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The Maiden and the Legs

Sherri Collins | James Brown

Beth glanced up from the novel, Wicked Warrior, as her husband, Bob, trudged by with a toolbox. He was muttering, so she knew the chore he was tackling wasn’t an enjoyable one.

“Need help?” she asked, already returning to the book.

He scoffed. “Do you know anything about stringing cable?”


“Then, no.”

After twenty-three years, Beth thought she’d be used to his sour moods, but it still made her flinch. As she settled back into the couch and read about Penelope and her honor-bound knight, she heard the attic door rattle, and a minute later, the thud of muffled feet above her head.

The knight swept Penelope into his arms. Bob cursed loud enough to be heard through the ceiling. The knight brushed Penelope’s hair back and kissed her maiden lips. Bob dropped the toolbox and cursed louder.

With an explosion, the ceiling buckled and gave way. Chunks of plaster crashed and sent up clouds of dust. Beth squinted at the hole and saw a pair of legs and boots hanging down.

“Bob!” she called up to him, her heart thundering in her chest.

“I’m alright.” The legs pedaled in the air. After a few seconds, they stilled. “I’m stuck.”

She scrambled up the attic stairs and heard him yell, “Be careful!” Heeding his warning, she tiptoed across the planks and knelt down. The two of them pushed and pulled to no avail. Finally, he sighed, “Just go get someone.”

Beth hurried down but stopped as she saw his legs. This moment of serendipity gave her an idea, so she returned to the attic. She brushed Bob’s hair back and tenderly kissed him on the mouth. He grunted, then slowly relaxed. When she pulled back, his eyes were soft. “What was that for?”

She shrugged. “What’s a rescue without romance?”

He shook his head. “You’re nuts.” His eyes were smiling. “Go on, now.”

With one more peck, she turned. “Hey,” he said. “Maybe I’ll rescue you later.”

She nodded. “Deal.”

About Sherri Collins

Sherri Collins lives in the foothills of Tennessee. Her work can be found in Bartleby Snopes, The Big Jewel, and The Molotov Cocktail, among others.

Visit the author's page >

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