No Place Like Home – 2

I started writing this a couple months back, but put it to one side as it needed work. I had a bit of time over Christmas to polish it up.

The entire thing is pretty large, so I’m splitting it into bitesize chunks, this is Part II of III (if you missed it, you can find Part I here, plus I’ll publish the story in full on New Year’s Day).

I hope you enjoy my fairy story. Last part tomorrow.


Part I

The first blow sent Hazel flying against the garden fence. What the…??? The dazed hamster needed to find cover, fast, but the merciless cat was on her again in a trice. Scared out of her wits, Hazel sat perfectly still as she repeatedly scanned for a safe haven, thinking, I wish I was somewhere else, as she anxiously awaited her fate.

What happened next caught even the normally-cool Sampson by surprise! For Hazel had tumbled onto a huge golden leaf, fallen from the sycamore across the road. Which suddenly began to rustle, then to shake! When the leaf – complete with the shocked Hazel – lifted gently off the patio, the startled cat could not believe his eyes! What trickery is this??? It was Sampson’s turn to be flabbergasted, until the leaf reached nose-height and came straight for him! Flabbergastedness became full retreat, for poor old Sampson had no clue what was happening and instantly turned tail, scurrying for the safety of the house.

Hazel, meanwhile, was every bit as scared as Sampson. But at least the cat was scampering away, which was a good thing. With her tiny claws, she grasped the stem to prevent herself from falling, then dared to peek downwards.

Rising still, she now drifted above the roof, exposing the house. How strange that humans live in a box, just like me! Lifting even higher, Hazel glimpsed the world beyond, a world that she had never even dreamed about. She could not believe her eyes as the Nugent house grew smaller and smaller, finally a tiny pinprick in the distance. She held the stem even harder!

The Nugent family lived in an area of London, and as the leaf flew further and further away from the house, Hazel passed the airport. She even spotted an aeroplane, not too far off, coming in to land. She didn’t know it was an aeroplane, of course, but all the same, she was perplexed to see all those humans living in a tube, rather like the one she’d left behind in her cage!

As the aeroplane flew past, it caused a great deal of shaking and Hazel needed to grip the leaf for dear life! But she was at the mercy of this magic carpet; she had no idea how to control it, so had no choice but to… cling! as they blew towards the centre of the city.

Soon, the leaf slowed, and came lower. As she dropped through the wispy clouds, Hazel began to distinguish roads and buildings again, even an enormous green field below. As the leaf seemed to head straight for this field, Hazel noticed a grand old house beside it. It seemed to be a much larger house than the Nugents’, with hundreds of windows. It even had men standing guard by its gates, wearing bright red uniforms! What was this place?

Hazel anxiously clutched the leaf as it drifted closer and closer towards the field, and soon it became clear that it was somebody’s garden. The garden, in fact, of the Queen’s Palace, although Hazel did not know this, of course, because she was a hamster! Hazel did notice, however, that the garden was exceptionally well-tended. Even the flowers still bloomed, despite summer being long gone, and the lawn, which did not contain a single fallen leaf, still flourished.

When the golden leaf gently touched down, Hazel was glad to be on solid ground again, though she felt a little dizzy since she was not used to all this flying about! I’d better stay still for a short while, while I catch my breath. But even her sense of smell was askew, and she did not notice the old lady, out for her pre-lunch stroll, shuffling quietly along the path towards her. Instead, the old lady noticed her.

“Hello, lovely, what are you doing in my garden? Have you dropped in to have lunch with us? How nice to meet you!”

The hamster started, shrinking into the leaf, away from the woman. But this time, she needn’t have worried, for this person seemed to be gentle. Slowly, creakily, the elderly lady bent to pick Hazel up, but a young, uniformed man approached, interrupting the pair.

“Your majesty”, began the man. Hazel had not realised that she was in such illustrious company! “Lunch is served, ma’am, in the Small Dining Room, as you requested”.

But the queen raised her hand.

“Look who we have here, Hodgkiss.” She pointed towards Hazel. “Go back quickly into the house. Make sure none of the dogs can get out.”

A shrill bark later, however, and the queen realised that she was too late, for racing towards them was a strange-looking dog, bounding initially to greet his mistress. Its short legs were tiny stubs and it almost waddled on the ground, but there was no mistaking the size of those enormous teeth as its playful yelps turned to a growling anticipation when he spotted Hazel!

Part III

Entire Story

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