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.

Darkness again.

“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.

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Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson (@susan-dawson)
7 months ago

Margarida, you sound very knowledgeable (or well researched) re your fungi. I like the touches of ‘insane Alice’ and the seasonal one of the ‘carved turnip’ grin.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
7 months ago

Margarida, I love this. Such a fun read and another that had me riveted from the very first sentence. Brilliant!

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Voice-Team (@voice-team)
7 months ago
Reply to  Margarida Brei

Hello Margarida – We are also embarrassed. We pride ourselves on our thorough editing, but we also missed the different spellings of the name. If you tell us which one you want, we will change the published version to have name agreement throughout. It’s supposed to be Alucard (Dracula backwards), right?

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Voice-Team
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Voice-Team (@voice-team)
7 months ago
Reply to  Margarida Brei

The changes have been made! Alucard is now an official Halloween name!  ? 

Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
6 months ago

Very well done, Margarida! I love the way Pierre turned the tables on Alucard – a very satisfying conclusion. Great research too, and, of course, I did some googling! I love the Truffle Legend from Perigord Region.

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Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti (@dipayan-chakrabarti)
6 months ago

I like the idea of using bizarre names of the brightly coloured fruiting bodies for characterisation and creating the creepy atmosphere. Good work!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
6 months ago

Here you go again, Margarida. It was another brilliant story and well researched. I love it. 

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
6 months ago
Reply to  Margarida Brei

You’re welcome, Margarida.

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