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There’s a unique, wonderful smell to a real traditional Scouse pub. It’s a strange old mix of stale beer and fags. Now bear in mind I’m not talking about any of your flash clubs or upmarket stuff now. I’m talking about a real old fashioned Liverpool pub. The kind of place where you go to drink beer and if you feel like it chat to some of your mates that just might happen to be in there at the time. It is the kind of place where all the drinks were brown, black or gold. No blue or green or pink crap or any of that sort of stuff that all of the kids seem to drink these days. No. I’m talking about the traditional pubs, though I suppose they are all slowly disappearing now. There’s still plenty left in Liverpool though if you know where to look, though you won’t find them advertised in the Echo. The only social events these places take part in are sing songs on a Saturday night, darts mid-week, and that’s your lot. It is the kind of place I dreamed of when I was out in Afghanistan.
I don’t have to dream any more, of course. The IED that blew off my left leg from the knee down fixed that one for me. A couple of months in an army hospital and then back home with a pension. Oh, and only one leg of course. One and a half if you want to get really technical about it. Could have been worse. The bloke who was standing next to me when it went off was more or less cut in half. No pension for him. Some days I wish I was him. But the nights are the worse. Sometimes I can feel my left leg. It even itches. But it’s the nightmares that are the worse. I’ve been assessed for post injury trauma and all that and they reckon that I’m okay. Perhaps they would change their minds if they could see me in the early hours of the morning when I’m lying awake. The cold sweats.
"Nec Aspera Terrent" is just one of many short stories available in the new collection of short stories called, "Liverpool" which is available to purchase separately.