An edited and improved version of this story is now available for purchase as part of the ‘Prophecies of the Drowned Oracle’ collection.
A month ago my husband Augustine purchased a bag of mushroom seeds from your store. He was delighted at first, and the mushrooms grew fast and looked surprisingly nice, the latter of which I was most happy about.
Now, Augustine would write you himself, but he is currently weeping in his office. The mushrooms will not glow, he informs me.
I will be frank, I do not know what to make of this. I suspect he merely misread your ‘growing’ instructions as ‘glowing’ instructions, but he assures me you said yourself that the mushrooms would glow.
I am sorry to say I do not know what I am asking you for. New instructions? New mushrooms? An apology? Just, anything that will end this ridiculous whining. He is acting like a child!
Please respond with the utmost urgency.
Dear Mrs Packard,
I remember Mr Packard. I did tell him the mushrooms only glow for people they like. It seems the mushrooms dislike Mr Packard’s whining as much as you do.
In nature, these mushrooms glow just because they like to glow, but they are very proud creatures and will not tolerate anyone they dislike seeing their glow.
You could try telling him this, but I assume by his great upset that he has already figured out the mushrooms simply dislike him. As I told him before he purchased them, you can bring them back to the store, I will even give you back half of what Mr Packard originally paid for them. You could also plant them outside in nature somewhere where they will not be bothered by people they do not like. Maybe if you plant them outside they will start liking you enough to keep glowing when you and your husband are around.
Take action with the utmost urgency, the mushrooms do not like it when they cannot glow.
PS They’re called spores, not seeds.
I thank you for your reply, although I am sad to say even your urgent response came too late for my husband.
The good news is that the mushrooms glow now when I watch them in the garden. I found them a moist shady spot where their glow can be seen even on the sunniest of days. I find a lot of joy in watching them.
I will surely come back to your shop in the future.
This story was inspired by the title of the game ‘Dear Apothecary’.
Shout-out to Sofia Vlasiuk, from who I totally copied the illustration design. Her vector is a lot neater than my ink interpretation of it.