Short Stories

We were entering the Moody Brook barracks area and had decided to skirt round the buildings. We were passing them to the shore side of the complex when word filtered back over the coy net. The white building with the big Red Cross on its roof was found to be full of ammunition for the pack howitzers, and it had all been booby-trapped.


They’d been trying to hit it from the ridge with the 84mm, we hadn’t known about the cross till we got closer. Also the whole area between the buildings and the rocky outcrops was strewn with landmines, we should expect our side to be like wise. The buildings were a mess, all the windows had been blown out by grenades. Argentineans ones by the way, back in April when they invaded.


Running through the middle of the group of buildings was the first tarmac piece of road we had encountered on the island, with no visible potholes, or additions like mines. The road looked solid enough .So that’s the way we decided to take into Stanley.

Later we found out they had mined the bridge though, but it had been a command detonated device. Trouble was there hadn’t been anybody around to push the plunger for them, they’d all fucked off when they saw us coming down from the top of Wireless-Ridge.


There was a crashed jeep on the bend of the road near a small bridge over that spanned either the river or where the tidal waters flowed. It looked a waste of a bridge in all honesty. After all it was only the second one I’d seen on the whole island. The water that flowed beneath the bridge was only ankle deep at the time we crossed it. Perhaps it was tidal, like in tidal waves?


There were still messages of they’ve surrendered coming over my head set, then one to tell me that they hadn’t had an official “we’ve surrendered” from the Argie airforce. We were also warned to be on the alert for counter attacking Argie Paras. There was the sound of herc’s taking off from Stanley airport at this time. But I think they were legging it for the mainland and a hero’s welcome? I hoped not.


In 1978 or 79. I can’t remember which year exactly, but I can remember the dream, quite vividly in fact. After a bit of a bender on a Friday and Saturday night I spent most of the Sunday in bed. I had this totally weird dream which I had firstly thought was one of the reasons I went and joined the Legion in France. Every other bugger gets pink elephants and spiders crawling all over them. With me it was another army barmy type scenario, or so I thought.


Any way back to the dream;


“There we were strolling down a road in a valley come re-entrant. I was carrying a radio as we progressed down a road. When a C130 flew overhead and started dropping Cuban like troops with swarthy faces and pill box like hats. Pancho villa moustaches and large machete’s, some were firing their grease guns as they hung suspended below their parachutes swinging back to and fro above us.


A jeep was screaming down the road but we started shooting at it and it crashed. Throwing out its occupants on a slight bend before a low built bridge, which crossed a small stream”.


Now it was 1982 and fuck me, was this not the exact scene from my dream. I kept telling everyone to look out for aircraft, I think I was told to shut up in the end, because I was getting on everybody’s tits. Fuck it! But wasn’t the war over?


The similarities between my dream and the terrain were just mind blowing. I tried to remember how my dream had ended, but I couldn’t. My problem was that apart from dreaming in Technicolor all the time. I would, if I were having a bad dream, stop and rewind it if you like. So I could change the end of the dream to a more appropriate one, (usually with me ending up in bed with a busty big blonde).


I had read somewhere once. I think it was the Chinese had stated that if you died in a dream while you were asleep. You could also die in real life too. So I always tried to make sure I had happy dreams. And that I woke up!


Well, they didn’t stop to jump out and carry on the war. They stayed inside and buggered off back to Argentina. We stopped at the racecourse cos nobody knew what was happening. If we went into Stanley we just might shoot up every little spic bastard we saw. Then we would become the baddies and the shit would happen all over again. We just wanted to go home.


In the end someone got a camera out and we all sat down to pose for a picture. We sat down and filled the stands. Here and there the odd rifle shot would sound in the distance. But for the moment it had nothing to do with us.


The sun was shining, we shared what cigarettes that we had and we waited for the generals to catch us up. Hoping they would come to a quick conclusion. Make a decision, and send us home again. For the moment, it was back to playing the waiting game.



Lament of the Dead.

What if I should die before the dawn?

And if I should die before the dawn,

What news ho, of me in England?

How cry you now?

Oh, men of mice!

Safe last night you slept.

‘'Twas the wind of war,  

Wot kept me awake.

How say you now friend,

Did we win?


That some sad price was paid

For the laughter of today

That they should not forget.

But never know  

The ignominy

Of death

While in their moment’s of play.

Brave men died

Tho’ thousands of miles away

The same sun shined on both.

Jim Love

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