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A Picking Adventure continued


A close up of a lovely Psilocybe semilanceata Image Courtesy of Peter Bergson

"Oh my God" the woman replied. "Come in". Dave felt a little embarrassed as he entered. His waterproof clothes were drenched dripping rivets of water onto the caravan's linoleum floor. From his jacket's pocket the big coke bottle he had used to put his shrooms protruded out. There was at least 500 shrooms in it, that he'd found, but fortunately not enough to be visible above the jacket pocket. However if had given the bottle closer inspection one would have seen a few strands of grass were stuck on it's lip and just inside it. Fortunately the shrooms couldn't be seen directly, as the pocket just concealed them, but Dave still felt pretty awkward now. What was worse he had absolutely bugger all place to put them either.

"Would you like a cup of tea?" the woman asked to which Dave gratefully accepted. He began to explain what had happened. He noticed that the woman wasn't alone, and was accompanied by a man in his 40s. They listened as Dave improvised his story as to how he'd somehow convened to lose his friend. When he finished, they shared Dave's unease for John. "Would you like to make a phone call?" She asked, motioning to the handset on the windowsill. Dave did, but he didn't have a clue who to call. He figured it was an emergency so felt 999 (the number for the emergency services in England) would be the best bet. He dialled the number, composing his thoughts as he listened to the ring. A lady answered asking what service he wanted to be put through to - the Ambulance, Police, Fire Brigade or Life Guard. Dave looked out of the window. The wind continued to howl at a strong rate of knots, and the rain was pelting the caravan like nails. None of these options really seemed appropriate for his current situation. He explained to the operator that he didn't know which one was best.

"Sir unless you can tell me who you want to pass this call onto we can't process your call" the operator said. All Dave could see was water – "Well it looks pretty wet out here, maybe you should send the coast guard". It was an ironic joke which almost forced a chuckle from everybody in the caravan. Dave changed his mind. "Put me through to the police" he said still not sure how exactly a police officer was going to be able to help find John. He was transferred through to the police who took down the details of what had happened.

Five minutes later after explaining the situation, he was assured that the call had been passed to the nearest available police car in the area, who were now heading to the scene, and would be with them as soon as possible. Dave considered he'd have a long wait due to how isolated the moor was, and how easy it'd be to make a wrong turn. He felt better at least, knowing that someone else could share the burden of his responsibility. They sipped there tea, quietly discussing what might have happened to John.

The wind had blown much of the low lying cloud away now, and with it the rain had begun to ease. They could now see clearly much of the panoramic landscape around them. Dave stepped out of the caravan back in the fresh air, to try give himself some space, to get a better look. He also didn't want to be too close to anyone with a bottle half full of the finest shrooms money could buy. He was sure the woman had noticed it. It was kind of hard not too, but felt confident that she didn't know what was inside it. He scanned around him, preying his buddy would just materialise into view and everything would be all OK again. He looked for any flash of colour. Nothing moved at all. "Where on earth was he" he thought to himself. It was a mystery he needed to know the answer to.

Ten minutes later the black and white police car pulled up into the car park in front of the caravan and red Astra surprising Dave as to how quickly the police had arrived. These guys were good. Two officers got out and Dave approached making himself known to them, his arm instinctively dropping to his side to cover the bottle.

"So what happened then", one said, obviously the senior policeman. Dave explained how he'd been out walking with his friend, and that they'd got separated.

"How could you get separated so easily" the other asked, almost a little suspicious, eyeing Dave up. He knew he had to be careful with his answers. Going picking wasn't the same as a leisurely walk in the park. Following mushrooms was more akin to a random amble, spent with your eyes looking down. It was normal to lose site of your buddy and perfectly normal to have a lot of distance between you as you both followed your separate ways. However he could hardly admit what they'd been up to. Dave explained how the fog had been thick then, and he must've drifted away from his buddy without realising. It was thin but…

"Has John got a mobile phone", the other policeman, who dark hair, cut in gratefully removing the need for Dave to explain further on that small detail.

"Yes, trouble is I can't call him because my mobile phone is locked in his car". Dave certainly couldn't remember John's number. One of the officers tried all the door handles of the Astra coming dangerously close to Dave's right sided pocket. He angled himself leaning his side away from the officer, continuing to use his arm to shield the bottle of shrooms. This was going to be tight Dave thought to himself feeling he was in imminent danger of getting busted. The legality of fresh shrooms had always been a grey area in England. Dry magic mushrooms were classified as Class A drugs, and possession was punishable by a hefty fine, and potential prison sentence. This whole day was turning into a nightmare.

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