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It wasn't usual for Ercolina to be full of her own importance but, when the music that she had just finished composing had stopped, and the last stitch had been sewn into the high-tech trousers that she was modifying for her husband's industrial award ceremony, she congratulated herself with all the self-praise that she could wrap herself in.

She lay back upon the sofa, and stretched out her legs as far as they would go in front of her. As she shuffled into a comfortable position, her blue jeans clung to the mild objections of the minor expansion of a body which had been subject to the production of three children. She placed her bronzed hands behind her head, entwining her fingers in the dark curls of her shoulder length hair and, as she did so, let out an audible and lasting sigh of self-satisfaction. Her husband Nigel had erred on the wrong side of loyalty recently, and she desperately needed to get him back. This special music, and these special trousers, with their electrically conductive mesh would, she hoped, provide the means to regain his attentions.

'Nice,' she thought to herself, 'nice!' Her confidence flourished, and spread throughout all the thirty five years of her body.

Ercolina was multi-talented, and the many natural or acquired, practical skills of the housewife and mother of fifteen years, had kept a host of unnecessary tradesman away from her door. But musical composition was her first love. She had left all her other potential talents in her wake, to pursue this, her most ardent desire of expression. In her job as music teacher at the local secondary school, she attempted to avoid the popular music of the masses, which streamed into the children's heads via permanently attached earphones. Instead, in an attempt to be a little upmarket, she tried to present the arousing power of the classical composers. Like a day-ride train ticket to anywhere, their works would take her on a rich inward journey, to wonderful places within her imagination, and she had always attempted to pass that experience on to those who she considered to be spiritually challenged.

Her success in creating her own music however, had been limited to audiences that had always been essentially small and parochial, consisting of parents and members of the school, or the residents of old folks' homes. But this composition, which she had just completed, was very different. Its audience would have a whole new and extensive content. She had marketed it that way. Successfully she believed. It was to make her husband take notice of her once more, and to appreciate the values of a loyal wife.

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