Nutlidge ~ Chapter Eighteen

Nutlidge ~ Chapter Eighteen

Perry and Winkle to the Rescue

Podsinia had turned the local bathing cave into her own home. The look of its natural beauty had mostly gone, leaving it dull and unexciting. She had managed to be strong enough to create herself some furniture. A root covered chair, a table with candles and a goblet.
There was a pile of dirt and leaves for her bed and she had captured two nutleys already!
Long roots tied up Lord Nutwood and Lady Acacia back to back to a protruding root.
They both looked at their capturer as she made a large water ball rise from the water’s depths.
There in the ball was Sky, still fast asleep. Then there was a picture of Yellow Flower having breakfast and talking to Dusty.
Elm was the next one she zoomed in on. He was discussing the plan for the visit to Canberra with his helper Lobes.
Nutwood didn’t want her to hear this so tried to get her attention.
“Podsinia, you won’t get away with this you know!”
“What!” She said, “You don’t think I am capable of taking over Nutlidge?” She stared at him, trying to intimidate him. It didn’t work. “I have already captured the most popular couple in the tree! What makes you think I can’t get exactly what I want?”
“Because, the power of the people will override you. Their love will be too strong for you to live.”
“Well we’ll just see about that!” She said loudly, getting angry now. “By the look of the state of things, I don’t think I’ll have any trouble at all. Those humans won’t change! They never will!” She paced up and down quickly, grinning wickedly because of her attitude towards them. “They are too stupid to know how to stop themselves!” Podsinia laughed, then stopped and glared at Nutwood. “The Atlantians were the same!” She said quietly and resentfully. “Only they were one step ahead of me! Not this time!! I have no faith in humans and their ability to think anything other than hatred and fighting!”
“That’s not so,” said Nutwood keeping her from the water ball, “The human race has the capability to turn themselves around. They know the laws. They have just forgotten them, that is all. They only need reminding.”
“Reminding! How many times do you think it will take to remind them? I have watched them from my prison over the last twelve thousand years, and the many teachers they have been sent have been ridiculed and ignored! Or killed!” She laughed, a wicked tone deep in her throat. “Their intelligence leaves little to desire. I am not concerned about all this! Nutlidge is my home now and I shall rule from your palace. But first, I have to take care of some business… Don’t go away!” She mocked, while playing with her scraggly hair with her bony finger. The witch took off up to the entrance like a cat at full speed.
“Oh Nutwood, are you all right?” Said Acadia, distressed.
“Yes, and you my darling?” He replied, feeling totally helpless.
“What are we going to do? We can’t let her get Sky!”
“Sky is well protected my love. But it won’t stop Podsinia from trying. She may even go for Yellow Flower or Elm. Don’t worry, we will be safe.” He found her hands and held them tight.

Sky had just surfaced, having had a wonderful sleep. The young girl felt great! She came out into the dining room where her grandmother sat in the sun reading the local paper. The elderly woman saw her granddaughter entering and put down her glasses and news article.
“Hello little magic fairy! How are we this morning?” She said, with a huge grin on her face and thoughts of the night before flashing though her mind.
“A bit nervous, but good thanks Grandma.” Said Sky, giving her a warm hug.
“Oh yes, you have a mighty task to undertake don’t you my dear! Are you feeling all right about it? Is everything planned and ready to go?”
“Yep!” She said, getting herself some toast from the toast rack, “I have lots of support Grandma, so you don’t have to worry. But Yellow Flower did ask if you would please watch the broadcast this morning of the Summit in Canberra. And if you can record it on video too… Also to get everyone you know to watch it and do the same. The more people that tune in the better!”
The young girl told her grandmother all about her adventures the day before, and all the new things she learned and realised.
Grace was stunned and listened to all the details knowing most of it in her heart, but taking in the new with openness. Beverly came in with breakfast and they ate well on bacon and eggs, fried potatoes, tomatoes and more toast.

