Spore Girl
Spore Girl
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New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

New Orleans' Bywater neighborhood as it recovers from Hurricane Katrina and eases into gentrification. It's an enclave of service industry workers, strippers and musicians that pulses with gunfire at night.

Recent Past

Post-Katrina New Orleans, August 2007
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Submited by: t k (Writer)
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Pennylynn doesn't know she’s a spore girl. She just knows rent's past due and the lap dance business has been slow. So she crashes a private party at her Bourbon Street strip club, where the owner, Funky Freddy, is running a magic mushroom drug ring. When he attacks her in a BDSM scene gone wrong, Pennylynn glows just like the shrooms. Weird news for Pennylynn, but good news for Funky Freddy, who recognizes Pennylynn as a spore girl—someone whose body generates the hallucinogenic drug. Pennylynn must fight off Funky Freddy and discover who she is before she gets trafficked into his drug ring.


Pennylynn goes to a bar after a shift at Jail Bait, the strip club where she works. She blows all her cash and meets a weird but hot dude, Mig, who tells her she has a “spore nature.” She dismisses him as a tripping weirdo.
Because she blew her rent, she tries to go work the next day, but gets told there’s a private event and she’s not on the schedule. She crashes the party with the help of Mig. The private event is strange – apparently a BDSM/drug party where Pennylynn meets the club’s major partner, Funky Freddy, who invites her to the VIP lounge, where he indulges a unique fetish by trying to throw her off a balcony. As Pennylynn’s adrenaline flows, she begins to glow, something Freddy is excited about because it makes her exactly the kind of girl he is looking for.
Pennylynn escapes and goes to the police, who dismiss her as a drugged out prostitute. The next morning, Pennylynn’s sister, Gates, arrives to take Pennylynn to a fitting for her maid-of-honor’s gown for Gates’ wedding. Gates questions her about her lifestyle and what she’s doing at Tulane in the coming semester, but Pennylynn blows her off.
Pennylynn uses her landlord’s phone to call the police again, but her landlord propositions her, and the cops don’t show. She goes to the club to talk to Terry, who warns her about Freddy and Camille and the drug ring and how they have essentially stolen the club from him with threats of implicating him in the drug ring.
Pennylynn goes home, gets a message from Terry to meet Mig at a sports bar, which she does. Mig tells her about spore girls and different human species—the homo amanita. Pennylynn doesn’t believe him, though she feels some recognition in what he tells her. As she leaves the bar, she encounters Freddy, who gives her $1,000 so she’ll talk to him and offers her a job because of what she is – a psychedelic mushroom factory.  Pennylynn turns him down.
 Pennylynn gets a call from her mother reminding her about her sister’s bridal shower the next day. Her mother, Kittie, arrives to take her to the bridal shower. They discuss Gates and John Ed’s wedding. One of Gates’ friends pulls Pennylynn aside to talk about how Pennylynn is screwing up her duties as maid of honor, then offers to do all the work while Pennylynn can take care of the bachelorette party.
Pennylynn questions her mother about her origins, and Kittie tells Pennylynn that Pennylynn was a virgin birth, which Pennylynn thinks is ridiculous.
She gets a text from Terry asking her to meet him at the End of the World, where he tells her about his backup security system at Jail Bait. He tells her to come by his place to get a flash drive with the files that will prove Freddy is guilty of attempted murder.
Back at home, Pennylynn discovers her body has been shedding spores when she sees a glow coming from her bedroom and calls Mig to help her investigate. He says the spores are evidence of that she’s a homo amanita, and shows her how she can use them to inhabit other bodies. She goes to Terry’s apartment to retrieve the flash drive. She sees a photo of Terry with Marie and assumes Marie is his daughter. Then she finds Terry’s body. It looks like he died of an overdose of Amanita. Pennylynn takes the flash drive and leaves.
At home again, Pennylynn’s roommate, Brandy, returns from camping. Pennylynn fills her in on what has been happening, giving her all the details leading up to Terry’s death.
Pennylynn meets Gates for lunch and Pennylynn asks about her father. Gates gives her more details about Kitty’s stint in rehab and backs up Kitty’s weird pregnancy story. On the way home, Gates offers to help Pennylynn with whatever is going on for her. They formulate a plan to hold Gates’ bachelorette party at Jail Bait to give Pennylynn a chance to break in and download Terry’s secret surveillance tapes.  
Pennylynn, Brandy, Gates, and a couple of friends head for Jail Bait. Pennylynn makes her way to Terry’s secret office and is trying to access the files when she finds herself inhabiting Camille’s body.
Part of the plan included drugging Camille with Amanita, but because they used the spores Pennylynn had shed, there has been some kind of consciousness transfer. When Pennylynn tries to use that to her advantage to get to the office, Freddy arrives, locks the door and tells Pennylynn this was all a trap to lure her to the club so they could capture her and harvest her spores.
Pennylynn’s awareness starts to fade. She finds herself in a room talking to Terry, Mig, and Marie, who explain what has been going on – that they are trying to round up all the spore girls to keep them safe from Freddy. They ask if she will join them in their efforts. She agrees.
When Pennylynn regains her consciousness, she and Terry dispatch Camille and Freddy, and they call the police.

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