Mr Mushy flexed a thumb.
It was a funny thing, a thumb. Without one, he could not grab things with his hands. Being a mushroom meant that he didn’t really have to grab things. He was a mushroom, it was fine. But now that he had grown these legs, funny things those are, he couldn’t bare the idea of going back to sitting in one spot until his cap grew wrinkled and his mind returned to the earth.
His best brother, Great Mushy, disagreed strongly on this matter. Mr Mushy nodded, understanding how his brother’s thorny vines and dangerous spit made moving a little less tempting. So, Mr decided he would just tell his best brother everything that happened near the front of their home.
Mother Delta moved past, her form unseen but her voice loud and cheerful. Mr Mushy wriggled his funny thumb in the direction her voice vanished down. Mother Delta had been busy. A second floor! He wondered what it was like…
Mr Mushy used his wonderful fingers to itch his cap in curiosity. He was a being of the first floor… he should not be thinking of other floors, but the thoughts stuck to him like Gutrot mushroom spores did when he sat on them. He found them funny but the little goblins ran away, covering their nose at his approach. He tried the other mushrooms, poking them until spores came out, and rubbed them on his body.
Hands were very useful for poking. Vines like his brothers could only ensnare or choke… maybe pull if brother was feeling nice. Mr tried not to feel too prideful of his hands and feet.
It was so odd, when he saw the little mans, he was more excited to touch them than hurt them. He did not remember everything from his time as a Mushy. Things had gotten lost as his world became bigger.
But he remembered the hate.
The desire to kill, the desire to hurt any that came near. It was a sickly feeling like sweet flower water. So easy to drink and so hard to stop drinking. Then mother Delta had taken that hate away and given him fingers.
For each finger he had, the hate became quieter. Mr didn’t miss it. He enjoyed chasing Boary and cuddling the hairy thing. He enjoyed falling into the mudroom and splashing about! He liked… when Mother Delta was happy.
Mr Mushy carefully moved across the mudroom. It took some luck, aiming and falling but he managed to reach the far end. Mr lumbered down the room and waved at the nice spiders. Not like the one he had to smash. One waved back before it continued it's webbing and weaving. Mr tried to think of what it would be like to make web out of his fingers or his hands.
He’d be some rare monster. Spider-Mushroom, the mushroom that swung through the dungeon to hug things.
Yes, the image pleased him greatly. He waddled into the pond room and waved at Waddles. The duck stared at him and then nodded once before it went back to swimming lazily around the pond.
Mr wondered what it would be like to be in the water. He knew water was good. He was a mushroom. Water was pretty good. He did wonder if being in too much water could be bad. It was a thought he would poke at later and he waved goodbye to the fishies and moved down the tunnel to the new room he hadn’t seen yet.
The little ones called it a ‘Store’ room. He did not know what that meant. As a Mushy, he had no need of a store and wondered, with his wonderful hands, if he needed one now. It was worth a look and he did love looking.
The room was… nice. It felt like Mr had walked into some well moisturised room. The air seemed to hold a nice crispness to it. Mr saw wooden things that looked flat. They held rocks and arrows in a neat line.
He wondered what they were?
Mr nodded happily. Nu was a nice thing. A menu, if Mr remembered right. He appeared not long ago, after the nice plant woman had come. Mr Mushy wondered if Nu was a shelf.
He held words in a neat row and for Mr’s viewing pleasure…
Mr Mushy went still as the pot sat there. It was odd, heavily lopsided and the loopy handles looking like worms, the wide base slightly dented on one side.
Mother Delta had made this. It was made by her fingers, it was glorious.
Mr picked it up and a few round pieces of metal clinked inside. He turned it around and around in his hands. This thing was… mud. Yes, he had played with enough to know the feeling. This was not wet mud but firm mud. How did Mother do that?
Nu went on but Mr had stood. His mind was not clever like Nu or smart like Cois. His mind was simple. He saw something, he hugged it. He got curious, he went to look. When Mr got interested in something, he went to play with it.
This was true now. He turned and lumbered back down to the hall. He needed mud. He needed his fingers, and he needed the thing he was afraid of, fire.
For fire, he would either need to use the bright torches on the wall or… he needed Cois.
Cois liked fire. Fire liked Cois. Mr Mushy wondered if Cois could made the fire not burn him and his cap. Maybe make the fire help him!
Mother Delta made fire on wood, fire in goblins, heat in Boary.
Fire could maybe not be bad. Just… angry. Mr didn’t like the idea of being near fire but he liked the idea of a pot made with fingers and hands and ideas. Mr decided, like the mudroom, the only way to go forward was to take it one step at a time.
If he simply tried then things would be fine. Mother Delta had shown him that. She did not kill, yet she was a dungeon. It was something that made the Delta part inside himself struggle. Kill, grow, lure, kill.
It was all very simple. Like mushroom growing. One did the right things and mushrooms appeared. Mother Delta did not do the right things, yet good things kept happening. She grew mushrooms in fire. They did not burn but grew.
It scared him. It delighted him. It made him feel alive.
Mr Mushy jumped with glee into the mudroom and began to gather mud. It did not want to be gathered and Mr decided that a much better idea would to be bring Cois to the mudroom! He clapped his hands with joy and clambered out with some help from Boary who came at his prompting. The boar seemed annoyed but did not snort like usual in anger when he patted his fun hairy belly.
Nu was so nice. Mr clapped his hands in some odd song he just made up. He called it “Burny hot burn, don’t hurt, make me a pot, thank you!”.
He did not know what those things were. Nu, you should tell Mr about them, please.
Mr listened with joy as he learned. He liked learning.
He liked being Mr. He hoped he could be a better Mr soon. What was better than a Mr? What came next?
Gentleman. Mr inhaled through his pores and the word seemed to be so grand and powerful he nearly forgot about making his pot. He trembled at the word and repeated it over and over.
A gentleman. The refined Mr. The graceful Sir.
Mr poked Cois at the camp and dreamed of the word as the goblin growled at him. He gestured what he desired and Cois seemed to be brightening up when he guessed that Mr wanted him to use fire on something.
The little one loved fire. Mr now understood that feeling. He loved the idea of a gentleman. He would really like to be one.
Top… hat? Mono..cle?
Were these the elite equipped items of a gentleman?! Mr put his hands to his face and with surprise felt his green liquid that coursed through his spongy body gather in his cheeks. They felt warm and Mr danced on the spot as he asked Cois to draw him a top hat in the in dirt.
Cois scratched his head but Nu seemed to speak to him.
Cois used his staff to make a single line then a large box that sat on top of it. It was a hat. It was a square hat and it was glorious.
Delta paused as she felt… something.
She giggled in surprise as a light fluttering moved through her body. The excitement of the second floor must be getting to her. She grinned as her gobs would soon return or maybe Ruli.
She would try to keep the second floor off-limits until she made it… spectacular. Delta really hoped Mrs Dabberghast would return. Delta suddenly found herself in need of some very firm plants.