The Health Care Assistant sitting at the desk was the original poison dwarf; an individual who had to be flattered at all times, otherwise his angry inferiority complex filled the room like a huge inflating lifejacket. But I gazed at the kilogram of chemical scaffolding he used to build up his semi-Mohican haircut, and I just couldn’t resist a dangerous ruse.
“That hairstyle really suits you, Zebulon… It makes you look three inches taller, actually.”
“What…really?” he replied, his face buckling into a wary, hypersensitive scowl.
“Yes, indeed.” I reassured him. “…It must have added a good 10% to your height.”
“Well, I always try to look my best, Steven” he laughed, fully restored to his bumptious norm. “Unlike you.”
I glanced around, and caught a sly acknowledgement from the harassed night nurse who was perched on the windowsill. At least two of us knew what 100% added up to, if 10% was three inches.
And once I had such high hopes for myself.



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