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Transcript of this chapter:crystal: Rebecca... there's something I... uh, wanted to ask your advice about...
rebecca: Sure. I'm always willing to help other people with their problems.
crystal: Well, this isn't about me. I... I have this friend, you see, and she's got this big crush on a guy... and the guy's not really interested in her...
rebecca: Hmmm... would this be about Annabelle... or yourself?
crystal: Me?! Why would you think this is about me?!
rebecca: Well, usually when someone says that they "have a friend" they're usually talking about themselves...
rebecca: And that's not the only thing that would lead to that conclusion...
crystal: Okay, yeah, it's about Annabelle.
rebecca: I understand that you want to help your friend, but I'm not sure I'm ready to allow a zombie to date my son.
rebecca: It just seems to me that you're helping to set her up for a lot of disappointment, and that's not really fair to your friend, is it?
crystal: I guess not...
rebecca: Besides, maybe you're trying to play matchmaker because you're afraid to play things out in your own life.
crystal: No no, this is just a hypothetical person. In fact, just forget the whole thing.
rebecca: Crystal, you forget that I can always tell when someone is lying. My meager witch powers at least grant me that.
crystal: Uh... uh... Hey, that's a nice little flower! I didn't notice that before.
rebecca: You like it? Barlow brought it in earlier. It's a fog poppy, and finding it means that a fogtide is coming.
rebecca: A fogtide is the one day where the fog in the woods rolls back and we can go gathering useful things.
rebecca: By our estimates, the fogtide will start tomorrow morning. The diner will be closed tomorrow so we can all spend the day gathering the mushrooms that grow in the woods.
crystal: I'd love to help out!
rebecca: That's great, and I'm sure everyone else will help out, too. I would've told you about it sooner, but we didn't know the exact day it would happen. The sheriff and I knew it would be soon, so we've been preparing for it for the last week.
crystal: This little plant was growing in the woods?
rebecca: Yes, and like most plants that grow in woods, it's impossible to grow it in captivity. It relies on the thick mist to get all of its nutrients.
rebecca: And also like many other plants in the woods, this fog poppy is highly poisonous.
crystal: It's a poison, then. Are the mushrooms also poisonous?
rebecca: The mushrooms are generally toxic, but they're safe for what I do with them.
crystal: I thought the Smoggy Woods was a dangerous place.
rebecca: It usually is, yes. Quite dangerous.
rebecca: Even with the fog thinned out tomorrow, it's still possible to get lost if you venture out too far, and when the fog returns you'll be lost forever.
rebecca: We have a good method to keep things safe. One of us will stay at the edge of the woods and shout out to those gathering mushrooms. All we have to do is stay within earshot.
rebecca: This year, the sheriff will be our shouter.
sheriff: You'd like that, wouldn't you?
rebecca: We agreed that you'd stay out of the woods this year. You have to play your part.
sheriff: Bah, I've already done enough to prepare for this year's fogtide. I'm not in danger of getting lost out there.
crystal: Why are we all gathering mushrooms?
rebecca: Oh, I forgot to tell you. I take all of the mushrooms that we gather up, and I distill it into the most delicious wine.
crystal: Wine... from mushrooms?
rebecca: Yep, I'll be mashing them up with my feet in a big tub, and a few weeks later we'll all be drinking to another successful vintage.
rebecca: Which reminds me... I've got to go down to the cellar and get the mushroom press cleaned up. Keep watch over the diner for me.
crystal: Wine... from mushrooms...
sheriff: It could be worse. You know what the coffee is made from.
crystal: Is this an annual tradition to go hunting for mushrooms?
rebecca: Yes, but we can't really predict exactly when it's going to happen, unless we find things like that flower. The fogtide never happens on the same day.
sheriff: I knew it was coming soon, so I warned Rebecca that I'd, er... WE'D be going into the woods soon.
rebecca: Yes. Yes, I realize that.
crystal: What's really in those woods?
rebecca: Horrible things.
sheriff: Woods nymphs.
rebecca: Don't listen to him. The Smoggy Woods are home to a Great Evil, more powerful than any demon. It's a great nothingness that will destroy man and demon alike!
crystal: What have you done to prepare?
sheriff: Rebecca needs us to gather lots of mushrooms, so I had to make some extra bags for us to carry them in.
rebecca: That's hardly work! I only ALLOWED you to catch some extra paper mammals. You wouldn't care about the purpose, so long as you can do some more trapping.
sheriff: Ah, but I take the fogtide very seriously. It's only ONE day each year, you know.
rebecca: I know, but it's reserved for gathering mushrooms!
crystal: How good is wine made from mushrooms?
sheriff: To be honest, it's horrible. I hate the stuff.
sheriff: Rebecca likes to ramble on about the bouquet and the color, but it really has all the bouquet you'd expect from fungus
crystal: Like Barlow's upstairs bathroom.
sheriff: Exactly. But Rebecca likes that wine and she expects us all to help gather mushrooms, even though there's more useful things growing in the woods.
crystal: Like what?
sheriff: Like lots of things. There's a plant out there that keeps zombies away. There's another one that makes people dream about shellfish, and there's also one that's a rare ingredient for some very powerful love potions.
crystal: You don't say...
crystal: Tell me more about those plants in the woods...
crystal: Rebecca seems upset over you going into the woods.
sheriff: Ah, yes... well...
sheriff: I can't really go into it right now, it's a long story. Let's just say that Rebecca gets, uh... a bit jealous, and for no good reason.
crystal: Has anyone ever survived being lost in the woods?
sheriff: I seem to remember you went in there once, but you were never more than a few meters from the edge. I think deeper in there, the woods can cause even more confusion.
sheriff: There was one man, a long time ago, who tried to cross through the woods and actually made it back...
sheriff: He had a reputation as Spider Cliff's greatest adventurer... Elkwood Sprawling. He died when I was a young lad, but at the time he was a hero to all of us youngsters.
crystal: Did he ever talk about his experience in the woods?
sheriff: He said it was terrifying, the most terrifying experience in his life. He was close to death the entire time, and as he spent a night in the woods, there was some sort of Great Evil surrounding him.
sheriff: And yet, he managed to get back to tell the tale. During the next fogtide, he found the camp he made from that night, and it was only a few dozen meters from the edge.
crystal: And Rebecca's making us go in there so she can made some wine?
sheriff: It's fairly safe when the fog rolls back.