Angry Tales of Terror: A Fungus in our Midst, Part 2
As the battle rages on in the Angry Birds Friends’ Midtown Miscreants tournament, the citizens of Pig City are slowly disappearing. Get to the bottom of the mystery in the conclusion to The Fungus in our Midst below – but not before reading part 1!
The rolling door of a loading dock opens in the brisk autumn morning air. A vehicle bursting with produce from the countryside backs up to the dock with a resounding beep beep beep. The driver of the cart, Walt, waits for the pigs to come unload the goods. They’re usually here waiting, but not today. Come to think of it, they weren’t here yesterday either. Oh well, Kev (that’s the manager) will probably show up in a bit and get everything sorted out.
Time passes, but no Kev in sight. After waiting for an hour, Walt is rightfully worried. Where is this guy? He’s never missed a delivery. Walt heads to Kev’s house to get to the bottom of the matter.
Arriving at the house, there doesn’t seem to be anyone home. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be anyone home in any of the surrounding houses. Bicycles and toys are strewn about front yards and the street. Carts sit in driveways, doors open, engines running, no drivers. Walt’s neck hairs prickle in the eerie silence. Something is decidedly not right.
Finding the front door of Kev’s home, Walt enters. The door creaks open to reveal the abandoned interior, depressingly grey in the overcast autumn light. Just above his head, Walt hears a scuffling on the floor upstairs. Is that Kev? Is he in trouble? Walt makes for the stairs to investigate, but not before arming himself with the closest thing to a weapon he can find, which happens to be a fork.
Walt’s steps creak on the old floorboards of the stairs. In between creaks, more scuffling sounds come from behind a bedroom door on the upper level. Walt approaches the door pensively, ready to spring it open and skewer whatever is behind it – not, of course, if it’s Kev. The doorknob is within reach now, fork in skewering position. Just before Walt can get a grip on it, the knob falls away, and the door swings open on its own! Walt is suddenly snout to snout with a green monster!
No. False alarm. It’s just another pig, a spoon wielded weapon-like in its grip. After much whew-ing, the pigs lower their silverware. Walt learns that the pig is in fact a detective hired by Kev one day prior to investigate the disappearance of Kev’s worker pigs. Detective Glen visited Kev to follow up with him on the incident, but he found the neighborhood in its current abandoned state.
Walt, having ruined his chances of finishing his deliveries today, and being seriously worried about Kev, Gaz, and the other missing pigs, agrees to help the detective with the investigation.
Glen’s last lead was a report of some suspicious activity around a wooded area nearby. The pigs geared up with flashlights, and some extra silverware, and made their way to the scene.
There had definitely been some kind of activity there. Glen made note of a well-traveled trail of trampled grass leading into the woods. The pigs know what to do. They switch on their flashlights and enter the dark woods.
A few clicks in, with their flashlights on the forest floor, the pigs come upon a patch of brown bulbous mushrooms. “Are these the ones with the spores?” Glen asks hungrily. “Bonus!”
“WAIT!” Walt shouts. Glen stops abruptly, and something in the fallen leaves behind the mushroom catches his eye. Something green. The detective’s eyes pan slowly upward. Green flesh. Green piggy flesh. A snout. Above that, a crown of brown bulbous mushrooms. Piggy eyes bulging between the mushroom caps at unnatural angles. “Cripes!”
The pigs turn to run from the half-pig-half-mushroom monster, not caring in what direction they are traveling. However, looking back the pig-thing is not giving chase at all. It’s still planted right where it was. It was only then that they saw the full horror of the scene.
They cast their flashlights around the area around the first pig monster to discover the ground between the trees completely covered with pig monsters. The whole population of Pig City must have been there! Some young, some old, some tall, others short, all standing in the forest, swaying slightly, totally unaware of the world around them. Crowns of mushrooms on their heads.
“The mushrooms!!” Glen is catching on.
Feeling that they are free from any immediate danger, the pigs move closer to the fungally infested pigs. Detective Glen moves close to one of the pig’s face, investigating the mushrooms blooming from the pig’s head. “Yup! They’re totally controlled by these mushrooms––” The sound of a hacking cough cut Glen off. The cough was coming from a pig far in the distance. More and more infected pigs seemed to be joining in the chorus until the closest pigs were hacking too.
Walt and Glen covered their ears at the tremendous sound – and then they saw the cloud of spores closing in on them from every direction. The wall of brown smog blotted out their lights, and then there was only darkness.