The Charmed Bracelet: A Short Story

Zasha wanders in a store in search of trinkets, and walks out with something wickedly lucky. 

The day was delightfully silver. That was attributed to Zasha’s day of binge-watching her favorite black and white horror films on Netflix. The week of tedious office work had her relishing in this afternoon set aside for some classic terror. But like the tasks on her to-do lists and sticky notes, something nagged her.

Zasha was halfway into the fourth film of the day, Nosferatu, when she remembered she’d been meaning to drop in Carmen’s Knick-Knacks. The deserted marathon may not forgive her, but her shelf of eclectic collectibles would thank her for the newbies. She changed into denim shorts and her lovingly worn Anthrax t-shirt, and she dashed out of the apartment.

Outside, heavy leaden clouds mocked her indoor surroundings, giving the heat even more mugginess. She descended the steps, and headed to the parking lot. And there she was: Zasha’s little battered Malibu parked between some new-looking SUVs. Her pre-owned ride may have needed a paint job, it may have been beat-up, but at least the minty air freshener did the knockabout some good as she hopped in.

The mall was bustling with Saturday shoppers. As Zasha pressed forward with old school Benediction blasting in her headphones, she nervously tied her dark dreads into a ponytail. Situations like these made Zasha very self-aware, leading her irrational self-grooming; she tried to swallow the ill-feelings and replace them with healthy, rational observations.

Out of the distant wave of heads in front of her, she spotted a towering figure in a khaki trench coat—collar up and topped with a black baseball cap. It wouldn’t have caught her eye if: (A) It hadn’t been a scorcher outside, and (B) the figure didn’t have its head turned directly toward her. The episode was nauseating. Zasha darted in the nearest store, Chaser Shoe Dept., to let him or her (or whatever that was) pass on by. With her heart pounding, she browsed the shelves, taking in the scent of leather footwear. She decided she’d scanned enough shelves and left and prepared to face whatever was out there.

Stay tuned for part II.

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

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