a sign could have helped

By Inés Kennedy

Waiting outside until they gave me the nod. The two witches behind the glass counter, they scared the shit out of me. I don’t know why, they weren’t particularly frightening. It smelt a bit like an old folks home when you went in there, but I guess it was full of old people, well full as in two of them were there. I imagine they talk about their families, maybe how much they hate their husbands or how their daughter in laws are making their sons fat. I don’t really know nor do I care. They sit behind the glass counter ready to pounce on their prey, it’s as if I should know the rules of the post office even though I’ve only been there a couple of times. Not knowing how much money I exactly owe or the procedure of posting a package frightens the shit out of me. They swivel on their seats and stamp postcards with such a force it could knock a fat man over. I build up the courage and take in a breath, “hi”.

The two witches look up and down again, they inhale as if I’ve asked them to run up the hill with me on their back.


More silence

This is fucking awkward I think, should I say hi again?

One of the witches looks up as if I have two heads and I wave the package that I want to post.

Again another exhale, she must really hate this job.

She gets up from her chair, I can see her chair has an imprint of her buttcheeks on it, a rather large indent has been left behind, I would imagine the indent is radiating heat, that was really weird to think. Her chubby fingers claw at the little window while she opens it. Looking at me I feel a pit of sickness in my stomach.


“Eh can you sellotape this for me pl-“

The witch points at the station for sellotaping. It seems like stupid place to put it, there wasn’t even a sign. I can read a sign, a sign would have been helpful, thanks witch. So I go over and begin to sellotape my package.

Wrap wrap wrap oh hmm, there isn’t a scissors. I look around and I still can’t find the scissors. I look at the witches and they look back waiting for me to fail so then they could have an excuse to turn me into a toad.

In my brain the only plausible solution was to bite the sellotape in order to cut it. I did this to a public sellotape roll  in the post office during a global pandemic of a deadly virus that was spread by the mouth and nose.


I went back to the witches den a couple weeks later, they now had a sign saying “DO NOT USE YOUR MOUTH TO CUT THE SELLOTAPE”.

I can read a sign, that sign would have been helpful.

Inés Kennedy is a 20-year-old English Literature and Hispanic Studies student at Trinity College Dublin. 

'A sign could have helped' is about the Post Office and the weird and wonderful place that it is.