Miss Wu looked and saw a small bright light approaching from the west.
“It’s the grocery blimp!” she shrieked. “It’s McCluskey! He must be doing a late night delivery somewhere!”
Miss Wu and Skates shouted and waved frantically to get the pilot’s attention.
“Now what?!” grumbled the walrus.
The plant stopped swinging and snaked up towards the orange blimp’s light. Wildmouth, dazed, held on weakly. The egg-shaped balloon came to a stop above the hotel, and McCluskey opened the window and stuck out a megaphone.
“What’s going on?!” he said. “Having a party? I’ve got some pickles if you want ‘em. And crackers. Not much else I’m afraid. Just on the way to the Imperial Palace with a load of lettuces - they need them urgently.”
“We’re not having a party!” shouted Miss Wu, as loudly as she could. “We’ve got a problem with a giant creeper! Can you help us, please!”
“That’s a big honeysuckle for sure!” said McCluskey, looking down at the flower which was still climbing towards the blimp. “Mmm....”
“Look out!” shouted everyone in the hotel, as the plant suddenly shot upwards.
The hotel guests shrieked as the plant tried to grab the blimp. McCluskey dodged it with deft movements of the joystick, and lettuces were thrown out of the blimp’s windows as it swung from side-to-side. The guests cheered. Even the walrus was caught up in the excitement, and made more noise than anyone else!
This went on for some time, until eventually the plant started to tire a little. Wildmouth, by now almost completely shaken to bits, took the opportunity to snatch his mirror and scrapbook away from the plant’s clutches, and climbed down dizzily back to the balcony, where he collapsed, clutching his scrapbook and mirror to his chest.
Miss Wu and Skates looked up again as the gentle sound of tinkling music reached their ears. It was a lovely, peaceful, relaxing melody. The plant, lulled by the sound, shook its leaves and nodded it’s flower up and down as it tried to resist. Miss Wu felt herself becoming drowsy. Skates struggled to keep his eyelids open. Wu looked down at the other windows and saw the pelicans yawning. The penguins were wobbling. The walrus was already asleep and snoring loudly. Wu looked up again through her half-closed eyes and saw McCluskey at the window of the blimp, wearing noise-canceling headphones and gesturing at them.
“Cover your ears, Skates!” Miss Wu cried.
They looked up and saw the plant was now fast asleep.
McCluskey brought the blimp down level with the balcony.
“Play this again if it wakes up during the night! whispered McCluskey, tossing them a small musical-box, which Skates caught in his beak. “It’s a Wangleburger super-lullaby! Now I must deliver these lettuces!”
The blimp shot off into the darkness. Skates turned the handle of the musical-box and a few notes of the super-lullaby sounded, causing a passing moth to fall asleep in mid-air and fall to the patio below the balcony.
“Be careful with it!” said Miss Wu.
“Play it again, Skates!” said Wildmouth. “I’m going to bed!” The lion got under his eiderdown with his scrapbook and mirror.
Miss Wu turned away from the balcony and said, “We’d better let Mr. Wildmouth get some res...”
The plant darted down and snatched the musical-box from Skates’ hand.
“It’s awake!” cried Miss Wu.
“It’s mad!” shouted Skates.
“Sneaky snowdrop!” growled Wildmouth, pulling the eiderdown over his head.
The plant held the musical-box and gripped the handle with another of its tendrils.
“What does it want?” shrieked Skates.
© David Severn 2014