Once upon a time, above a sea of clouds, the flat surface of a large rock stood in solitude. This alone was a sight to behold and was made even more memorable due to the single wooden house that was built at its summit. The house was built so that it took up every inch of the flat surface of the rock and it had been many years since any supplies were brought up to help maintain the old windows and the creaky doors. This meant plenty of cold winter nights and nights of interrupted sleep for the residents of the house, Emily Hunter and her parents, Charles and Fiona.
Emily’s parents had decided to move their house to the highest point they could think of before Emily was born and, despite the hardships of their chosen life, they had been happy with their decision ever since. That was, until the day a man in a business suit named Mr Dennington made his way up to the top of the rock using a carriage and a series of complicated pulley systems and knocked on their front door.
The Hunters were sitting down to breakfast at the time, and they looked at each other with shock when they heard the knock. Charles Hunter eventually walked up to the door and opened it with hesitation. A strong wind entered the house first, followed closely by their new guest, flustering about with his tie and his briefcase. He introduced himself the moment after he wiped the sweat and dirt from his forehead using a handkerchief from his jacket’s pocket.
“Good morning, everyone! Apologies for interrupting your breakfast, however, it does seem that I’m at a bit of a loss for somewhere else to wait before making my presence known. My name is Mr Dennington Dennington,” he said with a slight bow. “And you, young lady, must be Emily Hunter and these must be your wonderful parents, Charles and Fiona,” Mr Dennington held out his hand, inviting Emily’s father to shake it. Being the ever-respectful host, Charles shook the outstretched hand but remained silent while doing so. Mr Dennington broke the silence that followed. “Right, well, unless you’re in a particular hurry to finish that tasty looking breakfast then we’ll get started right away.”
“Get started?” Charles asked in confusion. “Started on what, Mr Dennington?”
“Excellent question, Charles!” Mr Dennington announced. “Come with me.”
Emily and Fiona pushed their chairs in and the three of them followed Mr Dennington as he opened their front door and invited them to look out over the clouds. To their dismay, there were now at least twenty other rocks poking their tops out of the clouds. In addition, each rock had at least ten workmen taking wooden planks and tools from the carriages brought to the top of each rock. “It’s exciting isn’t it!” Mr Dennington exclaimed as the Hunters crowded around him. “We’ve known about your marvellous plan to escape the difficulties of everyday life below these clouds and our research shows that there are lots and lots of people who would also like to escape up here with you!” Mr Dennington said, pointing to an imaginary chart. “Marvellous isn’t it!” Before The Hunters could give any meaningful answers, Mr Dennington had walked back on to the carriage and was now directing the workers to finish the houses before dusk.
For the rest of the day, The Hunters were unable to rest or concentrate due to the noise coming from the workers and their machines. There was drilling and hammering and yelling and arguments and the three of them spent most of the morning huddled around their small kitchen table, comforting one another and providing reassurances that everything was going to be alright. Because the houses were designed to be very basic and easy to assemble, they were completed by midday and the families that were moving in were lifted up via their own personal carriages. Each family seemed just as excited as the next when they entered their own peaceful house in the clouds and, as the orange sky gave way to a clear, night sky and twinkling stars, the Hunters and their neighbours all went to sleep.
That is when the snoring started. Snoring as deafening as anything you have ever heard and as horrid as anything you could ever imagine. The snoring was coming from the mouths of all three hunters and was so thunderous that the windows and doors of every other house around them shook and rattled, resulting in absolutely no sleep for any of their new neighbours.
The Hunters woke up the next morning to a knock at their door. Charles opened the door with Emily and Fiona standing behind him and they were greeted by a distraught Mr Dennington who immediately apologised for any inconvenience. The defeated businessman mumbled something they couldn’t understand before hopping on his carriage and dipping back below the clouds. Looking outside over the white landscape they called home, The Hunters couldn’t see any houses or workmen and a slight smile crept across all of their faces. Charles shut the door and The Hunters enjoyed a delicious breakfast, appreciating the peace and tranquillity they would experience for the rest of their lives.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
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