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Twirly Whirly

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“There is a certain… taste to it.”

“Cool. Why the pause?”

Looking over at Lin, Helen shrugged. “There wasn’t a pause.”

“Bugger off, there bloody was a pause,” she argued, turning to face the mirror again. “Before you said taste you paused.” The song started again, cellos swooping their notes as a violin played an entrancing harmony line.

“I’m just surprised you like a song so explicitly about vampires even though you’ve met one,” Helen explained.

“And am part one too, however infinitesimal the percentage is,” Lin added, grinning. “Excuse me whilst I twirl.” Following the flow of the song, Lin started spinning with an invisible partner, blushing when Helen took her hand (Helen had remembered to cover her palm before taking Lin’s). “You and Tesla are so alike it isn’t even funny.”

“Ah yes, but I taught him everything he knows about dance.”

“Ah, so that’s why he did everything backwards!”

Helen laughed. “It’s a shame he never dances in heels. I think he’d do quite well.” The two grinned as they danced, their spins nowhere near as fast as they could be. Soon, after another song played through, Helen asked softly, “Are you happy here?”

“I’m not unhappy here,” Lin replied. “I get my own room, get to play on the internet, have people listen when I speak…”


Lin stopped dancing. Looking anywhere but Helen’s eyes, she said, “Sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe. It’s not panic or anything, but…” She shrugged, finally looking up. “There are days when it feels like I have a metal band wrapped around my ribcage and all I want to do is run, except I can’t because I have to be an -ible word and I’m crap at that. So… not unhappy.” Narrowing her eyes, she asked, “Why? Is this something to do with that one?”

“That one,” Helen told her as she stroked her ballooning bump, “will have a name sometime soon.”

Lin gasped, over the top and dramatic, playing up her motions. “You want me to help name your baby? I mean, I’m honoured but–”

“Oh no!” Helen interrupted, shaking her head and smiling. “We have an idea what we’ll be naming the baby... but with Will setting up a new North American Sanctuary, I need someone to help Henry run my Sanctuary.”

The dance hall was deathly quiet apart from the music piping from Lin’s phone. Her eyes grew comedically large. “Help run…?” Helen nodded. “I’ve only been with the network like four years. Isn’t there someone, anyone, else?”

Helen shook her head. “Just you.”

“Wow.” Lin sat on the floor. “Wow. Bloody hell, are you sure? I did just tell you I’m close to having panic attacks, and not doing so great at the -ible words.”

With the grace of a falling shed, Helen and her seven month bump joined Lin on the floor. Bumping Lin’s shoulder with her own, Helen whispered conspiratorially, “Neither does your great great great great grandfather, but I still keep him around.”