I’ve been getting ready to move into a new town (Twin Cities), which involves a lot of digging around in boxes of my things that I haven’t looked at in years. That digging turned up this:
Yep. “The Mushroom” was the first short story I ever completed. I was in the sixth grade at the time and I thought it would be cool to write a story about a mushroom that is actually a space alien. Which prompted the following conversation when I saw this the other day.
Margaret from 2010: WTF, Margaret from 1999?
Margaret from 1999: I thought it was funny!
Margaret from 1999: I like gel pens.
Anyway, here’s “The Mushroom,” for your viewing pleasure.
The planet of Xraf-tul was at war. This wasn’t a normal war when every so often a skirmish broke out between two countries. This war was against another planet. Every mushroom-like citizen that could do anything remotely useful joined the force.
This included the farmers. Then arose the problem of feeding the troops. Xraf-tulians photosynthesized a little, but that was only a supplement to their diet. So the Xraf-tulians decided to “harvest” nearby planets; they could take a small amount of food from each planet every month or so without harming their ecosystems.
This food included everything from leaf cuttings and dead trees to insects and soil, to already preserved products from more advanced civilizations.
On one such mission, the Xraf-tulians were on a trip to Earth. They had been there for a few hours when there was an announcement on the outdoor loudspeaker.
“UrkGAF ma oU naria. e re re re!” (The natives are coming. Run, run, run!)
“E’teranu a unakE o rakaka o gath’AIP gathO … 6 manuuk.” (Everybody in here ready for takeoff in … 6 minutes.”
Na’asl waddled along as fast as he could. He was probably the farthest Xraf-tulian from the ship. It was foolish and he knew it.
“4 manuuk.” (4 minutes.)
Na’asl had seen some particularly nice berries, then he would notice a large beetle and wandered further off.
“3 manuuk.” (3 minutes.)
Now Na’asl dropped his stuff so he could waddle faster. He could see the ship.
“1 manuuk.” (1 minute.)
Na’asl was on the same hill as the ship.
“30 sixta.” (30 seconds.)
The doors were closing. Na’asl ran up the ramp. He was a moment too late. The doors closed in his face, if you could call it a face. Now Na’asl had no choice but to cling onto the ship with his rubbery limbs and use the distress button. This was very embarrassing. He would probably have to scrub the waste containers for a week for punishment on being so exceptionally stupid [sic]. Just as the doors were grudgingly opening, Na’asl fell.
I noisily blundered onto that hill. This was peculiar – an uprooted mushroom. I took it home and put it in a plastic bag. It would make a cute addition to my writing project on mushrooms.