Fungal Trail Hike

Fungal Trail Hike

‘My foot is itching something terrible,’ I groaned from behind my hiking partner, stopping to catch my breath. She was still chipper, somehow, and turned back to look at me with a big grin.

‘Did you forget to break in those new shoes?’ she chided as I slumped down onto a log.

‘No,’ I lied. ‘It’s not that. I think there’s something wrong.’

‘Wrong?’ she frowned, taking a few steps back to stand next to me. ‘Wrong, how?’

‘Like it’s itching or burning or something,’ I said, scratching at the outside of my shoe like it was going to psychically help me or something.

‘If you take that thing off and then ask me what’s the best treatment for fungal nails, I’m going to scream,’ she said sternly, putting her hands on her hips.

‘It’s not fungus,’ I rolled my eyes. ‘I don’t think. Could it be fungus?’

‘We are hiking through a rainforest,’ she chewed her lip nervously, looking around nervously.

‘See any mushrooms?’ I asked, dryly, still scratching the outside of my boot.

‘No…’ she said slowly. ‘Maybe. Mushrooms look different in the wild.’

I gave in and began to hastily untie the knot holding my boot on.

‘Oh god,’ she put a hand on her mouth and turned around.

‘Don’t be so dramatic,’ I frowned. ‘And a little support would be nice.’

‘You’ve used up all my support this month,’ she said. ‘You’re past quota. Especially if it’s fungus.’

‘What are you talking about?’ I protested, followed by a sigh of relief as my foot slipped free. ‘How did I “meet your quota”?’

‘You asked for advice on finding a clinic near Melbourne to get orthotics fitted.’

‘You told me to look it up online!’

‘Oh,’ she frowned. ‘Oh, yeah. I didn’t tell you about that place near you?’


‘Hmph,’ she nodded. ‘Fine, I guess I owe you one—oh my god!’\

She turned just in time to see me peel my sock off – and promptly fainted at the sight of my toe.

‘Yep,’ I murmured to myself, struggling not to also faint. ‘Different in the wild.’