Woman, Assumed Dead, Brought Back By 90s Fashion

Lara Horning, who spent the last 17 years missing and assumed dead, walked into a bar on Friday. She was wearing a pastel plaid skort, fuzzy sweater and Doc Martins, and her signature yin-yang necklace, which is how locals recognized who she was.

“I thought she was dead…” said the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous. “I saw someone walk in and I was confused. At first, I thought, ‘Are those shorts, or a skirt?’ and then I thought, ‘Is that Lara Horning?'”

A close friend of Lara, Edmond Klein, was the first to visit her. “Lara was the IT girl in the late 90s,” Edmond explained. “When the 2000s came around, and the jeans started getting lower, and the tops became more exposed, and everything was bedazzled, Lara became very depressed. We graduated from high school in 2004, and I hadn’t seen Lara since. Some people thought she ran away, and there was another rumor that she was in a coma, or was murdered. I thought about starting a podcast about her because those are so popular now.  But then I decided to buy a boat instead. Glad she is back!”

It turns out Lara, who was living under the name Liv Taylor (a nod to 90s icon Liv Tyler), suffered from a psychological condition similar to agoraphobia. She rented a house across town, and would not leave it until baggy jeans came back.

One day, while looking out the window, Lara spotted a young neighbor outside in her lawn wearing a slip dress and jelly sandals. “She was doing some sort of dance with her hands, facing a small device. I felt comfortable enough to walk outside and ask her if she owned a choker necklace or belly ring. Once she confirmed she did, I knew it was my time.”

Our investigative reporters had many questions for Lara during our interview, but it turns out, Lara had just as many for us. “What happened to The Limited? Gadzooks? Did Ed Hardy die? What about Von Dutch? That’s not a thing anymore right?” she asked. Before we could answer, more questions came. “Are we doing ironic flannels or vibrant windbreakers this year?”

We encouraged Lara to notify the police of her situation so they could close the file on her disappearance. She said she would, and asked where the nearest payphone was.

While we could not confirm at this time how Lara bought groceries, paid rent, changed her name, or carried on her life without having not left the house in years, she did say she had help from a friend. For now, Lara is trying to acclimate to living in 2021. She has no plans to get a cell phone or internet, and said The Simpsons television show kept her updated on current events.

“I know a global pandemic isn’t the best time for a comeback, but I can wear a t-shirt under my dress again, so here I am.”

Kelly Collette
Kelly is a standup comedian who has performed at limestone, San Francisco Sketchfest, laughfest and more. She tours nationally and was named Best Comedian in Cincinnati.