The Twisted Skein

2012 -- Midwifery

"You realise I'm probably going to end up having this baby here, don't you?"

"Oh, yeah, sure," Dafydd snorted, leaning back against the pillows. "We must be, gosh, a whole half-hour's cart ride away from Malijach and the finest university hospital in the world. We won't be able to cover that distance while you're in labour, oh no."

"Hey, they've been getting shorter," Constance pointed out, sipping her glass of water and turning a page in her book. "Remember how long Tanfin took? And Bella was only nine hours or so."

"Yeah, but I don't think it's physically possible to take less time than that," Dafydd countered. "There have to be some limits."

"And what would you know about it, Mr. Illian?" Constance asked, arching an eyebrow. "I don't recall you being the trained medical professional around here."

"So do you think you're going to give birth here?"

"Not a chance. The idea's completely ridiculous."


"AAAAAARGH! Oh gods Dafydd I can feel the head!"

"Um, um, okay," Dafydd managed. "Tanfin should be almost back with Doctor Vishort now, it's only five minutes to his house, you can hold-"

"I know where our ---ing neighbours live, Dafydd! He's not going to get here in-- oh gods!"

"Help me, Este!" Dafydd muttered, wishing (insofar as he was thinking coherently at all) he had any confidence the prayer would cross the multiverse and actually be heard by the Valie of Healing. He knelt down in front of his wife. "What do I do?"

"Catch!" Constance screamed, and then there was a gush of fluids that left the bathroom floor sticky and red, and Dafydd holding something pink and wriggly. There was a moment of silence.

"Er," managed Dafydd. "Okay. It's a girl?"

"Daphne," said Constance, looking down at him - and then burst out laughing.

"What?" Dafydd demanded. "What?"

"Four hours!" Constance exclaimed breathlessly. "Not nine - four hours!"

And that was when there came a knock at the door...

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