Meanwhile Elm was getting ready to meet Sky at Yellow Flower’s home. Lobes had gone on ahead to set things up in Canberra with several pixies in tow. They had the television station to deal with.
Yellow Flower was speaking with fifteen other nature spirits, seven fairies and eight more pixies. Two wagtails were lined up to take messages; two kookaburras were called in to keep an eye on things in the political car park and certain political vehicles.
A flock of rainbow lorikeets had already flown off to pass on the message to their bird folk. If you needed a news bulletin called out, call the rainbow lorikeets! The parrots were well known for their big mouths and loud talk! But this would ensure that the birds’ connections would take care of any outside interruptions.
“Alright,” said Yellow Flower addressing the group, “Now the fairies need to help make sure Sky gets to all the drinks in the room, even the large containers of water. It will be a big job for her, but we must watch out for signs of interfering individuals who threaten our plan. You girls know what to do. Just have fun!”
They all laughed and giggled and looked forward to this adventure. They didn’t get out into the human world often, but when they did, look out! Fairies could be very cheeky, but were also very intelligent little beings!
“Now, you pixies will be looking after the wiring and the people controlling the telecast. They mustn’t be able to cut anything out of this. Most of the time, they only broadcast what they want the public to hear, so you fellows are to take care of them. And Perry,” she said to one cheeky pixie, “No biting.” He looked at his other companions and went all red with embarrassment.
The fairies were all beginning to chat amongst themselves when they heard footsteps coming up the tree.
“That will be Sky now,” said the gold fairy and she walked to the end of her garden with fairy dust in her hand.
“Good morning!” Chirped Sky, who seemed taller than ever!
“Hello Sky. You look positively vibrant this morning! All ready for your journey?”
“Oh yes! I feel great!”
Yellow Flower handed Sky the tea and she poured it under her tongue. Green sparkle glittered around her and she shrank down to a more ‘normal’ size.
Today she had her jeans on and a t-shirt, with her runners. She thought it would be more comfortable for the job. No one was going to see her, so it wasn’t like she had to dress up or anything. However, she had brought her other fairy dress for afterwards.
Yellow Flower introduced the fairies to her.
“Sky, I would like you to meet some good friends of mine who are going to assist you today. This is Blue Bell, Fuchsia, Rosemally, Jasmine, Daffydil, Gerbarina and Lillyput.” They all floated off the ground just a touch as they said “Greetings Sky” to her. They were beautiful! Their delicate dresses and wings and silky locks decorated with the tiniest of flowers and feathers was just like a book Sky had, that her mother had given her. ‘Someone else has seen these fairies too, perhaps in their dreams’ she thought. Even though they had their cheeky funny side to them that always showed, they were always gentle and innocent.
“I’m so happy to meet you. This is an honour,” she said sincerely.
The seven fairies all blushed and giggled at their compliment.
“The fairies are going to help you get through your task with the Honestea and the potion Merlin gave Elm. They will make sure you have no one interrupting what you are doing.”
The pixies were chatting amongst themselves and showing off a little in front of their guest.
Yellow Flower smiled at them and said to Sky, “These cheeky fellows will be coming along too. This is Perry and his brother Winkle, Prickles, Bud, Rocky, Pod, Splash and Nobby. They are helping with the camera and telecast side of things.”
“Pleased to meet you all!” she said grinning at them. It was hard not to, they were funny little people that was for sure!
They all said “Hello Sky” together but in their own ways and went all embarrassed, hiding behind each other until they were bumping into the branch behind them, which actually looked like a tree trunk with a garden around it. Then they came shyly hopping back, tripping each other up as they went.
Sky and Yellow Flower and the fairies were all laughing at them.
Yellow Flower suddenly looked at where the sun was coming from and said, “I wonder where Elm is. He’s usually very punctual when it comes to things like this.”
“Maybe he’s having trouble with his powers, like he did the first time I saw him. You know with the bats and all,” said Sky seeing the look on Yellow Flower’s face.
“Mmm.” Hummed Yellow Flower, and she stared into the tree trying to focus on something.
She couldn’t visualise anything but as she changed her point of focus she spotted a web with her friend Cilia the spider busy at work on one of her captures. Yellow Flower watched her wind the web around this particular fly, who wasn’t actually fully dead yet. It was buzzing as it was turned around and around.
“Oh that’s it!” She said, springing to attention! “That’s it. He’s tied up! Podsinia must have kidnapped him!”
The little folk around her were following her lead. They read nature too. It was natural to them to do so.
“I’ll go and see if I can find him!” Said Perry, and Winkle piped up and said, “Me too! Me too!”
Yellow Flower thought for a moment. “We have to get the potion! Perry, Winkle, you go and find Elm. I believe he is under the tree. Try the mulch fields or the bathing caves, and when you find him be very quiet. Get yourself to him unseen and get the potion off him, do you think you can manage that okay?”
They nodded, itching to do something heroic.
“Off you go then, and get Elm to send you straight to Canberra where the Summit is being held.”
They ran off as fast as their short little legs could take them to the nearest Nird station, to start their mission.
“Well, I don’t think Podsinia realises who she has caught there, and I dare say Elm will keep her busy!” Said Yellow Flower, “We will rescue him after the Summit is over. That way I can be sure Podsinia doesn’t get up to too much mischief. Alright now, are we all ready?” She looked around to check that they were all there.
“Right then!” She said, trying to think of anything she had forgotten. “If any of you get stuck anywhere, just chirp like a cricket. Remember…it is very important that Sky gets to all the drinks; otherwise it may not work properly. I have the Honestea powder here in my cocoon. Sky you take this, have you got the spoon for measuring?”
She had it in her own bag, of which she got out and placed it in the cocoon with the tea. She checked to make sure her crystal was still there around her neck, and even though she wore it outside her clothing, she paid it a lot of attention, holding tightly onto it.
“Alright everyone, whilst the Nutlidge folk have been instructed to put all their thoughts towards a positive outcome, it’s our job to help Sky. Okay, you all know what to do?”
They all nodded, excited about their adventure. “It’s time to go… gather around…” Yellow Flower threw a handful of magic powder and it showered the group completely. They began to fade as glitter and sparkle took over and then ended in a puff of green mist.

