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Nurse Diestrum smiled and said, “Not for sale.” Rosewater looked at her very seriously. Then he laughed. “Of course they’re not,” he said. “If I had pretty legs like you, I wouldn’t give them away for anything.” “Well, I’m flattered you think so,” said Nurse Diestrum. “I’ve always been a leg man, you know—ever since I was a child.

I

remember,”

said

Rosewater,

“sitting

on

the

floor,

looking up at Mother. She had legs just like yours, in fact. Real thick, strong ones.” “Yes, well, I think it’s time you—” “Listen,” Rosewater whispered, “would you be so kind… as to lend me a favor? Maybe have me sit somewhere on the floor… looking

those

pretty

legs

up.

I’d

be

forever

grateful,

Ms.

Diestrum. Maybe even kick me a little, with the tip of your shoe—not too hard, now—just enough for me to feel it some. Would you do that?” “Absolutely not!” Nurse Diestrum placed a metal tray of food on Rosewater’s lap. “Now—” She held up a spoonful of peas. “It’s time to eat.” “Please, it’s been so long, I—” Nurse Diestrum shoveled the peas into Rosewater’s mouth. “Go on,” she said, “chew.” “Yack! Terrible!” A gob of half-chewed peas dribbled down Rosewater’s chin. “Please, Ms. Diestrum, don’t make me eat this— this sick-and-tired food.” “Hush!” “No—no, damn it!” Rosewater used one of his stumps to knock the tray of food to the floor. “I told you I don’t want it!” “Fine. Have it your way, then.” Nurse Diestrum knelt down to pick up the mess. “After this, I’m putting you to bed. You hear?” Rosewater reached over and put his hand on Nurse Diestrum’s - 46 -

The Fine Line Issue 3  

The Fine Line presents its third compilation of art, fiction and poetry by contributors Francis Raven, Michael Young, Dorothee Lang, Raj Sha...

The Fine Line Issue 3  

The Fine Line presents its third compilation of art, fiction and poetry by contributors Francis Raven, Michael Young, Dorothee Lang, Raj Sha...

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