EPISODE 007: American Strips
That was no mushroom, sounded like …
Adams took off his Navy peacoat and placed it around her shoulders.
She looked at him, softly, then remembered. Her eyes narrowed, fiercely. “Where the hell are we? Those little mushroom creeps were screaming at me. Look there!”
She pointed at a small gray creature peaking up out of what looked like a gathering of orange California poppies.
Adams reached down and picked up a palm-sized stone and hurled it into the poppies. There was a squeaky sound, something an Ewok might bark, then it disappeared.
“Thanks for the coat,” she said.
Then a voice on the other side of Alcoholman said: “Thanks.”
“Okay …” he said, looking around.
“She’s back again,” Lucy said, “but I can’t see her now. Did you see her, hear her?”
“I heard you,” he said.
“What’s happening to us?” she asked. “We’re in Mushroom World or something? I don’t like this!”
“Yes, something like that, mushroom reality, either mentally or physically, not sure which, but try to take it easy. I drank some vodka, tried to get into the Mushroom Man’s head, big mistake.”
“I think I carved a poem into a tree.”
Our scene switches now, back to the Sanctuary:
Yuki and the Kid stared at each other across the table.
“What the hell,” she said, “just ... happened?”
“He’s got ‘em,” said the Kid. “The Mushroom Man flipped ‘em.”
“Flipped them? Flipped them where?”
Yuki sighed. “Then why aren’t we there with them?”
“Well,” said the Kid, “I’ve got a mental block holding against that reality, and you, you didn’t eat the pizza, did you?”
“No,” she said, “I didn’t eat it.”
“He flipped them somehow by using the mushrooms on the pizza, drawing them through some sort of invisible door, maybe a separate dimension.”
“How do we find them?”
“I’m not sure. If I let down my mental block—I might flip, too.”
“We’ve gotta report this to the boss,” said Yuki.
“Yeah, Doc's [Dr. Atlantis, Kid Telepathy’s legal guardian] at the bottom of the ocean. You better call MJ, better call MJ-13.”
[Editor’s note: MJ-13 is the mysterious leader and co-founder of the Secret Society!]
At the mere mention of the codename MJ-13 a strange trilling sound seemed to enter the air around the two society members, a mysterious hum, not unlike the Theremin sound the mushroom people made.
Pig-Man is still stuck in quicksand on Mystery Island with Sam the Butcher looking to chop him up into pork cutlets!
Eddie Crossbones is still in a dimly lit locked room full of hungry mutant spiders.
And in a quiet corner of the jungle, sitting on a throne chair made up entirely of dried (and not so dried) human excrement … the Mushroom Man slowly peels a piece of boiled flesh off of a freshly decapitated human head.
“Ah,” he whispers, “American strips, is there any greater delicacy?”
To be creepily continued …
EPISODE 008: "ALIEN THERAPY"
SECRET SOCIETY: MONSTER ZIPPER by Bradley Mason Hamlin.
Episode 007: "American Strips" published June 20, 2008 by Mystery Island.
Copyright © 2008 by Mystery Island Publications. All rights reserved.
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