She found a small jar in her granny’s attic. Something sparkled inside.
She placed it back on a shelf and left without telling anyone anything about it.
When her granny died, she went back to the attic.
When she opened it, a swirl of light turned everything into a neon palette of greenery.
She read the small paper stuck to the bottom – “Mushrooms, theirs.”
The following night, she was visited by them. The weird ones no one knew about, the aliens.
The attic… well, she turned it into a museum where everyone would see… things that didn’t really exist.
I’ve never really fitted in here at the Weapons of Mass Destruction Tactical Development Division.
I’ve more experience and I’m probably more highly qualified than most of my colleagues, but they can never seem to see past my squint and squeaky voice.
So I get all the rubbish jobs.
While they get to blow things up, play with new technology and generally have a whole lot of fun in the process, I’m left with the stuff that nobody cares about.
Take the current project I’ve been tasked with…
I’m making the mushroom clouds on next generation nukes a pretty colour!
On the Underground platform at Oxford Circus, the only other passengers are a six-foot-tall mushroom and a Japanese salaryman. He topples rigidly onto the third rail and explodes into a cloud of butterflies speaking your name.
A vending machine sells true love, but you do not have the right change.
The carnivorous wall tiles chatter evilly to each other, straining to break free of the cement.
A giant cannonball appears on the rails, moments before it rolls out of the tunnel and stops there.
The hallucinations stop when the mushroom climbs into the cannonball and rolls off down the tunnel.
Disposing of the bodies is my biggest challenge. I don’t go in for burial, disposal at sea or anything like that. It’s too risky, and there’s always a chance that a stray body part might turn up somewhere.
I prefer to render down my victims, and I’ve converted the cellar into an acid bath system of industrial proportions.
I call it, ‘The Mush Room’, because all that’s left in the end, is mush!
You might wonder what I do with it next?
I simply add a few chemicals, pour into moulds and let it set.
Fancy candles for aromatherapy boutiques!
Linoliamanda didn’t seem phased by her father’s angry tone. She held the phone out so Billbert could hear, too. “I’m at Billbert’s house. There was a misunderstanding and I needed to speak with him right away.”
Her father harrumphed and then a dog barking sounded clearly from the phone.
Linoliamanda gasped. “Oh. Daddy. Please let Mushroom out. She needs to do her business.”
“You can come home and let your dog out yourself,” her father grumbled and hung up.
When she didn’t rush out, Billbert asked, “What about your dog?”
She smiled. “Daddy will do it. He’s such a kidder.”
Remember the old kids’ show Mister Mushroom?
Year after year, the show swept the Daytime Emmy Awards.
Other shows tried to lure away his producers, his directors, his writers.
But as long as he had the sponsors, he had the money.
And nobody paid like Mister Mushroom paid.
Then, one day, at the end of a show, he took a bow and went out to his car and drove away.
He never came back, and nobody ever saw him again.
Where did he go?
Maybe we all just dreamed of him.
And you wake up from the dream.