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Try Them On

Challenge #4 Beware the Mundane

By James U. RizziPublished 9 months ago 8 min read
Try Them On
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Challenge #4: Beware the Mundane!

In this challenge, you are tasked to choose either a non-scary/mundane object or task and create a horror story around it! There is no word count or time limit for this challenge

Get up, we're going thrift shopping!”

The phone was gently balanced on the side of my face, adding to the top layer of my head and pillow sandwich. The less I moved the better, it added to the facade of proverbial safety.

Reluctantly I rolled over with a grunt to check the screen while Stacey blurted out nonsense through the speaker. 12:23 P.M.

“Yeah, ya know, I'm already in the middle of some afternoon chores, by the time I'm done it'll be too late…”

Midway through my excuse, Stacey hollered like a siren from a newly installed bullshit detector.

I'm outside, get out of bed.”


Nobody really tells you what life is gonna be like post-trauma, sure the slate of psych doctors and appointed counselors propagate the emotions, and feelings to a literal science. But still a pill far too hard to swallow considering you'd never think you'd see yourself on the other side of tragedy. They'd start from grade school, mitigating a list of possible and known dangers of the modern world, and the protocols to implement should you find yourself in such an event.

Stop drop and roll,

Give 'em all your money, don't be a hero.

Tuck under the desk in the event of an earthquake.

You'd always listen but you never really took it to heart, because while these things happen, and often, they'd never ever happen to me, right?

That was the prevailing thought until I was inches away from a weathered assailant demanding I give him everything I have, gesturing with his free hand to make it quick, while stabbing the air with his knife. Frozen on a plane of wandering disbelief I couldn't move nor think, they never said anything about this.

Luckily my numb anatomy saw my handbag slip from my fingertips, like a groveling rat, he scooped up his prize and dashed away into the alley.

The weeks and months that followed, that ice-cold feeling endured. I ran on instinct alone, I couldn’t help but feel powerless, like my wandering mind had not returned. It remained there in that dark alley trying to figure out what happened.

My best friend since forever, Stacey, had been trying to chip away at the ice that refused to melt, hoping some of my favorite activities would soften my cold demeanor.


“Where are we going?” I asked. Watching as she flipped through the same three radio stations at least a million times, looking for the perfect ditty.

“Upstate a couple of miles away from Woonsocket, some really good shopping up there, or at least that's what my coworker said” A couple more clicks on the radio tuner. “You're gonna love it, trust me thrift shops and coffee shops galore, plus we needed a trip to get away from home for a while.”

I knew that last line was mostly for me, but at that point, I had to trust Stacey, couldn't really think for myself these days, and as it turns out after a decade of friendship she usually knew best.

After scorching the block popping in and out of mom and pops, and trying on any goofy hand-me-downs I began to feel like my old self. If only slightly.

“Ok one more shop then dinner, what do you say?”

The pleasantries of my old hobby seemed to have compounded, because I responded with a resounding “Absolutely!”

Rounding our way to the end of the strip Stacey spotted a sign that hung on a thin metal frame.

With gold lettering carved into heavy purple wood, it read:

Madame Lucy's Trinkets

Strolling through an alley towards the oddly placed store I clutched my Tigertech X-23 stun gun through my leather handbag, a new purchase post-incident. I had to feel every intricacy in a bout of irrational fear. This seemed too familiar.

Luckily it was all but good vibes once inside, the store seemed to beam with an eccentric type magic, shelves packed with the most far away garments and decorations the likes of which I had never seen.

I finally found myself at the glasses stand, trying on all the zero prescription specs, posing in the small angled mirror perched on top of the rotating tower.

“Mmm, they look good dear, but I think I have something better. I have an odd feeling they'll suit you.” An older lady swathed in purple and gold linen shuffled her way to the back with so much loose jewelry she sounded like a tambourine as she moved.

She returned, placing a single plexiglass case on the counter. Inside were your standard-size lens glasses with a metal frame that had a deep tye dye color of a dark red and murky yellow.

“For you, special price.” The elderly woman said.

I felt drawn to them for reasons beyond looking stunning. I had to have them.

“I'll take them!” I said.

Handling them with care she began to wrap them in beige tissue paper. “No need.” I said, “I'll wear them out.”

Post dinner we planted ourselves by the wharf to watch the sunset. Still adorning my new purchase I patiently attacked my ice cream cone, licking the trailing sherbert before it met my hand.

“You weirdo,” Stacey smiled. I couldn’t help but smile back. Despite still not feeling a hundred percent, I truly and firmly believed this was a good start.

