What are Ozlandish Writings?

From July 2010 to December 2014 we ran OZLAND PICTURE STORIES as described below. Sadly though the number of writers reduced over the years and we decided to call it a day. We leave these as a record of the good times we had.

Are "You" ready to challenge your writing skills? Then participate in our OZLAND Picture Stories writing series at The Ozland Art Gallery.

Each month a new picture will be picked, from our OZLAND Artist of the Month collection, with different themes. Your goal is to write a 500-1000 word... poem... essay... or story about the picture picked. This is a chance for you to challenge your writing skills each month. Story can be written in ANY genre... sci fi... romance... ghost... fantasy... fiction... non-fiction... biography... mystery... historical... whatever your writing genre... feel free to experiment. Send your writing inworld to Sven Pertelson as a notecard to have it included on the web site. We meet at the The Ozland Art Gallery each Wednesday at Noon and 6pm SLT to read the latest submissions on voice. More Information

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Shroom! - by Sven Pertelson

The shamans of Lapland used to drink the urine of reindeer that had eaten the red and white fly-agaric mushroom. In their red tunics and black boots, with with ruddy faces and laughing wildly from the psychedelic effects of their drink they may even have inspired tales of Santa Claus and his flying reindeer. Whatever was chasing me through this forest of giant mushrooms was not Santa Claus!

I had said goodnight to Queen Llola and settled down into my bed when the Manor clock struck midnight. Our kingdom was peaceful, that last of the residents had landed their helicopters, tied up their boats and turned off their music. The gentle lapping of waves round the Manor lulled me to sleep.

I awoke with a start at the sound of a scream. I dressed quickly and took a look round. Nothing seemed amiss on the ground so I took the Anywhere door up to the Yellow Brick Road, or at least that was where I thought I was going. As I exited the door on all fours it was obvious that wherever I was now was not the Ozland I knew. The ground underfoot (and hand) was uneven leaf litter and stalks of giant mushrooms towered above me. Had we been griefed?

I was about to click on the nearest stalk to look for the owner – ermmm! Mouse? Computer? Chair? Study? House? RL?

I pinched myself. That was what you were supposed to do, wasn't it. Ouch, that hurt. Nope, I was not dreaming. For some reason a mental image of a white disc flashed into my mind. No! Then a word popped up, 'Ficton'. Was I inside somebody else's story? After all Oz and Alice had surfaced into Heinlein's 'Number of the Beast. Was I armed? The baddies in that story were dangerous. The only thing military about me were the GI Joe PJ's I was wearing.

I got to my feet and started to look around. No caterpillars, no Cheshire Cats, no playing cards or white rabbits running round, scratch Alice in Wonderland then. I certainly was not in Oz or Kansas either. Just what had I wandered into?

The toadstools and mushrooms hid the sky and it was gloomy here. Only the red and sulphurous yellow of some of the fungi lent any colour to my surroundings. There did appear to be a path of sorts, and it was wide, wider than someone of my size would have made. That made me uneasy, whatever made these paths was big, really big. I walked as quietly as I could, the leaf litter rustled slightly, that was good I would be able to hear anything moving on the path.

I felt rather than heard the thing moving behind me. The ground shook from its footfall. It was moving faster than I was. There was nowhere to move off the path, the fungi were so close together. All I could do was move faster. Hoping for a side path or somewhere I could hide. It was still gaining on me. I broke into a run.

Eventually ahead of me the gloom lightened. I turned towards the light. I glimpsed water and a heron taking off from the surface as I burst into the light.

I awoke in front of my computer, that was going to be the last time I ate garlic mushrooms as a late night snack when trying to write a story.

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