While this was all taking place, Elm had been caught and tied up in Podsinia’s cave. He had been entertaining his captor much to her disgust, and she was beginning to get very short with him. Nutwood and Acacia knew what the wizard was trying to do; so they kept quiet and let him do his thing. Question after question he asked her, testing her abilities and trying to make her use up her stored energy. She was much stronger than he had imagined. But he continued never the less, trying to distract her. She had found the potion and had sat it on her ‘table’ to keep an eye on it. Elm was tied up to another exposed tree root. His hands and feet were wound very tightly. He could only move his head. But he could see her every move and was content to just wait a while before doing anything too drastic.
“Well, I must say the ball is impressive!” Said Elm quite honestly, as he watched her bring it out of the water again.
“That’s nothing!” She snapped, “Look at this!” She waved her arm towards the ball and a picture appeared. It was Yellow Flower and the others in the mouse house talking between themselves.
“You don’t think I know what is going on do you!” She said slyly. “I know your young friend Sky is there somewhere…Ah yes…” She whispered, and held her ugly hands together in delight.
There was Sky in the toilet block, waiting for Yellow Flower to come back.
“It would seem that your little human friend could be locked up for some time!” She said, and dissolved into a wicked throat laugh.
Nutwood had run out of things to delay Podsinia for the time being and was getting tired from standing. Acacia was beginning to fidget and trying to use her tail to untie the vines that were tied nearby. It would be a slow task but she would eventually achieve something, she was sure.
Nutwood motioned to Elm to get her attention away from the water oracle and Elm did just that.
“Podsinia, where are all your friends today?” He said, “I would have thought you would have a few friends or family arriving to celebrate your coming victory!”
Podsinia took offence straight away and almost flew over to him, coming eyeball to eyeball.
“I don’t have any family!” She said nastily to him through her one tooth, “But I do have lots of friends! They are attempting to rule the world! They control the people and keep them small and insignificant! They do what they like just like ME!” She screamed and flew up, and backward to the ball and landed next to it on the landing.
“Those idiots will keep the energy going for me to survive the next fifty thousand years! By the time they drop their weapons there will be nothing but devastation everywhere! Then, I will breed myself a family and I will make you all my slaves. I will build a new world! I will create disharmony and discord everywhere! None of you stupid tree folk will ever smile again!” She said wickedly, laughing at the ball with a picture of the politicians still socialising in the hall.
As she glared at the scene before her, Elm caught sight of some movement behind her. Two little bodies were quietly darting from cover to cover, behind rocks and roots and plants, peeking around the corner to keep eye contact with Elm and to watch Podsinia.
Quickly they made their way to Podsinia’s strange looking table where the potion sat.
Podsinia flew around to look at Nutwood and the two pixies disappeared behind the nearest boulder.
“It’s brilliant!” Yelled Podsinia, “I didn’t think it could be so easy! Without the potion, you have no hope of ever getting your stupid city back. It’s mine, all mine!” She said, sweeping the potion from the table as fast as she could go and holding it up above her head.
She was preparing to throw it and smash the precious syrup when Elm called out to her.
“Stop! You are wasting a valuable potion there! I’m surprised at you Podsinia! A bright witch like you, not keeping it for your own plans! Why I really am disappointed! Here I was thinking I was going to get a really intelligent show…” Carried on Elm, taunting her growing ego.
“What!” She screeched, suddenly holding it to her body like a child holding a doll for security. “What do you mean? What would I possibly want with it?”
“What! You don’t know! Oh! Well you know you could use that to make yourself more powerful! But you must drink it with some nutley tea to make it work properly.” He said mocking her.
She put the potion back onto the table and demanded to know which tea she should use for her benefit.
This plan had worked well. While Elm was telling Podsinia all the different teas she could use, Perry hopped over to the table to grab the bottle while Winkle kept and eye on her. The pixie took hold of the bottle and ran behind the rock where Winkle was crouching. They waited there for a sign to move again.
Podsinia’s eyes were more open now than they had ever been before. Her vision of herself being all-powerful gave Perry and Winkle time to hide behind a bush near Elm. While Podsinia looked at herself in the waters reflection, Winkle cut at the vine with his knife, but the vine was so tough it didn’t make a mark.
While they tried to think of something, Podsinia threw herself around and tried to act like a queen. She definitely wasn’t the queen type! But it took her eyes away from her valuable guests.
The pixies were behind Elm, still fiddling with the ties but with no luck. Winkle managed to get near Elm’s ear and whisper to him, “Get us to the Summit! We’ll come back for you!” He stepped back down to a crouch position with his brother.
Elm had his two pointer fingers free and managed to line them up even though they were quite far apart. He closed his eyes and a quick flash of light came from his fingers and the brothers were surrounded with green glitter. A transformation took place, but not the one Elm had hoped for. There they were, both Perry and Winkle, hosting huge bat wings! They managed to duck their new attachments out of the way before Podsinia turned around.
“What was that?” She said, glaring at the wizard and the nutley couple.
“Oh, just a bat finding it’s way through into the next cave. Nothing to worry about!” Replied Elm, and rolled his eyes at his silly mistake.
Nutwood and Acacia had trouble hiding their smiles and both turned their heads to hide it.
When the witch turned her head and looked at her long hair in the reflection and said, “I must do something with my beautiful locks!” She curled some of the long ragged hair around her finger, and some of it broke off, it was so brittle! She bunched it up and put it on her head trying to look glamorous.
Nutwood and Acacia had to look away again; they felt so embarrassed for her. She really was the most ugly, bedraggled thing they had ever laid eyes on. They felt compassionately sorry for her. Elm made the bat wings disappear and then concentrated harder. He tried it again and this time it worked, leaving a clear space where the pixies had been.


