I saw its lights as I approached the harbour. It was huge and lit up like the ghost ship of Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner. It looked unearthly. I walked towards the pergyl first before rounding the railings and turning down towards the harbour. It was all pitch black at first and then I saw them, what looked like six men humping big plastic sacks of stuff into the back of a juggernaut. The lights from the trawler was the only source of light and that coming from the back of the lorry. I thought of smugglers from long ago working in the dead of night, undercover, hushed-voices, working quickly, hurriedly, each only too aware of the danger. Unnoticed by the men I squeezed my way through the channel between the truck and the piles of ropes and lobsters nets built up against the wall of the boat club. The left–hand door of the front cab was beginning to open as I passed. I could still possibly get through but then I was seen. I felt uncomfortable, spotted, as if I was somehow trespassing. It was a young lad, clearly hitching a ride with his father or as company perhaps through the long drive over the mountains. His hair was short, dark, he saw me and pulled the door back to let me pass. Thank you, I called out though I was uncertain if he heard me. It was nothing and yet, in the dark, it felt dramatic, potent, alive.

I took her some biscuits but this time she was awake and walking towards the other side of the Prom as I approached. I walked faster so as to catch her up, then, saying nothing I just handed her the packet of oatcakes and touched her arm before walking on. What did she do? he asked at breakfast. Nothing, I said, she just looked rather annoyed as if to say, is that it? He laughed. It doesn’t matter. I did what felt right. If she doesn’t want them she can discard them. One mustn’t expect sweetness, she has a hard life, though I was pleased to notice that she was dressed in warm clothes, particularly her boots, they looked like a kind of reindeer fur. In fact, if it wasn’t for the dark of her hair she could be a Sami.

I woke from a fearful dream, though when I told him of it it just seemed silly. In my dream I’d woken and heard a sound in our hallway. I never dream about this flat, so that was unusual. Someone was coming up the stairs. It was my usual time of waking and it was dark. I was terrified and couldn’t call out his name. I tried to articulate it but terror made it impossible. And it was him. He’d been out to sleep in the tennis club. He said that he’d been frightened sleeping here and had gone over there, though he added, the breakfast was a bit pedestrian. I was so hurt. So hurt that he’d just left in the night like that without telling me and that he’d found comfort, safety, sleep elsewhere. In my waking hours walking I’ve struggled to make sense of where such an anxiety dream has sprung from.

Still pitch out there and he’s gone for his walk. The second load of washing has been done, just the drying now. Then tea. I finished my last article yesterday and now it’s time to rest awhile. Good. Enjoy your Sunday. x

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.