Posy looked up from her cup of tea when
she heard footsteps approaching. A man
not much taller than her was standing in
the doorway. She blinked at him. Posy
had never seen anyone else her size, unless
you counted her family. She realized it
must be his house that she was staying in,
and smiled graciously, and a little guiltily,
because she’d eaten three pies now and was
about to start on a fourth. Posy realized that
these pies must be costing him money.
But the man didn’t seem to mind. He
smiled back. “I’m glad you’re up.”
Posy nodded, suddenly a little confused. So
this wasn’t her house, then; it was someone
else’s, and that raised the question of where
exactly she was, and how she’d gotten there.
She stared at the man for a while, then
realized she was staring, and looked down.
Of course she would have to find something
to say. Posy ran her feet self-consciously
through the covers.
“Erm . . . ” she began, “erm, where am I?”
“Well, you’re in my guest room. I don’t
know for sure what you want to know . . .”
“Where am I, as in, what world am I in?”
“I’m not sure what you mean,” the man
said. “You’re in the Shire . . . in Middle
Earth. Does that help?”
Posy couldn’t help a huge grin spreading
all over her face. The Shire! Home, finally,
where she wouldn’t have to worry about
getting a job, no worries about money or
school or being too short or over-weight . . .
but one thing still pressed at her.
“Do you know,” she asked cautiously, “how
I got here?”
The man, or, Posy supposed, hobbit, looked
very inclined to fidget, but restrained it. “All
I know is I came home and you were lying
on the floor. You looked hurt . . . I didn’t
know what to think. So I got you into this
guest room and figured I’d find out later.”
He looked at Posy curiously, but she couldn’t
help him, because she didn’t know herself.
There was an awkward silence, in which Posy
battered her mind, trying to figure out what
to say. The hobbit looked about to walk out
again, so Posy blurted, “I’m Posy! Thank you,
for your hospitality, and if you want me to pay
you back for these delicious pies, I’ll do
whatever I can, and I’m so sorry I don’t have
any money, but just let me know what I can do.”
Her voice was loud, somewhat artificial
sounding. What was she doing? The hobbit
looked about ready to bolt from her sudden
outburst. And she was still talking. Posy
crammed her fist in her mouth to stop the talking.
She grinned sheepishly from around her hand.
The hobbit blinked, and regained some
composure. “Of course you don’t have to pay
me back, and I’m very pleased to meet you,” he
said. He didn’t look it, Posy thought, somewhat
ashamed. “You may stay here as long as you like.
If you want anything, just call. Washroom is
through that door.” He backed graciously out of
Posy groaned and let her head fall into her hands.
One was slippery wet from being in her mouth, the
other sticky from the pies. She felt sick. There
it was, her first talk with anyone from Middle
Earth, parents excluded, in almost two decades.
She should leave this house and find her own,
old one. But of course that was impossible. She
had no idea where to begin. She’d have to stay
here until she got her bearings.
She tried to remember details about other worlds
that she’d learned in The Lives of Christopher Chant.
They all speak the same languages.
But she’d been speaking to the hobbit in Westron,
which she knew as well as she knew English, better,
because English was a second language. Great.
So she wasn’t in any of the 12 related worlds, that
meant. Where was she, then?
Stupid, Posy thought. It’s just a book. There are
no 12 related worlds to be in! Probably there are
just story-worlds. Middle Earth. The one in the
Harry Potter books. The ones in the Golden Compass.
But then the worlds in the Chrestomanci books are
real too. She was going in circles. She’d had too
much pie and now she was feeling sick.
Does it really matter? She was in the Shire now,
the place that she could truly call home. But her
parents . . . A wave of guilt washed over her–her
parents, she should have considered them first. But
she’d never see them again, she realized. Tears
twanged into her eyes. But what did it matter? She
was here now, and if she kept looking back she’d
never look forward.
Posy ran her fingers through her foothair. It was
greasy, stinky. Well, at least she could do one thing
for sure. She slid off the bed and hobbled in to
the bathroom, where the tub was already full of
She’d been hit by a car. That much she knew. But
she wasn’t hurt, just weak and she’d been ravenous.
Yet the hobbit had said she’d looked hurt, and now
she didn’t. Strange. Being hit by a car had zapped
her back to Middle Earth, that was the weirdest thing.
Posy sighed as she wriggled out of her tatty dress
and into the tub. There was soap, and a comb, and
Posy missed her shampoo almost immediately.
She cleaned herself as best she could, then teased
the tangles out of her foot and head hair, trying not
to yelp. Her dress was disgraceful; ripped and dirty
and utterly impractical, but it seemed her host had
thought of that, too. There was a different dress
hanging on the bathroom door, the same color as
her hair, made from a much more durable
material. As soon as she had dried herself off
she pulled the dress on. It was coarse, but much
better than her old one; better suited for a large
waistline. She folded her old dress and took it
into the other room, where she slid it under the
bed to be forgotten. The bed was made already,
the round windows thrust open to let in the air
Curious, Posy sniffed the gentle breeze. It was
warm and dry smelling, and carried the scent of
lush grass and road dust. Different. But it
brought back memories of the distant past,
memories she didn’t even know she had. The
grass was longer then, the road closer. She was
perhaps five, (three) scampering down a hill, to
the side of it, around it, where there was a door.
A door in the hill. Her mom was coming out of
it. She was young then, and happy, not grey as
she was now. She picked Posy up and whirled
her around, in a yellow-brown-green blur, and the
Good times, Posy thought. But here she was
again. She stuck her head out the window and
watched, wide-eyed, as children played, laughing
and screaming with delight, all smaller than
normal. It was like looking at a perfect
wonderland through a backwards telescope.
There were hobbits working in gardens, hobbits
having tea outside, and everything was bright and
green and yellow and happy.
End part two. Address for part one:
So, she’s in the Shire. Who’s her host? You tell
me. What’ll happen in the next part? I haven’t
written it yet, so you tell me. Mwahaha. I love
audience participation lol