Nutlidge ~ Chapter Nineteen

Nutlidge ~ Chapter Nineteen

The Mission Begins

Yellow Flower, Sky, the fairies and the pixies all appeared outside the door to the main gathering entrance. They stood on a ledge that was decorating one of the large pillars that rose up around the entrance hallway. There they had a bird’s eye view of everything.
Most of the world leaders were in the hall standing around and talking to each other in small groups. Two more men and a lady walked in and met up with familiar faces.
The cameras were already in place with the cameramen awaiting the start, checking their cords and testing out their equipment.
The large rooms seating arrangements were set out in a circular pattern so all the men and women in the room looked toward the center where a large blue rug dominated the floor. The seats set out like a cinema, going up as they went back. There were four half-circle benches on either side of the room, each seating 50 people, in pairs. Each area was set up with a microphone, a jug of water and two glasses and an ashtray. And every flag of the world was hung above the appropriate leaders chairs. The name each country represented, was placed before the microphone within the cameras vision.
Lavish flowers filled the room, waiters with trays of wine, scotch and brandy walked from group to group offering drinks followed by another offering tea and coffee.
Trays of food made their way around the room and reporters hummed in their allocated area about the current happenings.
Outside, more cars arrived. Willy Weed made his grand entrance. Reporters crowded the footpath trying to get a picture of him with his General in tow. Protesters crowded the streets peacefully and Parliament House driveways with signs saying ‘No War For Oil!’, ‘Go Home Willy!’ and other such things like ‘Save the Forests!’, ‘No US Bases on Aussie Soil!’ and ‘C’mon Coward! Don’t sell Australia to the Lizards!’
All this was rather amusing to Sky and her friends, who were now flying down to the floor next to the large doorway. Yellow Flower and Blue Bell had Sky between them helping her down there. She enjoyed the flight very much, giggling all the way!
They headed into the huge hall making their way along the wall to a mouse hole. They needed to get Sky out of sight for the moment.
The mouse hole had a resident mouse that came and greeted them. He introduced himself as Alf and offered his services.
“Oh thank you Alf, we just might need you after all. We are one person short, and you might just be able to fill his shoes for him”. Before they could say another word a flash of light appeared and Lobes arrived on the spot.
“Greetings!” He said, with his usual cheeky smile and floppy ears dangling around his feet.
“Oh Lobes! I was just about to come looking for you! Thank Goodness! Is everything set up in the broadcasting station?” Asked Yellow Flower.
“Oh yes! No problem at all. Our little friends are standing by, ready for action! Nothing will be left out!” He smiled wider and scratched his ear near his knee.
“Okay. Well I need to go with Sky somewhere where she can get back to her full size without being seen. Then I can give her the Invisibilitea.”
“Yes, I shall stay here until you return.” Said Lobes.
“Thank you.” She said, turning to the other folk awaiting their instructions. “Would you all just stay here for a few moments while I see to Sky, and then I’ll be back.” She led Sky out of the mouse hole and into the ladies toilets. They chose the first one and went in.
Yellow Flower closed and locked the door with her powers. She took a small cocoon flask off her hip and Sky tipped the Changeabilitea under her tongue. Up she went to her normal height and after she had stretched a little she sat on the seat. Yellow Flower flew up and landed on her knee.
“Okay, now Sky, I made the Invisibilitea for you… here,” she said, handing her another flask. This one was larger. Now this should last about two hours before it wears off. It should give you time to spike the drinks when they are all seated. Before you take it just let me check your cocoon to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything.”
“What about the potion?” Asked Sky, remembering Perry and Winkle and their mission.
“Oh my goodness yes!” Said the fairy suddenly remembered. “They should really be here by now! Oh I hope they’re alright! Look, Sky, stay here for a moment while I see if they have caught up with Lobes yet.”
“Okay.” Nodded Sky and the fairy flew off.

