River Mask

a Chuck Wendig prompt (209 w)- here

I pulled the car into a parking lot, and killed the motor. My head was spinning, since I left the highway.

I breathed.

My forehead touched the steering wheel. It’s cool soothed my headache. The long wooden mask, I bought hours ago, sat beside me in the passenger seat. It’s dry hair was made of some kind of weed, smelt of rain and mud.

“Breathe.” The words fell into my lap. I obeyed, slowly forcing the air in and out of my lungs, counting. One. Inhale. Two. Hold air in. One. Exhale. Two. Keep air out. One. Inhale.

I sat up and threw the driver’s door open. My head and stomach felt hot, my hands and feet were icy. I tried to keep the blazing sun out of my eyes, by squeezing them shut. It didn’t help.

The murmur of the river seemed too distant, although I parked directly at the shore.  Steps approached, sloshed through mud.  Something wet touched my cheek. My eyes flew open. A man had his cold hand on my forehead. The bright made it impossible to see his face. I felt better, though.

“Finally. Took you long enough to get here.” I knew that voice. He sounded like me.

 

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