The Blight of Orange-Spotted Mushrooms

A crisp breeze struck the trees outside the gates of Pigzits School of Twig-Wiggling And Other Things We Can't Mention In A Story That's Rated T. Shadows of branch and leaf danced along the surface of the cobblestone path that lead to an immense marble door from whence a host of various persons exited in quick succession. There was a large wooden badger, followed by three teensy little girls, and as each left the palace, it was apparent that each was more scantily-clad than the first.

"Oh, I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts," sung a man in a vibrant yellow zoot suit and sickeningly hot pink top hat. He wore an enormous pair of eyeglasses and had a powder white ring all around his mouth. "There they are standing in a row!" His dancing was erratic, like a drunken hyena with a haemorrhoid. Many of the students were frightened, but hid themselves from his sight.

All around were mushrooms, purple and orange spotted, bright grey and dark pink. Every one a different size, and each a delicacy of its own. Humblebore marched through the fields of mushrooms, grabbing large handfuls of his favourite drug. It was then that Humblebore noticed that many of the mushrooms were dying. In a tantrum like a child's, Humblebore threw himself to the ground and screamed a string of profanities that would make a sailor blush.

"What is his problem," queried Harmonia, sliding back into her clothing. Sola looked to her and shrugged; Terry simply ignored him. As they entered the field behind the rest of the school, they were met by a large man with a giant pumpkin head. He took off his hat and introduced itself as Mr. Jack O'lantern. He had a thick Irish accent and a lengthy orange beard.

"Well, then, Jack" Terry asked, "What brings you here?"

"A very old Pigzits tradition," He replied, putting his hat back on his head. "It is time to change headmasters." The entire group went into an offended silence; though they only ever saw their headmaster stoned or drunk, singing random songs to brick walls and stone statues, there was an instant feeling of gloom and dislike for Mr. Jack.

"What for?" Harmonia grumbled, pulling off the stiletto from her left foot to brandish it at the pumpkin-headed man.

"With the economy in the state that it's in, we just can't afford to keep censoring him every time he talks." In the distance Owlbus was licking a thin layer of white dust off the tops of each of the mushrooms in his grasp.

"How, then, is that tradition?" Sola looked at the pumpkin man in a curious way, as if she doubted his words and his position. As she stepped closer to him, he stepped away in a nervous fashion, though his facial expression remained unchanged.

As his back collided with the walls of the palace, a loud noise echoed through the entire campus. Its sound was like a cross between a dying motor and a cat coughing up a hairball; its source a bright red fire hydrant that appeared momentarily to be flickering in and out of existence only to finally solidify.

"What the - ?" Harmonia was interrupted by the sudden appearance of four very naked people. They stood still for a moment, as if frozen in time and space, before four pink togas shot from top of the hydrant and wrapped around their bodies. Each was embroidered with what could only assumed to be their names. Shnazi Alford, Romulus Laycon, "The Nurse", and another girl, the youngest of the group, whose name was blocked by Shnazi's shoulder.

All at once, the entire group unfroze, gasping desperately for air. After a moment of stares from all those present, Terry decided to break the silence between them.

"Togas?" He laughed, hoping they spoke English.

"Togas are cool," said the woman whose toga called her merely "The Nurse". She carried a large, strange looking hammer in her hand with the word "sonic" carved into the handle. It had all sorts of bits and bobs welded to its head and shaft.

"Who are you?" said Mr O'lantern. He shook his head in confusion; this was clearly not something he had planned for, nor something he expected. He quite appeared as if he had never before seen anything like it in his life. Terry felt the same.

"Can't you read?" snapped Shnazi, rolling his eyes as he darted to the other man, brandishing his pointer finger menacingly. The man backed-up against the wall in fear.

"Well, yeah, but where the hell did you come from?" continued Jack. He looked a bit squashed against the marble walls.

The Nurse tapped the top of the fire hydrant.

"From inside here," she said proudly.

"From inside that?" cackled Harmonia. Now everyone nearby became quite skeptical. To say that four people had fit inside a hydrant was amusing, but terribly impractical. "You don't really expect us to believe you, surely? It's a fire -"

"It's a DRANTTM," The Nurse corrected. "Da Really Awesome Naked Time Travel Machine." She drew the letters out in the air with her finger, then clapped her hands together excitedly.

"Oh, you just made that up," said Sola, rolling her eyes. She let go of Terry to get a better look at the woman.

"No, I didn't," she denied with a grimace. Sola read right through her; She wasn't very convincing.

"Da Really Awesome Naked Time Travel Machine? Da? Naked? Seriously?"