Fran woke up feeling much fresher than before. It was now ten o’clock and as she got up, and there was a knock on the door.
“Yes?” She called, and the door opened. Baize came in with a cup of tea and some toast for her, along with a big smile on his face.
“Well, thank you sweetheart! That’s lovely… To what do I owe this pleasure?” She took the tray and smiled curiously. Not that he had ever done that before, but they were few and far between these days, and it was usually for a reason!
“Oh because you’re just a great Mum!” He said and sat on the bed.
“Oh yes. And your great Mum is about to be asked to do what, pray tell?”
He grinned and knew that he was foiled! “Well…I was wondering if we could do some practicing here today…”
“Oh, Baize, I don’t think…”
“Oh Mum, it’s just that we need a quiet place to write and the four of us would like to do it here for a change.”
“Yes but I have a friend coming over…”
“We won’t disturb you, promise!” He said with puppy dog eyes.
She looked at him, wanting to say ‘no, not today!’ but then supposed that it would be all right. “Oh alright.” She said already regretting it, “But no loud music. Go in your own room if you have to.”
“We’ll be writing music Mum. So we won’t be that loud.”
Fran took a sip of her tea. “You always make a good cup of tea dear.” She said, and took another sip. “So, what are you writing about?”
“Oh, I’m not sure yet. Something in relation to the bombings or something that might be able to raise money for the victims.”
Fran thought that was a great idea and nodded as she sipped her tea. “Have you heard any more about Tommo and the others yet?” She asked.
“Yeah, not much change yet with Tommo. He’s still in a coma. They’re flying in his girlfriend to see if that brings him out of it. But they’re now saying that one of the pieces of shrapnel is near his spine. They’re not sure whether to remove it or not.” He replied, and punched a pillow he had been playing with.
“Oh honey. He’ll be okay. It might be a long haul for him, but he’s a tough bloke.” She said, looking at her son intensely.
“Yeah. I know. It just sucks that’s all. He never did anything to the people who blew the nightclubs up.”
“I know love. It’s hard to understand isn’t it? And it seems as though it’s getting out of hand. If it’s not over religion, it’s over oil, and if it’s not over that they’ll find something else!”
“Well, it’s not fair! Why don’t they blow each other up instead of using innocent people?”
Fran didn’t know what to say for a moment. She put her hand on his and squeezed it. “It is unfair I know. But Baize, don’t try to carry the world on your shoulders. Just do what you can do. Write your song… and show ‘em another way!” she smiled.
He lightened up a little. “So who was this ‘friend’ you met last night?” He finally inquired.
“Oh just someone I picked up!” She said, grinning wickedly!
He hadn’t seen his mum this bubbly for a long time. It was great to see. “Come on… you can tell me,” he said.
“No, only kidding, it was someone whose car had broken down and I gave him a lift to the next town. He ended up buying me a drink and we stayed for tea and then I took him and his petrol back to his car. His name is Jack and he’s around my age, working and very cute! He’s a bit of an entrepreneur amongst other things. I asked him around for lunch today,” she said with a smile still on her face, then looked at her son and added sternly, “So no funny business!” She smiled.
“Ah! Prince charming hey! Well, good on you Mum. You deserve to be happy. I’ll look forward to meeting him… Anyway, I’ll let you eat your brekkie and I’ll let the guys know it’s okay to come over.”
“Alright dear.” She said and took a bite from her toast. He left the room and came back straight away, “By the way, when is Sky coming home? I want to test her out for some percussion.”
“Oh, that’s nice Baize, she’ll love that! Um, I was going to pick her up tonight. I have to ring your Grandmother and see how they’re doing. If she’s having fun, she can stay a little longer if she wants.” It was school holidays after all.
“Okay.” He said, and then left the room.

Perry and Winkle turned up in the toilet block where Sky was, making her jump.
“Oh you guys!” She said, holding her heart. “I was expecting Yellow Flower.” She picked them up and placed them on her knee.
“We got the potion for you!” Said Perry, handing her the tiny bottle sealed with a nut and covered with wax.
“Yeah!” Nodded Winkle, “And you should see how Elm and Podsinia dealing with each other! It’s really very funny!”
“But we couldn’t untie him. She has the ties under a spell I think. They wouldn’t cut or come undone,” said Perry, expressing himself with his hands.
Just then, someone came into the toilet and washed their hands. She was humming to herself. Sky peeked through the rather large crack in the door frame and the pixies hopped on her head to do the same thing. The lady was a little tipsy and broke out into song filling the whole room up with the chorus from Shirley Bassey’s ‘Big Spender’ and finished off with ‘Spend a little time with me!’ and she did a quick shoe shuffle before straightening out her suit and laughing at the mirror. She left the room leaving the door to swing wide open before it closed with a cushion affect.
Sky was trying not to giggle! It was so funny. The pixies were laughing uncontrollably, but the lady couldn’t hear them.
As soon as the lady left, Sky cracked up snorting through her nose before breaking out into laughter! She sat on the toilet seat holding her tummy. They laughed for some time, tears in their eyes; they kept thinking about the silly movements of that middle-aged lady and just couldn’t help themselves! They all laughed so much they made each other laugh! One of Sky’s happy tears rolled off onto Winkles hat and knocked it off, splashing Perry in the face. But that only made them laugh even more! Until Yellow Flower appeared still looking for the pixies, relived to see that they had arrived. In between laughter they all told a little of the lady and what she did. It wasn’t long before they had Yellow Flower laughing uncontrollably as well and it took them all some time to collect themselves.
It was exactly what they needed! They had all been so serious lately that it would have jammed up their own intuitive and magical energies, so it was like medicine from a bottle!
“Oh! You wonderful little darlings!” Sky laughed, pinching them both on the cheek. They both got embarrassed and went all shy.
Sky showed the fairy the bottle and Yellow Flower nodded. “Oh good! Just one drop in each cup. It is very concentrated, so that is all you will need, but remember it needs to go in at the same time as the Honestea powder. You will need two hands for this Sky. Have your cocoon ready and open to scoop out the tea, and here, I’ll break the seal of the potion so you can drip it.” She did just that, making enough of a hole in the wax for the liquid to be dripped out at the right speed, and handed the bottle back to Sky. It was only as big as her thumb, and she wondered how it was going to do all the drinks, but she trusted Yellow Flowers directions.
“They are all beginning to sit down.” Yellow Flower continued, “So Sky, it’s time to take your Invisibilitea, are you ready?” Sky grinned with nervousness and excitement and nodded. “Yes, it’s now or never!” She said, and took the tiny nut bottle of Invisibilitea from her. She was still giggling a little. She took in a big breath to calm her nerves.

