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Permanently Legless by J.L. Merrow

I can find only a defect to this story, that is “only” a short story. The plot, the characters, the setting, they are all so nice that it seems a shame to relegate them to few pages. Nevertheless it was a pleasure to read this short story, and maybe the author will consider to go back to these characters and give them some more life for us to enjoy.

Chris is a former English soldier who lost his legs in a mission gone wrong in Afghanistan. Now he is back home and he pretty much managed to build a life again, friends, places, everyday moves. But he has one regret, Josh, the cutie he had a one night stand just few nights before leaving for Afghanistan and who asked him to call when he was back home. Chris didn’t call. Already before leaving he was thinking Josh was too good for him, beautiful, young and pretty in a boyish way, wherelse Chris was stocky and plain not in a “fashionable” way. Now, with a disability atop of it, Chris doesn’t want to take the chance of a refusal. But temptation is strong, and maybe going the same place where they met, letting Josh see what happened, and having him deciding if they are worth another try, that is not risking much.

Josh will surprise Chris; of course he is upset, of course he is hurting for what happened to Chris, but that is not a reason for him to forget they were good together and they can still be.

Chris is more well-rounded than Josh, and we have even some insight in his day-to-day life, in his friends and in the places he likes. Josh is more hinted than fully developed, but we know he has some Cassandra’s complex, that he is trying to replace his father, a man he loved and lost, with a lover. The disability of Chris should have written him off from the possible right partner list, but Josh is really not considering Chris’s disability as an obstacle, and maybe that disability makes him more real, less near to the “daddy” picture Josh has in mind for his lover, and thought their relationship will be truer than a role-play.


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