“Don’t wander too far in the mushroom glen,” Alice shouted after her children. Every day after school, the children loved to cavort about the mushroom glen which was packed to overflowing with mushrooms. Thousands of them. It made no sense that there should be so many mushrooms in one small glen. Nobody could understand it. Not the scientists who visited the spot regularly; not the mushroom gatherers who had begun shunning the area as of late and flashing devil signs with their hands whenever they passed; not the local city council who had declared the mushroom glen an eyesore, a deathtrap and a blight on the neighborhood, the state and humanity in general.
The mushroom glen was not well liked in the area, and had even stolen a pet or a few from Alice’s family, but the kids loved it even if they always returned home far after midnight covered in scratches and awoke screaming from night terrors and complaining of visions of horrid mushroom spirits that filleted small animals and forced the children to observe their depraved ceremonies.
Alice enjoyed looking out her house’s windows and seeing the fertile glen. No matter that all of the house’s windows had begun looking out on the glen despite their actual orientation on the house. No matter that the trees that had once marked the edge of the backyard had grown sickly before withering and being replaced with gigantic, throbbing mushrooms. No matter that she had once witnessed a crow land upon a particularly large mushroom only to find its feet stuck to the cap no matter how hard it struggled until finally it perished and its corpse had been sucked down, down, down into the mushroom and sometimes visions of the crow came to her in her sleep and spoke to her with the voices of the dead. No matter. It was a lovely glen.
Yesterday, Larry had remarked that the children seemed to be geting thinner and that it would probably be a good idea to feed them more mushrooms. Alice had responded that all she ever fed them was mushrooms because she could no longer leave the yard, what with all the mushrooms. Larry seemed to not hear her. He had been behaving oddly since she had found him dead in the basement, his mouth overflowing with mushrooms and his eyes replaced with mushrooms that kind of looked like eyes.
Alice opened the cupboard and took out two mushrooms, a mushroom and three mushrooms. Then, she opened the refrigerator and took out a bag of mushrooms, two mushrooms, a mushroom and some mushrooms. She chopped the mushrooms into small cubes, grated the mushrooms in a bowl and used the mushrooms as garnish on the mushrooms which she then mixed with the mushrooms and planned to serve with mushrooms, mushrooms and a mushroom mushroom.
Mushroom mushroom. Mushroom mushroommushroom, mushroom mushmush Room. Mushroom.
“God, the house smells good,” she told the mushroom. It was the largest mushroom and she thought of it as her god, now.
Alice, her hands smeared with mushroom, walked out the back door into the mushroom glen. She laid down in the mushrooms and felt as the mushrooms cleaned her hands with their tiny mushroom mouths. Once, she rolled over onto her side and watched as a bird skeleton, squirrel skeleton and cat skeleton snaked their way through the mushrooms. She giggled. Of course they weren’t moving by themselves; the mushrooms were moving them. Still, it made her giggle. Funny.
She dozed off and when she came to her children were standing over her. They had removed her feet with a saw and were starting to work their way up her legs. It hurt, but it was a good pain – like popping your knuckles.
“Don’t say up too late, kids,” she told them. They smiled and mushrooms tumbled out of their too-open mouths. The mushrooms poured and poured over her body in a seemingly endless stream as the children sawed and sawed. When the mushrooms started nibbling away at her skin, she thought, “I’m so glad we bought this house. Kids should really have a yard.”