Nutlidge ~ Chapter Twenty

Nutlidge ~ Chapter Twenty

Invisibilitea and Honestea

Under the tongue it went and she thought of herself as invisible and instantly she disappeared from humanity’s view. However, the three folk were still standing on her knee, and they could still see her.
“Are you okay Sky?” Asked Yellow Flower.
“Yes!” Said Sky giggling.
“Okay, come on then, I’ll sit on your shoulder until we are in there and then I will keep an eye on you. Perry, Winkle, go and help the other pixies with the cameramen and the telecast set up. We also need two keeping an eye on the guards by the entrance. Off you go, they’re waiting for you in the mouse hole near the entrance doors.”
The pixies disappeared from the cubicle and Sky went to open the door. It was locked. “Oh no!” She said, instantly worried.
“Don’t worry Sky, I locked it so no one would come in.” With that she wiggled her finger to release the lock. Nothing happened. She tried again, and still nothing happened. “Oh, well…” She said calmly, “You may have to climb over the door.” Suggested Yellow Flower. Podsinia hadn’t thought of this. She may have had the powers but she did not have the intelligence to use them properly!
Sky stood on the toilet seat and hoisted herself over the top and into the neighbouring cubicle. Then with Yellow Flower back on her shoulder again, she took off out the door and back into the great hall.
Most of the leaders were already seated except for a couple of odd figures that were taking their time.
The camera crews were set up and ready to go, reporters were checking their tape recorders and chatting quietly amongst them. Helping hands were everywhere flitting from here to there. Interpreters were also seated with those leaders who needed them.
Yellow Flower pointed out to Sky where to start. Standing in front of the long arched bench at one end, in the walkway, Sky got her measure out and scooped some tea. She held it over the top of the coffee mug along with the bottle and as she tipped the tea powder into the hot coffee, she allowed one drop of the potion into the cup also. They instantly sparkled and mixed themselves into the drink by the way of the tiniest bubbles. It was too small for the naked eye to notice.
She did this to the other drink containers and by Yellow Flowers instruction in her ear; she put three lots into the water jugs.
She worked her way along the row until she came to Willy Weed.
“No, leave him for a while,” said Yellow Flower. “Continue the row and come back around the other way. So Sky went and did as she was told.
The fairies were spread in strategic positions around the room ready to create a distraction enabling Sky to do her job without interruption.
The first speaker was of course Tom Coward. He rose in front of the cameras and spoke clearly to the worldwide audience that was out there listening.
“It gives me great pleasure to present to you our World Leaders’ Summit. On behalf of the Australian citizens, I would like to thank all of the World Leaders that have travelled to be here today at such short notice.
“We have gathered for the purpose, of finding a way to discuss the most important issues our world is facing today. Along with topics such as logging and wood chipping and trying to establish sanctions for saving and replanting more forests, more impending issues are present and they involve terrorism. We invite the media to witness our discussions here over the next few hours and trust the people at home will witness the peaceful outcomes of many issues…” He went on and on.

