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The Newcomer

Task: Write a story to enter the Words For The Wounded Literary Competition

Hello, mate.

Don’t be shy. I won’t bite. What’s your name?

Nice to meet you, Duncan. I’m Jimmy. What you here for?

No, it’s not obvious. I’m blind. Well, almost. Not wearing these shades to look cool, am I?

Nah, no worries. That’s the point. Take nothing for granted in here. So - lost any limbs?

Left arm and right leg, eh?

You can see though?

Good. You’ll be fine. Right-handed are you?

Still got your privates?

Well, at least you can have some fun, eh?



Lighten up a bit.

Alright. Sorry.

An IED, you say.

I was like you on my first day. Didn’t want to talk to anyone. Would only answer questions with as few words as possible.

I know it’s not as simple as that, but it will be soon enough. Break everything down to what’s important. It’s the only way to get on with your life.

‘What life?’ We all say that. Things have changed for you, I get that. But look around. You’re not alone. Never, ever think you’re alone in here.

Tomorrow, another soldier will be wheeled in through those doors and they’ll be just as bitter as I was and as you are now. Maybe more so. The worst is over. You’re alive. That’s what matters. The bastards didn’t kill you, so they haven’t won. They got a lucky goal but the games not over, is it? So your game-plan’s out of the window but you’re gonna be alright. You’re one-nil down and it’s half-time. So, re-group, alter formation, come out fighting. Turn your anger into success. Know what I mean?

You will, Duncan. You will.

Hey - who am I?

Come on! Who am I?

That’s right! Stevie bloody Wonder.

You’ve got a good laugh. Don’t let it go, whatever you do.

Fancy a game of table tennis? State the bleeding obvious, why don’t you? I have no legs, no eyes and only one arm. I’ll still whoop your arse...


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