Averting my eyes from my icy treat I lent my gaze to the docks below. Scanning the fishermen and boaters I became hypnotized by the swaying. Lost in the nothingness I noticed a small shade far in the depth of my left perviral, clouding it with blackness. I blinked frivolously until it disappeared. Must be tired, I thought. “Ready to go,” I pleaded. “Right after I finish this rocky road, will head to the car.” Stacey crushed her way through the sugar cone and we were on our way.


I had decided to work remotely for the next couple of weeks, although I was feeling better, I really wasn't ready for the swarm of inevitable questions at the office. With that being said I thought leaving the apartment and heading to the park would lend itself to progress.

The public garden was surprisingly empty, I didn't mind though, it was quiet. I hiked my favorite pair of eyeglasses tighter to the bridge of my nose and began tickling the keyboard.

I wasn't much of a napper. That's why I was startled when I woke up from what I thought was a quick 20-minute refresher. To my surprise, nothing but a few halogen lamp posts, and a sparkle of stars dotted the landscape, it had progressively fallen into night. Checking my phone it seems as if I took a full-on snooze on a wooden park bench.

Groggy, I collected my things ready to make my way back home.

Before a rejuvenating inhale something struck my vision. The same invading shadow I saw that day with Stacey a couple of weeks back. I blinked again hoping the learned remedy would work. It didn't.

The void closed rapidly, like inky waters coming to shore, the shade contrasted so starkly that it made the night sky shine.

I closed my eyes tight, hoping to replenish my clarity.

What's going on? I asked myself .That was usually the last self-appointed question before panic sets in.

I opened my eyes hoping the mess would dissipate.

My heart stopped in my throat and choked out an impromptu scream.

The whole world had changed before my eyes. The landscape was conceived from nightmares, architected by evil in Carnet. The moonlight backdrop of the sky turned blood red, illuminating the silhouettes of the spiny black trees where flourishing foliage once lived. The dark entity began to emerge and take shape far beyond its original half circle of charcoal. Limping fully into sight it took on the shape of a man draped with a hooded robe loosely bound to his hunched body. It turned toward me, the hellish nappery inching closer, so much so, I could see its steamy white eyes.

I was thrown into the distant throngs of iniquity. A far cry from the frozen dissemblance I felt that one fateful night. Somehow, someway, this was a brand new type of fear, a new type of plane of disbelief.

I shook my head violently and screamed in the uncertainty of it all, nothing I could do but resign to this wicked fate.

The monster moved closer, grinning through a white mist that was his abnormally large teeth. Holding a long blade in his foregrip, jutting from his body like one unified silhouette

My life flashed before my eyes. Each variable moment slowed time enough for me to remember it fondly.

Meeting Stacey in elementary school,

getting kicked out of my house,

The Mugging.

All the way up until my more than likely last outing with my friend, where I purchased the most ridiculous-looking glasses.

I gasped dislodging my beating heart from my windpipe, I snatched at my spectacles, they wouldn't fucking move. I scratched at the side of the frame, they seemed to be welded to my temples. I clawed at them desperately until my face bled.

In the depths of this infernal region, I had to commit to the charged atmosphere. I would probably die here, at the hands of this spectral ghoul. At that moment, the sense of having nothing left granted me enough visibility to realize that I was in control. In the clutches of the inevitable I could reap my mistakes by throwing caution to the wind, and at the very least I could take my power back.

I unlatched my clutch and took out my high-powered taser. I charged it with a few taps. The monster and the attacker from that night flashed back and forth until they became one. I gripped the stun gun until it rolled on a steady buzz. With every fiber of my waning being I punched it into its neck, embedding it deep enough so it could feel the shock in its brain. I wasn't letting go, I wanted this fucker to sizzle.

I screamed as it shook. Vibrating, it dissolved into the wind, like soft sand in the breeze.

My energy depleted, I slumped back on the bench tilting my head forward in exhaustion. The angle was enough for my glasses to slide off, and clatter on the dirt.

The park was normal again, heavily wooded and balding grass as far as the eye can see. With one small granule of energy, I stood, raising my combat boot above my possessed optics. I stamped down with all my might over and over until they were nothing but dust. I collected my things. It was time to go home.

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About the Creator

James U. Rizzi

I cant wait to see what I can create here.

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Comments (4)

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  • Teresa Renton9 months ago

    Ha ha … well done! Do you keep yourself awake at night? 😂. I’ve just got back from holiday with a broken and gashed bleeding toe, feeling nauseous from meds, and you’ve nominated me to write a horror story 😂. I can’t promise anything but I’ll see how I get on. 😊

  • Tiffany Gordon 9 months ago

    Fabulous writing James! I loved it! The storyline was very original! A very intriguing read!

  • Oneg In The Arctic9 months ago

    Now you stressing me about MY NEW GLASSES!!! This was great. That’s it. Great. Boom.

  • Upon finishing this story, I took off my glasses just to see if they can come off, lol! This was sooooo scary!

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