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Friday, November 20

Landscrapes: Part 7 – Under Owlshead Mountain

When the agents stepped out of the elevator, they entered a cavern containing five small wooden stands cluttered with camp gear and arrowheads. Small crickets chirped in the corners.

Jim-Bean inspected the camp gear. It included a Coleman stove and twenty cans of soup.

"Somebody likes Campbell's Steak 'n Potato Soup," he said.

The stands contained several small arrowheads collected from the cave.

The agents switched their visor lights on and threaded their way through the northern tunnel.

It narrowed amongst flowstone, stalagmites, and columns. There were a few cigarette butts on the floor, accompanying spiders and gnats.

They continued on, passed white to gold flowerlike structures that seemed to ooze and curl from the wall, ceiling, and floor much like icing from a cake decorator’s nozzle. There were also thin-walled naturally formed hollow tubes about an inch in diameter. They splashed through pools of water, where eyeless crayfish and springfish wiggled about in its depths.

Finally, they came to a wall of matte-black substance that blocked the northeast tunnel. Two six-foot tall mushrooms flanked the fifteen-foot wide wall.

"Whoa," said Jim-Bean, eyeing the mushrooms. "Those are some BIG mushrooms."

The mushrooms had bright red caps with sickly yellow spots and a pale milky stalk of a body. They had an eye-like pattern on the stalks with the same sickly yellow color that adorned the cap.

Hammer played his visor light over the wall. "I saw this wall in my vision. It doesn't look like stone to me."

"In your vision, you heard buzzing?"

"Yeah," replied Hammer

"Then the shaman mask might help." Jim-Bean dug it out. "Good thing I left it in the trunk."

"Good thing it wasn't in your satchel," muttered Hammer.

While he was rifling through his satchel to pull out the mask, Jim-Bean's elbow brushed the curious black wall. That was all it took.

The mushrooms unfurled, two stubby arms separating seamlessly out from the main stalk. Legs separated at the base.

"Yaaah!" shouted Jim-Bean, stumbling backwards. more


posted by Michael Tresca at 6:43 AM

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