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Breath & Shadow

Winter 2010 - Vol. 7, Issue 1

"Take My Legs. Please."

written by

Rosalie McClung

(It's true I have a wickedly morbid, twisted sense of humor. You may find it offensive, but sometimes it's the only thing between me and hell)


What’s the best way to kill yourself? Let’s see. There’s strangulation. I could hang myself with an old pair of pantyhose from the tree in the frontyard. But that’s a bit too public. Everybody driving by could see me wrangle and rot. And then any loose dog might be tempted to nibble my carcass.


Forcing me to suffer through eighties country music might do the trick. That twang serves up a deadly chord. Gagging over a swallow of caviar might offer a terminal end. Or I could take a massive dose of pills. The only pills I have are vitamins, though. Can you die from an overdose of vitamin C? I have knives to slit my wrists. Nice ones. Good and sharp. But that would add to the extreme pain I’m experiencing already. I think there's some poison in the garage. Ant Killer? Laundry detergent? Toilet Cleaner? I can collapse in the grocery store meat locker and fall into sleepy silence. Maybe you should bring your gun and finish me off quickly.


50 percent of MS patients deal with chronic pain. Nerves short circuit and make life miserable. I'm in agony. My legs hurt so badly, I sometimes think about ending it all.


You wouldn't miss me really. My sarcasm and stubbornness make me difficult to live with, anyway. Just ask my husband. As I said in my last book, I'm an ass. A fine one. One you want to lick chocolate syrup from, but I can be moody and unreasonable. I like the house clean and I don’t respond well to stupidity.


Heck, just throw me in a soundproof room and let me scream my bloody guts out. Maybe that'll get it out of my system.

Rosalie has always been a stubborn ass. A strong-willed learner and achiever, she graduated from U.C. Davis with a degree in Comparative World Literature, followed by a teaching credential at San Diego State University. There she earned the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Teaching Award. She taught Humanities and Literature in California’s public schools for ten years and Short Story Writing for U.C. Davis’ Experimental College. While teaching, she published poetry and short stories in college publications and small periodicals. Rosalie now continues to publish poetry, short stories, and essays in various magazines and journals, and although Multiple Sclerosis slowed her down a bit, it ultimately has allowed her to develop in new ways. She now wishes to share her growth and knowledge to help others find their inner mule and kick some ass of their own.

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