Spending Money

Hansel was playing video games. Gretel came into his room.

Shut the door, Hansel said.

Do you have a cigarette? Gretel said.

On the floor. Open a window, he said, And if Dad catches you it's your ass.

Gretel leaned out the window with her cigarette. He's an ass, she said.

Why this time?

He won't give me any money.

That's bullshit.

Yeah, I know.

We should just take off, Hansel said, That would put the fear in him.

So they hitchhiked into the city, leaving a trail of cigarette butts behind them. Hansel knew about this lady, she was pretty cool, who let kids crash at her place. Gretel thought she looked kind of sketchy -- she was big, and she was wearing a tank top which you could see her armpit hair sticking out of, and the hair on her head was one big gray dred that looked like a massive hair turd -- but Hansel said she was okay.

She let them in and told them to call her Ma. She showed them a couch where they could sleep, and offered them some weed. Hansel and Gretel went to bed high and happy.

Life in the city was sweet. It was a good place to party. There was always someone around who was old enough to buy, if Ma didn't feel like it. Gretel noticed that Ma took guys into her room sometimes, and locked the door, but she didn't think much of it.

Until one day Ma said to Hansel, You know, I'm not running a charity.

We don't have any money, Hansel said.

It wouldn't have to be money, Ma said. There are other ways to make my hospitality worth my while.

Let me think about it, Hansel said.

She's after my bone, he told Gretel.

Ew, gross, Gretel said. Do you want to go back?

If we go home now it'll suck even worse than before because Dad's probably freaking.

So Hansel told Ma that he wanted to go with her into her room, but he was waiting for a mild rash to clear up. He told her he liked to do it high, especially on ecstasy. Ma bought him some cortisone cream and scored a bunch of ex.

A few days passed, and Hansel told Ma he was ready.

And Gretel is so grateful, she wants to join us, if you're into it, Hansel said.

Well, my, my, my! Ma said, smiling at Gretel, who came sidling up, swigging from a bottle of vodka.

They went into her room, and Gretel capped the vodka. Ma bent over the cabinet where she kept her drugs, and unlocked it. Gretel hit her over the head with the bottle, and Hansel gathered up all the drugs. Hansel and Gretel ran from Ma's house.

Gretel called their father and begged him to wire money for bus tickets. While they waited for the money to go through, they made calls and visited some people they knew. It took them half an hour to sell Ma's stash.

Of course, they were grounded when they got home, but at least they had money now.

About the author:

Rose Gowen has never been even slightly attracted to Marilyn Manson. You're thinking of someone else.