It was a gorgeous day, a magical day. Larry was glad that he had disobeyed his mom and went to the park with his friends. What could be better?
He stretched out on the grass, ignoring his friends as they played their guitars.
For a few minutes he closed his eyes and just enjoyed the warm sun and the sounds of the folk tunes.
“Puff the magic dragon, lived by the…”
Was that a faint whiff of pot?
After a bit, he grew bored and rolled onto his side. He opened the eye closest to the ground.
For a moment nothing came into focus, just the raw light and strange shadows. But then the world grew sharp as he looked through the grass.
There was some kind of mushroom growing there, right in front of him. From the perspective of that one eye against the ground it seemed to tower above him.
Larry giggled, thinking of the phallic shape of the fungus. But then a thought hit him.
“One side will make you grow taller.”
Isn’t that what the caterpillar said?
A magic mushroom.
He had heard some of his friends talk about doing ‘shrooms.
Could it be?
Jefferson Airplane began to play loud in his head.
“…And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom, and your mind is moving low.”
Alice. She knew, didn’t she?
“Feed your head.”
Larry reached over and grabbed the mushroom.
Sitting up, he studied the odd piece of fungus. What would it do? Would he shrink or grow tall?
It was dry and bitter going down.
His stomach began to ache.
He felt odd. It was not pleasant. Not how it was supposed to go at all.
He dropped the half-eaten fungus.
The world went blurry.
Johnny’s voice came to him faint and echo-y, as if from a different world.
“Hey, Larry passed out! Yuck, he’s barfing!”
“Hey, want to go to the park today?”
It was Johnny.
“All the guys will be there.” There was a short pause. “I heard that Suzy and Anne will be there.” Johnny used a sing-song voice, knowing full well that Larry had a crush on Susan Jones.
“Oh, come on, man, don’t be a chicken. It was just you being silly that you had to go to the hospital last time. Suzy was asking about you…”
“Young man, you are staying home and doing your home work!”
Larry hadn’t heard his mom walk up behind him.
“Sorry, Johnny, I got to stay home. My mom won’t let me out of the house.”
“OK, your loss.”
Jefferson Airplane came back into his head as he hung up the phone.
“…And the ones that Mother gives you don’t do anything at all.”
It was for the best, wasn’t it? At least this once.
This was written for Week 3 of Shari Marshall’s 2020 Photo Prompt. The photo at the top was provided by Shari and is this week’s prompt.
Try to imagine this taking place in 1969 and Larry being about 16…