Grace was tuned in and set up for a long TV watch, with morning tea by her side, delivered faithfully by her friend and helper Beverly. She came in to the sitting room to top Grace’s cup up and said,
“And what is it you’re watching there Grace! I didn’t think you were into politics that much!”
“Oh, I just thought I might tune in to this Summit they are having in Canberra and see if they all tell the truth today or not.” She answered, smiling and stirring her tea.
“Oh yes! Well that will be the day!” Said Bev, looking at her boss sideways a little. “And what make you think they are going to be any different today from their normal lying selves?”
“Oh, just got a hunch!” She said in a cheerful tone and sipped the tea. “Why don’t you gather up the others and get them in for a cup of tea. I think they will enjoy this show!”
Beverly looked at her, wondering where she got the idea that it would be entertaining for them, but she would gather them up just the same. “Oh, by the way, you haven’t seen Sky lately have you?”
“Oh yes, I think she is happily playing in the cottage. She has taken quite a new liking to the dolls house.” Replied Grace. “I haven’t seen her since breakfast.”
“My, she had an appetite today! These kids grow so fast!” Beverly fished. She had noticed that Grace had been acting strangely lately and that Sky had also been a little different to her usual self. And where did Sky get that beautiful dress from that she had on last night? She knew that they hadn’t been out anywhere, and she knew that it wasn’t a dress up or she would have surely noticed. Grace had never been so distant before. It wasn’t that she was unfriendly, no; she was the loveliest lady that Beverly knew. But it was like she was off in a dream world that only she could see and Beverly felt strangely left out. Grace usually confided in her a lot. Especially since her husband had died.
She left Grace to watch her television program, and headed out to the herb garden to hang up the washing.
Henry was out there planting more small Comfrey and Basil seedlings and came over to have a chat.
“How are you Bev?” He asked chirpily and moved his hat back on his head a little.
“Great thanks Henry, and you?”
“Good, good. I feel like something good is going to happen today! I can just feel it in my bones!” He said, looking at the sky and stretching his old aching arm.
“Oh! And what sort of good thing?” She said, looking at him sideways while hanging a tablecloth, making sure it was straight.
“Oh I don’t know. I just feel that something is going to change for the better today. It’s just a feeling that’s all.”
Beverly hung out some more clothes and tea towels and listened to the birds.
“You’ve done a beautiful job of the gardens over the years Henry, it really is a credit to you.” She said after a while.
Henry got a little embarrassed but didn’t show it too much.
“Well…I had a lot of pleasure doing it, but I’m only adding to what was already here when I first came.”
“It really is a special place isn’t it?” She said, and stopped for a moment looking around her.
“Oh my yes! This place is special. You can feel it!” He answered.
It went quiet again. Then she said, “Henry, have you noticed anything different about Grace’s behaviour lately?”
Henry looked at her and didn’t say anything for the moment and after thinking about it he said,
“Well Grace knows more about life than she lets on to most people. I’m sure she’s in a world of her own just from being around her granddaughter. That child is reminding her about her own childhood. Sky is a child with a special kind of magic within.”
“You think that’s all that it is though?” She said, not really believing it.
“Well, so long as she’s happy, be happy for her. She has really missed her man over the past few years. Just go with it, I’m sure all will be revealed soon enough.”
“Yeah, I suppose you’re right. She replied and carried on with her job of hanging the washing. “Oh, Grace would like us all to join her for a cup of tea in the sitting room. Apparently there is something on T.V. she would like us to watch. Something to do with the World Leader Summit.” She shook her head a couple of times with a frown on her face.
Henry nodded his head at what she was saying. He had the strangest feeling inside when she said it. He knew he needed to watch it and without hesitation he said, “Come on then, leave that. Let’s go and see what it’s all about,” and he grabbed her arm gently and pulled her towards the house, before she had time to protest.

Meanwhile at home, Fran was just about to open the door to her visitor. She straightened out her outfit, which consisted of a long purple Indian skirt, and an orange velvet top. Her hair was up and she looked stunning.
The guys were in the garden trying to write a song and out the way for the moment.
She took a breath as the visitor knocked again. Fran opened the door nervously and when she saw him, she remembered how relaxed he was and she instantly relaxed herself.
“G’day! How you going!” He said happily.
“Hi! Pretty good thanks. Please, come on in…” She said, and she shut the door behind him. Leading him into the kitchen she noticed that Baize was fiddling with the TV in the lounge room, but ignored him just for the moment.
“So,” She said, “Would you like a drink? Juice, coffee…?”
“Oh, ah, just a juice would be good thanks.” He said, and followed her to the bench.
“Nice place you got here. Must be nice to live so close to the river.” He said, accepting the drink and taking a sip.
“Yes it is nice.” She agreed, “And I also love it because the forests aren’t that far away. It’s nice to have a bit of both.”
The volume on the TV went up loud by mistake and turning it down, Baize looked around to see who he had offended.
“Sorry!” He said, and came into the kitchen to meet Fran’s new friend.
“G’day!” He said, putting out his hand for Jack to shake it.
“G’day.” He replied.
Fran stepped in to introduce them.
“Jack, I’d like you to meet my son, Baize…Baize this is Jack, who generously shouted me to tea last night.”
Jack laughed, and images of the night before flashed in his mind. “Oh! Your Mum’s a treasure! I’d still be on the side of the road waiting if she hadn’t come along!” He said, looking her straight in the eye and didn’t take his eyes away until she did.
Baize could see that they were smitten with each other, and decided to keep it short. They obviously were itching to get to know each other a little more.
“Well, Jack, it’s good to meet you mate, enjoy your lunch. I’ve got a few mates outside and we’re trying to write a song. So I’d better get back to them. I’m just leaving the TV on Mum ‘cause that World Leader Summit is on this morning. We thought we’d get a few ideas from it.”
Fran nodded watching him tune in the ABC, but it turned out that it was on all the channels anyway.
“Hey may be I could have a jam with you some time.” Jack said, pushing the hair in his eyes out the way. “I play a little guitar, bass, sax.”
“Oh yeah! Any time man, that’d be great! I’ll let you know the details and we’ll catch up.” Replied Baize thrilled to hear he played saxophone also.
“No worries.” Said the visitor, and took another sip of his drink.
Glancing at it quickly, Fran noticed that Tom Coward was talking and being uninterested in what he had to say, shut him out and focused on her gorgeous guest, who was dressed in jeans and a shirt and nice boots, which made him look really smart.
Fran’s focus was entirely on him.

