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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Microstory 884: Sap-Tinted Glasses

A few years ago, I was wandering the Maze Market, which is this monthly event some organization puts up in the middle of Freelake Park. It looks just like a marketplace you might find in Egypt, or some other Middle Eastern country. It’s hard to navigate, and it’s always packed for the whole day. I spot this booth where no one else was buying anything. The woman working there is watching people go about their business, not attempting to draw any customers, but also not completely over it, and reading a book. She looked like she was just content with the view, and was good either way. She had very few things to sell; a few hats, some jewelry, and this pair of glasses that really caught my eye. They kind of looked like the kind Ringo was known for wearing, but they were also unique. I just had to have them. As the clerk was completing the transaction, she didn’t even look at me, and I realized that she was waiting for someone else. I almost felt bad about giving her a measly five dollars, like maybe she was so distracted, she didn’t realize what I was buying. But after I started walking away, she said one thing; that the glasses would show me the truth. I turned around to ask for clarification, but she was gone, as was her booth. I was so freaked out that I never put on those glasses; not even once. But then my friend noticed them hanging on my bedroom mirror earlier today, and suggested I bring them with us to a new club called Pandemonium tonight. By now, all of my reservations had been vanquished, so I shrugged, and agreed.

We walk up to the club, and she reminds me that I need to stand out if I want to get past the bouncer, which explains why she has a long scarf tied around both of her thighs. Apparently you don’t get into this place by being pretty or rich, but by being interesting, and memorable. I playfully scoff at how silly this all his, but put the glasses on, just the same. It’s the only noteworthy thing about me, except maybe that my top is a little tight, and it seems to work. The bouncer totally digs it, and opens the door for us. I’m horrified when I walk in. The entire place is covered in, like, this green fungal sap. Some people have maggots crawling all over their faces, but that’s nothing compared to what I see front and center. A monster twice as tall, and three times as wide as any man is standing in the DJ Booth. His eyes are on his neck, and there are several rows of teeth in his mouth, which never seems to close. He doesn’t have horns, per se, but his head turns up on the sides. My God is he ugly. He’s got headphones on, but only one ear is covered, like you would expect from any normal DJ. He’s hyping up the crowd, and promoting his radio station, 66.6 The Pit. How is everyone okay with this, I think, but then I remember the glasses. I tip them down with my finger, and look above the lenses. Everything appears perfectly normal. The monster is gone, replaced by just a regular douche, and the walls look clean. I look through the glasses once more, and then without them, and then with them again. The woman must not have been lying; these things show me the truth. They do something else to me, though. The more I stare at the monster DJ, the more I have the urge to commit great violence against him. My rage doesn’t subside, even when I take the glasses off completely, and I know that the only way to satiate my need is to just get it over with. After an hour, he leaves his booth for a break, and is followed by two bouncers, which look like miniature versions of him when I’m wearing the truth glasses. I realize that the glasses also give me this strength the more I wear them, so I have to keep them on. Killing all three of them is the most effortless thing I’ve done in my whole life. I can’t believe how quickly they go down, and it’s exhilarating. Once it’s over, though, the shame and guilt set in. And the fear. I take the glasses off, and see that the monster disappears, just as before. He still looks entirely human to everyone else. No one would believe me if I claimed that he was the Devil, and these were his two demon assistants. I’ve heard of people like that, and they always end up between four padded walls. I drag the bodies into the janitor’s closet, and try to sneak back out of the bathroom. The club owner suddenly walks up to me and says, “where have you been? You get two minutes for the bathroom, like we agreed. Hey, where’re your goons? Whatever, just get back up there. The people want those beats!” Now I’m the monster.

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