Diana, who had been looking longingly at the pond with thoughts of a bath, nodded and gave it a wide berth.
"Odd lily pads it's got," Sindy remarked as they passed it.
"What, the discs that look like flattened breasts?" Mort asked. "Those aren't part of the Wallow, those are parasitic symbionts--Breast Pads, they're called. Rather popular in more innocent areas, like Jest--not only do they appear to enhance your natural attributes, but they prevent leakage in lactating women by sopping up and absorbing the milk. On the downside, they induce lactation in women who aren't."
"Uh oh," said Molly, as they approached the opposite end of the clearing. A wall of strange trees loomed before them, like oaks, only with the usual pinkish tinge common to most trees in the forest.
Mort took a cautious breath. "In flower?" he asked, though it was more a statement than a question.
"Yes," the ghost replied. "We'll have to skirt this grove, find another way out of the clearing."
"What's wrong with the oaks?" Rincewind asked.
"Oaps," Mort corrected. "Nothing, at any other time. In fact, their pecorns are quite nutritious. But you don't want to take in much of their pollen. Laced with opiates--you'd dream away in bliss until something caught and ate you. And if by some chance you did survive, you'd be addicted, and it's an addiction that's a bitch to break. Think constant arousal to a point just short of orgasm, into which the slightest touch or movement might tumble you. You wouldn't eat. You wouldn't sleep. Just waste away. The only chance of survival is to go cold turkey, and even that might not help. I've heard of folks who went years without snorting pollen, only to get a flashback from a night of great sex and be re-hooked that way."
"Here's a stand of Dews," said Molly. "We'll get out that way. Try not to brush against any, though, or you'll get slimed. You'll get a bit wet and sticky anyway, likely, but don't worry, Dew secretions are harmless."
"Except, of course, that they do tend to put you in the mood," Mort sighed.
Tue Jul 8 15:02:28 2003