Long, long ago (like, back in 2014), there was a Woodcutter who lived with his second wife and three teenaged children. Their names were Hansel, Gretel, and Moon Unit, because their parents had been hippies in the ‘60s and liked to consider themselves unconventional.
The family lived comfortably until a terrible blight of the Atkins Diet arrived in the land. “Jesus,” said Moon Unit, “can’t we have some goddamn bread?” “No,” said the Woodcutter, “and for that lip, I’m going to confiscate your phones!” And with that, he banished them to the forest to gather kindling for their stepmother’s artisan wood-burning stove.
Without their phones, it didn’t take long before they were completely lost. “My blood sugar is really low,” whined Hansel. Miserable and hangry, Moon Unit & Gretel nodded in agreement.
Suddenly, they came upon a wonderful gingerbread house in a clearing! Famished, they fell upon the house and totally.
Unbeknownst to them, the witch who lived there had seen them approach and hatched a plan. You see, she was doing a Whole 30 to kick her killer sweet tooth, and when the three teens approached, she saw a great source of protein and healthy fats.
She went outside. “Come in,” she said sweetly, “I have so many treats to give you.” The teens, exhausted, happily accepted the invitation. “You must stay,” she said, “for surely you are gravely mistreated at home.” “Nah,” replied Hansel, “Our dad and stepmom are actually cool. They just got married, so dad is going through this weirdly demonstrative parenting phase. But he’ll chill soon. Can we use your phone to find our way home?”
“NO!” the witch shrieked. She flew over to the door and fastened the lock. “Foolish children! I’ll have you for supper with some zucchini noodles!” Hansel, Gretel, and Moon Unit exchanged glances. “Um,” said Gretel, “I’m not sure you can imprison us. The bolt on that door is a candy bar sliding into a donut. Like, we could just eat it and leave.” By the time Gretel finished, Hansel and Moon Unit had already chewed a large hole in the wall.
“CURSE YOU!” shrieked the witch, “If I can’t eat you, I’ll hex you with a subprime mortgage crisis that will doom your entire generation to downward mobility!”
“Honestly,” said Moon Unit as the three walked away, “given the exploding cost of college tuition, we sort of already expected that.”