Slice of Write

Stories & jibber-jabber by Janelle Parmer, Author of The Other Side of the Ledge & Chasing Calla Lilies

The Mask:

Wow, did she really have to add extra onions for lunch?  It’s bad enough she is constantly spitting, talking, breathing into me with her normal, hot breath, but the ungodly smell of leftovers is killing me.  I wish the pack of masks that I came with included a bottle of mints.  Ouch, stop pulling, lady!  She is always tugging at my strings or readjusting me.  She can’t just leave me alone!  I scan the other masks in the office.

“Hey, what’s up patty?”  I ask the green bandana attached to some old guy’s face.

“Not much.  This fool finally washed me last night,” Patty scoffed.

“Aw lucky.  I was washed two days ago and already have a lipstick stain on me again,” I said as Patty abruptly left the room.

I count the hours until we get to go home and she can take me off.  She’ll throw me on the counter, next to her keys and wallet, and all three of us will breathe a sigh of relief that we get a break from her.

The Lady:

This mask is so annoying.  Sometimes it feels so loose, like it’s going to slip off my face, and other times I swear it’s choking me.  I think it has a mind of its own.  The mask makes my body temperature rise another 20 degrees, so I am always sweating and breathing hard.

“Hey, Jeff.  How’s it going?” I ask as I make my way to the supply closet.

“Did you see Trisha’s email?”  Jeff asked.

“Yes, I’ll respond and let her know I am working on it,” I said politely as I grimaced under the mask.

“Good,” Jeff said as he abruptly walked out of the room.

Jerk!  I scream in my head as I wipe the sweat pooling at my mouth.  I count the hours until I get to go home.  I can’t wait to tear this thing off my face and be able to breathe again. 

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