Meanwhile, back at the cave, Podsinia had found the potion gone and in a fit of rage had taken off to stop Sky from ruining her plans.

Sky was busy pouring Honestea into their drinks, and had done about half the leaders and their partners. Tom Coward had finished talking and had handed it over to a United Nations Spokesman who was addressing the first issue on the agenda, which was of wood chipping and deforestation.
Sky got around to Willy Weed and then his colleague. When she rechecked her work and saw the bubbles rising she rushed over to Tom Coward and spiked his drinks also.
She made her way around as fast as she could, being careful not to spill any of her precious ingredients. Yellow Flower was darting backwards and forwards between her and the other folk who were helping. The pixies had already changed some of the settings enabling the broadcast to bypass the broadcasting stations altogether and to go straight out there into peoples homes, uncut.
Lobes was doing a last minute check on all the equipment and distracted the odd person in the news room to get to the knobs he needed to change. He had already been to the broadcasting station and changed all the settings there for worldwide satellite coverage.
Every TV and radio station, in every city and town around the world had the opportunity to watch this World Leader Summit. Now the show was fully live, and it had been done in such a way that no one had noticed.
The next person to get up and speak was the president of Norway. In their own language they told the united congregation that they put forward an amendment placing all untouched forests to go on to the World Heritage List.
“This must be done to ensure the forests for future generations.” He had not had any Honestea as yet, and spoke truthfully for his country that had for years, been avid savers of old forests. “We must not cut down any more natural sanctuaries. We must use the recourses we have to plant trees and create more forests.”
Willy Weed put his hand up and spoke next. “You can’t stop felling forests! What are we going to build our houses with? What are the woodcutters’ families supposed to do when they go home and say they have no job? We can’t print the next budget without paper and well, we’d be lost without toilet paper!” His General and a few others laughed quietly at his comment.
The Dutch leader responded, “Members of the congregation, it is an honour to be here in Australia. We do not have to stop the felling and production of timber entirely. But I agree that we should plan to create more forests and rebuild what we have taken. The world is on the brink of dramatic climate change, but there is a window of opportunity to do something about it. If we can turn our thoughts around to love and not fear, it will be possible to find a balance in this.
“More jobs would be created with the planting of hemp and more trees worldwide could be planted on a massive scale. I also encourage the production of hemp for the use of paper and fabric, all the other products this plant can supply. The growth of hemp farms all over the world will cut the cost of wood chipping and paper manufacture. As this plant has been placed in our midst, we should use it as it was meant to be used.
“The cotton industry is another multinational corporation is sucking the earth dry and diverting water away from worthy causes. It costs less to grow hemp than it does to grow cotton, and the variety of uses is endless. Medicinally hemp can be used for many ailments and diseases, yet this plant has been made illegal, creating the substance abuse we now have. It is no worse or better than cigarettes and alcohol. I put forward a motion to legalize hemp farms to save the forests. And,” he added, “They can be grown as you know, without the THC content.”
There was a murmur with in the hall before anyone else spoke. It was a controversial request, but done with truth and sensibility.
Sky was still working her way around, until she came to a rather large waiter blocking the aisle. She had real trouble getting around him and just waited for a moment while he got the order from the Chinese Leader.
Two of the fairies saw what was happening, and as time was of the essence, they flew down to help.
Rosemally and Jasmine pushed up on the waiter’s tray to unbalance him. He went to save his tray and glasses and while doing this managed to step back far enough without completely falling over the leaders behind him. Sky stepped through the gap whilst he saved the glasses he was carrying and apologised quietly and humbly to the leaders around him. Sky continued her journey around the bench pouring Honestea and the potion into the drinks until she had finally done the last one.
With Yellow Flowers instruction, she headed for Willy Weeds drink and found he was drinking scotch! How could he be sensible drinking that! She placed the powder and the drop of potion into his glass and then headed for Phoney Hair’s cup. He had a mug, but in it was brandy! She spiked his cup, frowning at the attitude of these ‘leaders’.
Sky finished the last of the World Leaders drinks, finishing off with Tom Coward and his sidekick. It was time to now focus on the media. The fairies flew around and made sure all the drinks were touched with the Honestea, which they were. It had gone rather smoothly.
The media pool wasn’t so easy because it was very crowded. Sky found herself stepping over bags, feet and wires and slipping in between chairs. The fairies were kept busy here and made sure no one interrupted the young girl but they also kept their ear on what was being said.
No one noticed straight away, but Sky’s foot was beginning to come visible. She had completely forgotten about not eating meat and thinking nothing about it, she had had bacon and eggs for breakfast!
She was finishing off the last of drinks in the section when she heard a woman say,
“Hey! What was that?” She began glancing under the chair in front of her!