"Okay. So I can't remember what DRANTTM actually stands for," she admitted, grumbling a low grumble, "but it is my time machine." She raised her "sonic" hammer at Sola menacingly, who didn't even bat an eyelash.

"Why am I all wet again?" asked the girl in the back who had apparently only just decided to join in the conversation. She looked to be precisely Terry's age. "This happens every time we travel," she complained to The Nurse. It was then that he saw her name stitched to the breast of her toga. 'Terri Gardner'. When her eyes caught his, she charged for him, full speed, without so much as another word.

Terry already felt a connection to this girl, as if he had known her all his life, but had forgotten her. She was insanely beautiful. Something about her drove him wild. He closed his eyes and awaited his next big snog. After a moment of nothing, he opened his eyes to discover that Sola and Harmonia were taking it in turn to snog the girl senseless. When she finally broke free, she stepped directly before Terry.

"Hey," her voice was soft and delicate.

"Stop it! Stop it!" Shouted the man with the pumpkin head as Terri's lips touched Terry's. "You can't do that!"

"Well, why not?"

"You're the same person! I raised you when you were little! I AM YOUR UNCLE!" He shoved Shnazi away from them and walked closer. "I dropped you and you split into two. That's all you need to know."

"But that doesn't make any sense!" shouted everyone else.

"Mushroom levels in the atmosphere are abnormally high," said Romulus, reading from sort of square device in his hand. "It may not be safe to remain here, Nurse."

"Now, if you don't mind. I'm doing what I here to do," responded the man, grabbing his head clean off his neck and throwing it toward the headmaster. Instead of blood gushing from the now barren spot where Mr O'lantern's head once lay, there appeared another head. The head of a balding short, evil man. A man with holy shorts. "TERMINATE!" he screamed, and then vanished from sight.

There was a loud explosion; pieces of Owlbus Humblebore flew in every direction, each of them covered in mushroom dust.

"I never had any intention of killing either of you," said the Snark Lord, pulling his twig from his pocket of his trousers. He pointed it and the students. "I just wanted to make sure you got together."

"That's already happened," Terry said flatly.

"I mean that you became one," he elaborated, very agitated that the situation was not going at all as he'd hoped.

"That'll happen soon enough," Terri quipped, pulling everyone into a tight hug.

"Ooh." Harmonia squealed, "Did someone say foursome?"

"Fivesome," said Hickey, appearing from no where. She was covered in bits of the headmaster, but successfully sneaked a quick snog off Terry.

"How the?" Grumbled Holeyshorts, clenching his fists. "What is this, some sort of harem?" No one bothered to point out the very distinctive and classy Arabic architecture of the gigantic palace behind him. "Well I'll just finish you all off now, then." He pulled a massive rocket launcher from thin air and began shooting in every direction. He was a fully-fledged psychopath and it was showing.

"Run!" The Nurse shouted, motioning to the time machine. "Quick, into the DRANTTM." Before the words had finished leaving her mouth, everyone ran for the fire hydrant and placed their hand on it. It a whirl of colour and sound, everything around them changed - they had gone back roughly twenty minutes in time.

Terry raced from his spot at the hydrant, passed in front of his past self, and seized the pumpkin head off the Snark Lord. In a move only adequately visible in slow motion, Terry threw the bomb clear across the campus, where it landed in front of the shack that Lauren Malhorry called home. As it landed, it sent her entire dwelling through the air, until it hovered, dropped a massive load her crap into the mushroom field, and splintered into a billion tiny pieces.

As Terry turned to face the Snark Lord himself, the sonic hammer met with his nemesis' face, causing it to squash under the power of the throw. His brains splattered on the marble walls of the palace. There was nothing heard but cheering. Owlbus Humblebore was crying with joy. All the crap from the shack had caused the mushrooms to regain their health. Their orange spots returned to their vibrant purple colour and the thin cloud of mushroom dust began to settle.

Once again the odd sound of dying motor and cat desperate to rid itself of a hairball caused the hair to stand-up on Terry's neck. The Nurse and two of her friends had left them, but Terri remained.

"You didn't go with them." Terry said to Terri, feeling somewhat sad for her.

"I think we'll be great friends," Terri said, looking at Terry and his female companions. "Very special friends."

As Terry's lungs filled with clean air for the first time in what felt like several hours, he found himself laying in bed in his dormitory. Sola and Harmonia at his side, he felt comfortable and calm and let sleep begin to overtake him.

Terri was nowhere to be found.

Author's Note: Please, if you've taken the time to read this little story, take the time to tell me what you think of it. Was it crazy good or just plain crazy? Review!