As she drifted the mist grew thinner, and she could see brightness ahead. Soon she was standing on a grassy field, just inside the thin edge of mist. She moved forward and looked around. Was that the yellow brick road, over here on the right? She moved toward it; yes, it was! She walked along for a while, then decided it might be a long walk, and she was already tired so she opened the umbrella and let it carry her, just above ground level. She moved at a brisk pace them, covering more ground yet still able to take in the scenery as she went.
In the distance, she saw a village, and the road seemed to be heading right for it. When she was getting close, she landed, closed the umbrella, and began walking. People were working in gardens and fields, and when they saw her, they dropped what they were doing and ran to her. They were small, even the adults, and yellow skinned.
A very self-important man stepped in front of her blocking her way, and cleared his throat. “Ahem! Are you a Dorothy?” he asked. “Did you drop a house somewhere? We were really grateful to the Dorothy for freeing us from the Wicked Witch of the West. But we are a little afraid of strange young girls who appear out of nowhere. I am the Mayor of the Quadlings.”
“No, I am not Dorothy, I am Mistalia Moretta Merriweather, and I didn’t come in a house. I came with this.” She lifted the umbrella and showed it to him. “I got angry at my family and went for a walk in the rain. I didn’t know it, but this is a magic umbrella, and I ended up going to Wonderland, then to Neverland, and I have just come from a place called London |England from a time in my world’s past. There I met the original owner of this umbrella, and she made me leave, as it was causing her a lot f stress, since she had it too, in an earlier version. She suggested that I visit Oz and then perhaps I will be ready to return home.”
“Oh, I see. Magic, eh?” He eyed the umbrella warily. “In that case, you should go to Glinda’s castle. Maybe she will help you understand your problems, and you will find you want to go home again. I will send an escort with you.” He beckoned to a girl and a boy, who came over and waited for instructions.
“This is Tippery” he pointed to the girl, “and this is Toppery, They have been to the castle, and will guide you.” Turning to the two, he said “Take good care of Miss Mistalia, and see that she is presented to Glinda. Then come right back home. There is still much work to do.”
They nodded, and promised to see Misty safely to Glinda’s castle, and turned to Misty. “Shall we go, Miss?” they asked.
Misty turned to the mayor and thanked him, and nodded to Tippery and Toppery. “Lead on,” she said. The three set off along the yellow brick road, with a throng of Winkies following. At the edge of the village everyone stopped, waving and calling goodbye. Misty looked back and waved.
She tried talking to Tippery and Toppery, but they seemed too shy to be able to say more than a word or two, so she devoted her time to enjoying the view, and thinking about what she would say to Glinda.
As it turned out, she had no need to explain anything to Glinda. When she was taken to Glinda’s throne room, Glinda greeted her, and sent her to a room where a bath was ready, and a meal. Misty’s clothes were taken away and cleaned, and two older female Quadlings bathed her, washed and fixed her hair, and wrapped her in a robe so she could sit and eat. By the time she was finished, her clothes were returned, fresh and clean. Even her boots had been polished to a shine.
She returned then to Glinda’s throne room, to find the good witch waiting. “Come, Mistalia,” she said, smiling and holding out her hand. “We will go to the Emerald City where you can meet Ozma, and her three ministers.” Misty took Glinda’s hand and was drawn close. Suddenly they were surrounded by a huge bubble, and were drifting off, out of the castle and away. Thought seemed to Misty that they were only drifting; the scenery went past almost too fast to see anything but a blur.
Soon she could see a green glow, and then they were there, settling down in front of the palace. A guard saluted them and opened a door, and they went in. Another guard led them to the throne room and Glinda approached the beautiful young lady on the throne.
“Queen Ozma,” she said, “I would like to introduce Mistalia Moretta Merriweather. She just arrived in our land today, brought by a magic umbrella. She has some problems at home and took the day off to think things through, but is still unsure what she should do. I thought your three ministers might be of help, since they once dealt with another young lady from the same world.”
Ozma looked at Misty and smiled. “You are most welcome to Oz, Mistalia, and of course, we will all do whatever we can to help you resolve your problems and go home. Let me introduce my ministers.”
She motioned with her hand, and said “The minister of Knowledge,” and the Scarecrow stepped forward and bowed. “The minister of Courage,” and the Cowardly Lion stepped forward and bowed. “And last but not least, the minister of Empathy,” The Tin Woodman stepped forward and bowed.
He took another step and said “Mistalia, it will be our pleasure to help you in any way we can. If you decide to stay in Oz, we will do the best we can to help you settle in and find a congenial occupation. If however you truly wish to go home, as Dorothy did, we can advise, but only Glinda can really help you.”
Misty looked at them all and thanked them. “I really do want to go home,” she said. “I just wish there was some way of making home a happier place, like it was before little Peter was born. Mom seemed to get really mean and angry then, and hardly pays any attention to him, and I have to do all the housework and look after him. And still try to maintain my A averages in school. I am just so worn out.” Her head and shoulders drooped, and tears ran down her face.
The Tin Woodman moved to her and took her in his arms. “Don’t cry, Mistalia, I am sure that between us, we can work something out.”
Glinda held out her hand, and a crystal globe appeared in it. She gazed into it for several moments, and then said “Mistalia, I believe you will find everything changed at home. Little Peter was injured when your broher Hector finally lost his temper with our mother and told her exactly how things stood. He was supposed to be watching Peter, but they both forgot him. He managed to get outside, and was climbing around on the woodpile near the pig sty, and fell in. He almost landed on one of the new piglets and the sow charged him. He is all right, but has a broken arm and slight concussion. This incident brought home to your mother how selfish and means he had become, and she will now be what she once was, a loving and kind mother.” The globe disappeared, and Glinda turned to Misty.
“As for going home, you have the means in your hand; all you have to do is wish sincerely to be there and it will take you.”
Misty looked around at them all. Even though she had been in Oz only a short time, she understood how Dorothy had felt when it was time to leave. “I will miss you all. I feel honoured to have met you, and appreciate your welcome more than I can say. But I am needed at home, and I have my future life and career to think of and prepare for. Thank you all so much!” She hugged the three ministers, curtsied to Ozma, and was enveloped in a warm hug by Glinda. Then they all stood back, and she opened her umbrella. “Take me home!” she said.
Then she was standing in front of the house, with Hector in the doorway shouting “she’s home!” He grabbed and hugged her, and pulled her inside, and into the living room. The whole family was gathered there, and for a while it was a confusion of greetings and hugs. Peter wanted to know where she had been, he’d been hurt and she wasn’t there to comfort him!
It took time for her to recount her adventures, since at first Mom was the only one who believed her. After Mom explained about the umbrella, and why she had forbidden them to use it, the rest accepted the story. Mom stood in front of Misty and apologised. “I hope some day you will be able to forgive me; I will be a proper mother again. I have treated you terribly, Misty, but I have always loved you, and been proud of you.”
Misty reached out and hugged her. “Mom, I am just so glad to have you back. I have missed you so much. And I will happily help with things around the house, and help look after Peter. I only have a few more years of school, and then I will be away a lot, working at my career. But I will come home as often as I can. As Dorothy said, there’s no place like home!”