“Quick, put this on!”
Jessica grabbed the gas mask Edward was forcing into her hand and struggled to place it over her nose and mouth as the air around them filled with thick smoke and tear gas.
She never thought a peaceful demonstration could lead to this.
People were panicking, running disorderly, in every direction possible. Bumping into each other violently. And coughing. There was lots of coughing and shouting and screaming!
“Move! We have to get over to Place Liberté – it’ll be safer there! Come on this way!”
Edward was more assertive than her. He always had been. And he always knew how to maintain his calm in the face of panic and transmit it to her. She on the other hand simply felt lost. It was as if she had entered a trance and was not fully aware of what was going on. Edward had to pull her across the tram lines and over to the other side of the street.
Place Liberté was peaceful and quiet. They could take the masks off now. It was as if this was a different part of town. Untouched by the incidents and episodes that had suddenly broken out just across the street.
“Come, let’s go have a juice to calm down, shall we?”
Jessica nodded and followed sheepishly as they sat at a café which was overflowing with customers extending their necks out in order to get a better view of the ‘action’.
This wasn’t frequent in Townville.
Peaceful demonstrations occurred only recently with the change of government and radical reforms that were announced.
But to have tear gas, clashes with police, and petrol bombs being thrown during a protest over the closing down of illegal pet salons, well, that was an extraordinary thing in itself!
Also part of Trifecta Writing Challenge, with the prompt word: Mask (noun):
a : a protective covering for the face
b : gas mask
c : a device covering the mouth and nose to facilitate inhalation
d : a comparable device to prevent exhalation of infective material
e : a cosmetic preparation for the skin of the face that produces a tightening effect as it dries