Girl Who Spiralled by Amanda Oosthuizen

She woke up one morning and found the coccolith nestled in the palm of her left hand like a secret. When she tried to pick it off, it settled, winking mischievously.

The next day, she found another beneath her right breast like a third nipple and she wondered what she was becoming.

Her boyfriend, Billy, thought them quaint but when she rubbed her palm across his cheek to share the magic, he jerked away his head, saying: ‘What if they spread, you know, like warts?’

When she was alone, she watched the coccoliths as they twizzled happily under her skin. By this time she’d found one on her ankle and another slotted into her belly button.

‘You should see a doctor. Have them removed,’ said Billy.

But she found the coccoliths good company and enjoyed their dancing.

She soon discovered she could pirouette en pointe for ten minutes, unscrew lids with the flick of a finger and whisk up a Swiss meringue just by frowning, and everywhere she went, she skipped, turning this way and that in a flambé of exhilaration.

Not long after, she won the Tour de France.

Amanda Oosthuizen’s novels, short story collection, poetry collection and flash fiction collection will be posthumously self-published. Meanwhile, work is forthcoming in Cosmonauts AvenueStorgyLossLit, RiggwelterUnder the RadarPrelude, Humanagerie and Ambit. She earns her living by writing and arranging music and teaching woodwind. @amandaoosty

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