His head felt like baby chicks were trying to hatch from it. Everything was an empty void up until a moment ago and now searing pain. Water. He needed water. His throat was tear apart like century-old parchment. How long had he been asleep? He was like the dragon that had hibernated under the earth for millenia. He was a yeti in his cave for the winter, and now he was just a frail little man, thirsty and with a headache that could split a horse in half. What had happened? What had brought him to this place, head against a tree, in the middle of the woods? He checked his pockets: a wallet with no money inside; a gum wrapper with gum inside; his keychain complete with keys. He hadn’t been robbed or duped, but he had been taking liberties with his own cash. But where was his phone? That might be in his coat pocket, but this fur-trimmed coat wasn’t his, nor was it even designed for a man to wear. The coat pocket had a box of matches and a box of cigarettes that said “DEATH” and below that, “TOBACCO SERIOUSLY DAMAGES YOUR  HEALTH” with a wicked-looking skull-and-crossbones resting on top of it all. This woman had style, though it’s possible he had bought the cigarettes. Either way, they were his now. He lit one up and leaned against the tree. He had an awful kink in his neck, and he began massaging his arms to get the blood flowing back into them. He turned his neck to one side and he could have sworn he’d broken it, the way the vertebrae seemed to snap. For a moment, it was even painful, the sharp click of bones resetting themselves. But then he felt much better. He thought about how he would get back, whether he would just pick a direction or if there could be footprints leading back where he came from. On the other hand, did he want to go back where he came from? He dropped the black cigarette on the ground and stamped it out. His head might have felt better if it weren’t for the fact that he was so damn thirsty. Maybe there were some landmarks, past the trees, like the Rockies or something. He could check for certain if he climbed one of the trees, but it didn’t seem worth it. One direction was probably as good as another.


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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XXII

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