Presentation on theme: "Hansel and Gretel A Re-Imagining by Class 4 Wreningham."— Presentation transcript:
Hansel and Gretel A Re-Imagining by Class 4 Wreningham
Wreningham VC Primary School: Class 4 Hansel and Gretel: Our Re-Imagining Hansel and Gretel lived a modest life with their parents, who loved and cared for them well. Hansel was typical of many children of his time, hooked to his i-screen, his Pear-Pod, his buttons and beeps. Gretel was odd. She loved books and words, and could lose herself in her imaginings. She was a rare thing in this land of technology, this land of bright and shiny trinkets and ebbing soul. But she loved her brother, and their family was strong. Times were hard outside the walls of the city of Technopia, and when their father lost his job there was seemingly no hope. Late one night, desperate and hopeless, their mother and father discussed their dilemma – ‘cling on for dear life or send their beloved children to work’. In Technopia, they had heard, children were valued - their delicate, tiny fingers able to construct the gadgets and gizmos of the future. “We could send them to work…” was all the children caught, crouching on the stairs, ears straining for their parents’ whispered tones. Without waiting to hear more, a decision was made. Out the window they fled, into the dark night, betrayed, fearful and confused - although Hansel somehow found the time to grab his portable console, his life-blood. If only they had listened a little longer, listened to hear to their parents guilt and anguish that they had allowed such an evil thought to enter their heads. If only they had waited long enough to hear their parents declare they would never give them up. The children fled into the cold, biting night, finding themselves enveloped by the city of Technopia, a city of dark and light. The twisting maze of streets drew them ever deeper in to the heart of the forest of titanium and tin. Colossal towering skyscrapers of glass and silver arched over, pulsing and glowing in blinding neon light. Yet the radiant light struggled to penetrate the dark alleyways and rat-runs, leaving them be to their shadowy secrets. Gretel occasionally glimpsed tiny red eyes, blinking from the darkness, and was careful to steer Hansel away from slipping down one of the many side-streets. This was not easy, as Hansel, of course, had his eyes fixed on his game screen, oblivious to his surroundings, and paying just enough attention to the ’real world’ as to walk in a straight line. They were not the only people out traversing the streets of Technopia, although the pale, hollow faced children who paced the pavements around them seemed devoid of the spark of human life. Like Hansel, they held their portable consoles with twitching fingers, staring emotionless at the flickering screen, stopping only when instructed by the automated voice of the pedestrian crossings. “Cross now, cross now, cross now,” it echoed; “Don’t walk, Don’t walk, Don’t walk,” the vaguely female robotic voice repeated, shunting the lines of automatons silently through the city grid, save for the tiny beeps and squeaks of their consoles. Gretel glanced at Hansel and could see the similarities. She sighed. “ I wish you’d give that a rest,” she pleaded, spinning him round to face her, not paying attention to the open grate on the side of the pavement. Too late… over and down they fell, into the enveloping emptiness.
The two children landed in what could only be described as ‘not very pleasant’. But it was not the stench or the substance into which they had fallen which occupied their immediate thoughts; it was the myriad of blinking, beady red eyes which appeared in the endless darkness. Hansel, of course, also took time to check his screen, yelling out in despair at the ‘Battery Life Zero’ message which flickered first into, then out of life. “Noooo…,” he cried in anguish. “Noooo…,” Gretel echoed, though not for the same reason. The eyes had emerged from the darkness, together, as if belonging to one single, great creature of the underworld. The blue-green neon glow from the opening from which they fell had now seeped down into the void, allowing their eyes to adapt to the gloom. It was not one creature, but hundreds of rodents who resembled children, or children who resembled rodents; Gretel wasn’t sure which description fitted best. “Rats! Rats! Rats!” she settled on as she screamed out in panic, joined finally, and reassuringly, by Hansel. The children tensed, in ice-cold, paralysing fear, awaiting the feel of sharp teeth and claws… but none came. “We’re not what you think, we’re not what you think,” chattered a host of high pitched voices, shocking the children back to life, their mouths gaping and eyes widening. Gretel was brave. “What, erm, who are you,” she squeakily managed, remembering her manners even in this terrifyingly unusual situation. “We live below, that’s all. Not up above, no no. Up there don’t go, they’ll take your soul. They’ll suck your sight and clean you out,” the host of tiny voices repeated as one. “What do you mean?”” replied Gretel, her instincts telling her that she was safe, she was safe here. “Go home, go home, away from here. That’s good advice, that’s good advice,” echoed the now scurrying, twitching creatures. But Hansel wasn’t listening; a voice had penetrated the sewer, a sickly sweet, tempting voice. “Children! Children! Listen to me. Free recharge, recharge, it’s all free. Pear-pods, pear-pads, pear-phones. Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi, updates and Wi-Fi. CHILDREN! Play all day, play all day. You know you want to !” Hansel was snared, he needed that recharge, he needed his games. He needed them. He stumbled forwards, squinting at the hazy form of a ladder in the dull neon glow, a ladder to the surface, a ladder to the Game. Before Gretel could react, he was half way up, reaching for the hand beckoning him on. She could now hear the voice too and knew he wouldn’t be able to resist. “Hansel wait, don’t go! They say it’s a trap! Hansel! Hansel!” But it was hopeless; her voice fading as it struggled to overpower the one from above.. The grate scraped, then clanked shut with a cold finality. Hansel was gone.
Hansel followed the figure across the road. The thought flashed through his mind that since entering Technopia he’d not seen any cars on it’s perfect roads. But that was it, just a blinking thought and it was gone. His desire to play online was overwhelming. He pushed aside a line of the automaton children who were lined up like odd tin soldiers on the kerb awaiting instructions from the crossing voice. Hansel had ignored the “Don’t cross, don’t cross, don’t cross”, not that he had heard it; he could only hear the Game calling him. He stood before the glorious window of the game shop. It’s beguiling lights emanating from an array of delicious multicoloured screens emblazoned with explosions of mouth watering colours, buzzing sprites and twinkling pixels. It looked good enough to eat - a virtual gingerbread house ready for consumption. ‘ Pear Incorporated’, the sign above the window buzzed in a pale ghostly blue-green hue – rather like one of those glowing machines which attracts flies, then fries them to a cinder with a ‘zip’ when they are drawn in. He didn’t know how he ended up inside but suddenly he was. Across the mirror-like floor, in the centre of the room, stood the shop-owner. Hansel could now focus on his host. A tall, spindly man stood hunched over a chair, struggling to fill the gleaming white lab coat which hung off his shoulders. His hair was wild and spiky and matched his coat, his nose prominent and slightly hooked. His shiny black shoes grew to an unfeasibly sharp point, and Hansel wondered how his toes could possibly reach the end. He resembled a vulture, a huge skinny vulture. His yellow piercing eyes, half hidden behind a pair of thin wire spectacles perched precariously on his nose, added to this disguise. To be continued…