Why had he allowed the alluring Alucard, his rival, to talk him into this mad dare? Why trespass on the Earl’s private estate looking for treasures? On Allhallows Eve of all nights! After all, he was a mycologist, a studier of fungi, not a thief!
Shaggy ink cap, bleeding oyster, death cap, puffball and other mushrooms led him further on as he mumbled, “Highly poisonous….. Excruciating pains……Low survival rate….Yowllllll!” He tripped over tangled brambles.
After a string of mild expletives, bruised, damp, and covered in wet leaves, he found himself facing a rotten tree stump. Gasping, he cried, “D’accord!”
Cradled lovingly by deep roots was the rarest fungi, the Perigord Black Truffle! Glittering, smelling like the honeyed rose, and fabled to be romance inducing. Pierre stretched his tarantula-like hand out.
Earth shuddered; its maw opened and Pierre tumbled like an insane Alice down, down.
Thump and then obscurity!
Groaning pains escalated; the impact jarred his whole essence. The troubled sky, eons above him, sputtered stars. How long had he been unconscious, hours or days?
More importantly, had he broken any bones? A dusty old fashioned lantern, pick axes and a broken wooden beam suggested he lay in an ancient coal mine.
“Pierre! Wake up while I steal your magnificent find!” Alucard, shaking her chough locks, screamed triumphantly while furiously kicking dirt over him. Her hair was as dark as her heart.
Fearful, Pierre croaked as earth tumbled around him. “Alucard, you win the truffles through cunning. Just give your rival his dying wish. Taste the Perigord and describe their sweetness to me.”
Alucard reluctantly nibbled on a broken piece of truffle. Sighing, “The Perigord is as sweet as your breath. It is as delicious as you are. My love, I will help you out of the shaft and you will take all the accolades for finding this rare truffle.”
Pierre smiled the devilish grin of a carved turnip, knowing his superior knowledge of the romantic inducing qualities of the Perigord had outwitted Alucard.