A piece I wrote at a flash fiction workshop. The title was the prompt.

mushrooms in the dark

Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash

The stalk shuffled silently, sliding down the brickwork. Fat and spongey, cream and topped with a purple cap mounded high in a bell shape. A mushroom ambling down the pipe-strewn street was not so unusual. But normally they were red and omens of growth, of progress. What could this foreign fungus mean? What effects would it have on the native wildlife? There was a thriving turtle population; the normal red mushrooms helped keep them in check. Might this purple protrusion give them an advantage instead?

In fear of the unknown, the brickwork town emptied, citizens fleeing into the castle. None were left to wander the street but the wild herds of turtles. Turrets were erected along the mushroom’s projected path to the castle. They fired intermittently, large shells decorated like WWII bombers, painted on teeth hungry for a target. They were the last line of defense.

In the castle, the citizenry huddled in fear, while the princess chastised her doorman.

“You’re only supposed to tell cold callers I’m in another castle, not invited guests!” she growled.

“Yes, your highness. Please forgive me.”

She sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose.

“Whatever. Just send them in.”

“At once, your highness.”

In came two men, barely waist high to the princess. They were nearly identical twins, right down to their bushy moustaches, bulbous noses, and blue eyes. God, they even dressed alike, she groaned internally.

“Princessa,” the one in red greeted, “we have-a sampled the mushroom, and found-a that it, ah, shrinks whatever it touches.”

“Yes,” said the green clad twin, “Maybe you can-a apply it to-a the kingdom’s debt, no?”

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