Vague ramblings

The Parapet

Posted in Fiction by Ian Cundell on 11 November, 2012

Poppies

The Parapet

by

Ian Cundell

I didn’t see it coming. Didn’t have a chance to avoid it.

I popped my head above the makeshift parapet, and searing, shocking pain exploded in my right eye. I rolled back underneath the blackboard and someone shouted “Tom! Are you OK?” I was lucky I didn’t lose the eye, I suppose. Who would have thought a catapult made of a rubber band and some folded paper could be so painful? God, it hurt like hell.

I didn’t cry of course. The boys would have done me in if I had. And my black eye didn’t get me out of the caning we all got for making the common room into a battlefield. I didn’t cry then, either.

Old Nurse Kitchen wasn’t sympathetic. “You needn’t think you’re getting out of PT, Atkins” she said. “Perhaps you’ll be more careful in future.”

How could I be more careful? I didn’t see it coming.

Still, I bragged on it for days, and got plenty of attention for my ‘war wound’, although I was pretty cross that whoever did it never owned up. But now… well, I reckon maybe he didn’t know what he’d done, was just firing blindly.

Heh. I’m used to that now.

So here I am. The Pals are back together again, the three-oh-threes are ready, bayonets fixed. Tin hats on. The boys are lined up, all pursed lips and silent prayers.

B-Company! One Step Forward!”

Time to stick my head over the parapet again. There’s nothing makeshift about this one.

Good luck, lads. And don’t look so nervous.

You won’t see it coming.

 

 

(c) Ian Cundell, 2012. All rights reserved.

 

 

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