The Gold Mask Man

A piercing scream tore through the desert, causing a flock of partridges to take flight in a rush. With trembling hands, Kunai rammed the gold mask back onto the man’s features, his simple mind struggling to dismiss the budding impossibility.

Sis face iss—, echoed his inner voice, struggling at lengths for an adjective. Why is sis face—

A gauntleted hand shot out of nowhere and fastened around his wrist. Kunai let out another scream.

‘Ye godss!’

‘Water,’ mumbled the stranger in a voice that would have reduced a cliff-face to a tropical beach. Kunai wasn’t intelligent enough to flinch.

‘What’s whatah?’ he picked his nose. ‘We don’t sspeak whatah round sese parts.’

Ashlar plunged his finger into the sand and drew a simple shape which Kunai recognized as the Egyptian hieratic script for water.

‘Sirsty, eh? Should’ve said so from se sstart,’ Kunai unbuckled the gourd from his hip. ‘Tastes like camel pissss but s’all I have. Here—’

Kunai held out his water gourd but the stranger took no notice. As a matter of fact his brain seemed to have taken a leisure stroll along the riverbanks of unconsciousness.

‘Ssuit yourself, guv,’ Kunai told the man, putting gourd to mouth and taking a sip. ‘Now then, what se do with you?’

To be continued...

- Louise Blackwick

Advent 2019