gingerbread.”
HANS & GRETA is available at Amazon
Free to read in Kindle Unlimited, and only .99 to purchase!
Learn more about Nicki’s books at nickielson.com