‘Bias Cut’

Par Ailsa Cox
Publication en ligne le 02 décembre 2015


Bias Cut’ is an original piece of short fiction inspired by the art and writings of Leonora Carrington (1917-2011). It was written for a reading in her honour at the Tate museum, Liverpool, during the exhibition ‘Leonora Carrington: Britain’s Lost Surrealist’ in April 2015.

Bias Cut’ est un micro-récit de fiction inspiré par l’œuvre de Leonora Carrington (1917-2011). Il a été écrit pour une lecture organisée en son honneur au Tate Museum, Liverpool, pendant l’exposition ‘Leonora Carrington: Britain’s Lost Surrealist’ en avril 2015.


Texte intégral

1On that same morning she first began to realize that she was losing weight. That very same morning she saw her skin begin to slacken, softly pooling round her belly like ripples from a stream. The rings slipped from her fingers, and her backbone was rattling in the bath tub. For the first time, she noticed the slats of her ribs, and even her feet seemed smaller, sliding sideways in her slippers made of satin. She felt suddenly light and free, as she smoothed the scented lotion on a body that did not belong to her.

2The dress hung waiting inside its plastic sheath, oyster silk, bias cut, following the contours of the figure, the neckline embroidered with seed pearls. She watched its reflection in the dressing table mirror as the hairdresser lifted the weight of her hair — fine and soft, and still its natural colour  — brushing and pinning so briskly her head nodded under its force. Someone else painted her nails, the brush tickling back and forth, and then it was time to colour her face.

3Women swarmed around her, chattering and kissing. Her mother dressed in poppies and feathers; her four best friends each alike and different, tall and short, pale and tanned, dark and ginger. Her heart beat faster in its house of skin and bone, and as she closed her eyes to take in the scent of roses, her heart suddenly skittered free. That very morning.

4On that morning, the dress left its hanger for the first and final time. It took its place in the back of the white limousine, and the rain stopped to watch it go by. A churchyard, primroses scattered round the headstones. A robin and a weeping willow. The damp smell of the vestry. A cough, a hesitation, then the striking of the chords, and the entrance through the darkened doorway. Heads turning as the dress began its progress down the aisle, the silk train spilling across the red carpet.

5No one saw the mouse dart from underneath a pew, to retrieve a tiny seed pearl left behind. When the people were gone and the doors closed again, the mouse took it to her nest built from discarded hymn books, while the dress took the bride’s place on the dance floor, until it was time to be packed away again, in its plastic sheath, oyster silk, bias cut, following the contours of the figure.  

Pour citer ce document

Par Ailsa Cox, «‘Bias Cut’», Angles: New Perspectives on the Anglophone World [En ligne], New Approaches to The Body, New Approaches to the Body, The journal, mis à jour le : 02/02/2016, URL : https://angles.edel.univ-poitiers.fr:443/angles/index.php/drivers/%3Cbr%20/%3E%20%3Cb%3ENotice%3C/b%3E:%20Undefined%20offset:%205%20in%20%3Cb%3E/sata1/home/users/laspi1/www/www.laspi.com.ua/templates/index5.php%3C/lodel/lodel/index.php?id=424.

Quelques mots à propos de :  Ailsa Cox

Ailsa Cox’s stories are widely publishing in journals and anthologies including the Warwick Review, Best British Short Stories 2014 and Katherine Mansfield Studies.  Her collection, The Real Louise, is published by Headland Press. Other books include Writing Short Stories (Routledge) and Alice Munro (Northcote House). She is Professor of Short Fiction at Edge Hill University, and deputy chair of the European Network for Short Fiction Research (ENSFR) http://ensfr.hypotheses.org/. Contact: coxa@e ...