Blanket coverage

Another FutureLearn task, this time about developing a character based on someone or something you’ve seen. The lady featured in this mini-story is inspired by someone I see nearly every day, who does indeed walk up the street with a blanket wrapped over her head.

Nasal sprays. Antihistamine tablets. They just didn’t work for Michelle, which was why, every day, she walked to work with her head wrapped in a blanket. That way the dust and smog from the garages and factories didn’t make her throat itch and nose erupt. It also meant she couldn’t see people staring and pointing at the weird girl with her head in a blanket, which she considered preferable to being able to see people watching her shamble down the street with her eyes streaming, nose running like a tap and sneezing every ten seconds.
Sometimes, colleagues suggested she moved somewhere out of town, away from the smog and grime. ‘Somewhere with lots of grass?’ she’d say.
‘That’s right.’
‘And flowers?’
The implication of what flowers and grass would mean to Michelle would hang in the air. Then the person would look defeated and move the conversation on, usually onto how maybe homeopathy or acupuncture might work, as if she hadn’t already tried that and hadn’t already had this conversation over and over and that if she had to go through it just one more time it might actually send her round the twist. That is, If she hadn’t already waltzed merrily around the twist and back again years ago.


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