This was originally much longer but I only had a 500 word space (it was for print) so I pared and pared it down and, frankly, the result is a hell of a lot better.
The day Heathrow Terminal 5 decided to stretch its legs, Mrs Hardew was buying art in the high end shop. Her husband had recently died and she was looking for a replacement.
“What do you think of this?” the assistant pointed at a clock.
The assistant, who was called Lena, did not like the idea of her art doing. Customers came to her for objects that sparkled,entranced, struck dumb. Seeing one in your hall should stop you dead, make you think, ask more questions than it solved. It never did.
Mrs Hardew stuck a tissue up her sleeve.
“Liven things up,” she said.
At that moment, the floor tilted, robbing Lena of both retort and balance. She fell into several acres of Aztec-style tablecloth. Mrs Hardew steadied herself on a crocodile.
The terminal had found pulling away from its foundations a struggle but was now much happier. It had six long legs with feathers at the top. A plane spotter recorded it under Misc.
“Help!” cried Lena. She was having difficulty getting out of the Aztec-style tablecloth. She tried to pull herself up but could only find more material. It fell on her head. Mrs Hardew grabbed her hand from the linen sea and saved the drowning assistant.
Mrs Hardew and Lena made it to the viewing window by Café Nero and watched the countryside fly under them. The building was moving south with crashing footsteps. A party of ornithologists turned to Mrs Hardew. They looked worried.
“We think it’s migrating,” said a very tall spokeswoman who had intended to celebrate her birthday with a group trip to Geneva. “The question is,” she steadied herself, “what happens when we hit the Channel? We’ll sink!”
“I have an idea,” said Mrs Hardew, “follow me!”
The building was moving faster. Mrs Hardew raced back back to the luxury art shop, Lena and fifty ornithologists behind her.
“Grab that!” she shouted. They took hold of the Aztec-style tablecloth. “We need to get to the roof!”
“This way!” replied Lena. She frequently went there for a quiet glass of red.
Up on the roof, the sea was growing ahead. Great brown footprints stretched out behind.
“Oh no!” cried Mrs Hardew. “I’d hoped for a flagpole.”
“We can help!” the lead ornithologist shouted back, gesticulating excitedly and hitting one of her friends in the glasses by mistake. “Hand me that corner!”
Clutching the enormous tablecloth, she turned to her flock, put her fingers in her mouth and whistled. The ornithologists lined up in order of height. The one next in line clambered onto her shoulders. The next climbed onto his shoulders and the next onto hers and so on, passing the tablecloth up as they did. It billowed.
“A sail,” gasped Mrs Hardew as the last one reached the top. “I didn’t know ornithologists were so acrobatic.”
“There is a lot you don’t know about ornithologists,” replied the spokewoman.
“I suppose there is.”
The building stepped into the sea, and they travelled the world.