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Writings

Helicopter

I heard it several times overheard, flying over our roof. They must be looking for someone, he said, his head bent over the newspaper. It was early, before 6 am. It’s a sinister sound. I don’t know why. Insistent, like an insect buzzing, chasing, haranguing.

I dreamt I was trying to make a dress and the pattern I was working from was a lot more complicated than I’d bargained for. (How like life. And indeed this sampler I’m working on for one of the poppets. Ugh, I keep mis-counting, and I want to throw a tantrum at my incompetence.) I kept looking back at the picture on the pattern. It looked like a wedding dress but the loose folds at the front of the bodice didn’t appeal to me. Did I really want to make this dress? I kept asking myself. Then I saw other images of women in it, though the dress had changed. Then I saw bits of women’s torsos – naked, like a painting. Then I was due to start teaching again, or was I just applying? It was at a post-ed college – and someone was telling me about all the meetings I’d have to attend. Some are at midnight, the person was saying. My heart sank. Do I really want all that back? Then my colleague at work was on the phone, could I do the booking for midnight? Why can’t you do it? I wanted to ask. I’d do it, he said, but I have to drive all the next day. Alright, I said, I’ll do it. Then I woke, a little before my alarm.

A cloudy day. Writing done and sent. One more to do. Sewing today and my fingers are already sweaty with the tension of doing it wrong. Will she notice? It’s a bit like one of the Spot the Difference puzzles my niece and nephew love to do. Who can spot that the giraffes are not exactly the same size?

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.