116: The Fungal Bloom


There is a house in Bearsden that lies condemned, but this is not immediately obvious from the outside. It cannot be demolished as there would be too much disruption to the homes it is connected to, and the door and windows of the house cannot be welded shut, because residents of the neighbourhood felt it would cast a stigma over the area and petitioned for it to stay empty. Nowadays, people have all but forgotten about the strange house, and it would be entirely unnotable were it not for the thing that was responsible for it being condemned – the Fungus.

The house has become a home for a persistent, interminable mould that covers vast swathes of the ceiling, walls and floors. The fungus is so prevalent that acolytes will not realise that none of the rooms are carpeted – wherever you walk in the house, you are walking on a bed of mould, which releases small clouds of dust-like spores as you tread atop it. The master bedroom on the upper floor is murky and difficult to see in, due to the descent of millions of spores falling like snow from the ceiling – breathing in this room invites respiratory problems that come accompanied with persistent, recurring visions of people made out of mushrooms standing around you, watching you with absent faces.

The bathroom on the lower floor is the nexus of the bizarre infestation. From the plugholes of the sink and bath, long, pallid fungal stalks rise up to a foot in height, crowned by pale yellow cone-like heads. The shower head has stalks growing down from it, which curl up at the ends like hooks. The mirror over the sink has shattered, with a wrinkled, tumour-like mushroom growth sprouting through the glass.The toilet has become a throne for the fungal bloom; thick wreaths of white-and-beige flesh has burst out of the broken cistern, leaking trails of amber pus into a greasy puddle around the stained white ceramic. The u-bend has become a vase for a fungus so large it could easily be mistaken for a tree, its fleshy bark white and tender, topped with the sickly yellow cone of the thinner stalks in the bath and sink.

Entering the bathroom causes a subtle change in the fungus – it almost seems to quiver at your presence. The stalks sway from side to side, the fungal face in the mirror twists and flexes… and the tree-like growth seems to shudder. Approach the growth in the toilet bowl, and grasp a limb or stalk from the fungus – the flesh will tear off quite easily.

Chewing and swallowing the stalk will cause vivid hallucinations of an impossibly vast parallel reality made of endless, juddering fungi, writhing and rubbing against each other in a mass mycological breeding conclave. This is the fundamental reality under our own, and the fungi release spores that cause us to hallucinate the world that we perceive every day; the stalk allows a brief glimpse into that true world, grants us the chance to walk under the cyclopean caverns formed out of the bulbous skin of megafungi, lets us see the forests of colossal mould trees lit up by the otherworldly blue-and-green light of luminal rot. It is paramount that the acolyte does not become addicted to these altered states of consciousness – although that world is filled with painful beauty and unfathomable wonder, it won’t take long for someone to notice that you have awoken.

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2 Responses to “116: The Fungal Bloom”

  1. This is my favorite one so far- well done!

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