Rebel Yell? More like a whisper.

January 6, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a rebellion. Is it one a character fights for or is it one another suppresses? Explore what makes a rebellion, pros or cons. Use past or current rebellions as inspiration or make up one of your own.

This is the Carrot Ranch prompt this week. Read Charli’s accompanying post here; they are all good, but this one slips easily into the ‘excellent’ category.

I wasn’t the rebellious sort; as I child I hated standing out. I conformed. When I developed a phobia for school shepherd’s pie – heaven knows why; probably the potato topping was so hard it was indigestible – I persuaded mum to write a note, asking I be excused. It was awfully embarrassing but having to sit at lunch with a plateful of shepherd’s pie which I couldn’t eat and being told to sit there until I finished was a lot worse.

In truth I’m not that keen on change so I live with the status quo. Even the times I’ve moved away from what was my current home have been planned, supported by one and all and positive. No running away or seeking a change of direction or reinvention. A step forward in what has always been a pretty unplanned but not unhappy life. I wonder what living abroad might have been like but the truth is I’m very happy not having lived outside of the southern half of England.

My ancestors were displaced Huguenots, escaping persecution on France. My great grandparents on my maternal grandmother’s side left the Midlands to make a living in London. My paternal Grandparents moved from Cambridgeshire seeking a living in the North Midlands and, when my grandfather lost his tailoring business in the depression of the 30s he too moved to London looking for work. They weren’t exactly rebelling as much as trying to start again.

I think they’d be pleased at how we haven’t had to fight as hard as them.

As for the flash, Mary North has accepted a job with her new neighbour in her café.

Rebel Heart

The café was quiet; Mary took the mug from Hansa. ‘Mum would be horrified.’

Hansa wiped the table. ‘Why Mary?’

‘A mug not a cup, milk in second.’

‘Mine hates me working. Quite the rebels, aren’t we?’

‘We fought constantly,’ Mary sighed. ‘It’ll be different with Penny.’

‘Don’t you think the fights toughened you?’

‘I suppose. I just wish she could have admitted she was wrong once in a while.’

‘I wonder what Penny will say.’

Mary smiled, ‘Oh she already thinks I’m wrong all the time. At least, when I make mistakes with Penny, they’ll be different ones.’

If you want to catch up with Mary, click here.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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33 Responses to Rebel Yell? More like a whisper.

  1. Ali Isaac says:

    We are lucky in that respect, I guess. My family has always travelled. These last seven years have been the longest I’ve stayed in one spot!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Coming from an area where families immigrated, planted roots, and stayed for generations, I was sure from a very early age that the course of my life would be different. I embraced the “gypsy” heritage of my eastern European ancestors, and chose a life of transition. My husband’s career afforded me the opportunity to migrate about the U.S. I can’t imagine my life any other way. Just thoughts that came to me after reading your intro, Geoff. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. trifflepudling says:

    This prompted several thoughts! Was reminded by the “milk in second” thing that I was a vegetarian for 7 years, but never when at my mother’s house! Either I wasn’t rebellious enough or didn’t want to cause a row (both, probably). Also I had a cheese macaroni incident at boarding school. I couldn’t bear the stuff, still can’t. A nun held up the whole school to wait until I finished it once, but I just couldn’t and my kind sister had to go up and say to her that it was not going to happen! My mother wrote a note that weekend and I remember my father joking about “Pie Shepherd’s” because he said Cheese Macaroni should be Macaroni Cheese! Forgotten about all that.
    Change can be difficult and seems to get harder the older you get. My/our grandparents’ generation made all sorts of amazing changes and leaps and I feel pale in comparison.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Yes it’s been a different set of struggles and each as challenging if not so life threatening as some our parents and grandparents faced up to. Thanks as ever Gilly and why is it we echo each other experiences over things like school food?


      • trifflepudling says:

        I expect food traumas at school are relatively common! Also in adult life. I remember after a Christmas do in the City years ago finding quite a few Brussels Sprouts in my handbag, which had been under the table. Somebody perhaps didn’t want to leave them on the plate. Or perhaps they didn’t like me! Hmm, hadn’t thought of that before …

        Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        Could only happen to you… or me.


  4. Rachel M says:

    My family have always travelled. All my ancestors are from the UK but they did not take a direct route to Australia with some going via South Africa, others via Canada, and another lot via the US. And now I’m back in the UK 🙂 I wonder where my descendants will go?


  5. Oh. Dangerous statement that it will be different with your own. I’ve never eaten shepherd’s pie so can’t comment on that. Doesn’t sound delicious though.

    P.S. Great title. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Your intro thoughts seem to have sent us all of thinking about the kind of lives we have lived Geoff. Personally mine has been the life of a gypsy and I’ve been many places in the world but always come back to the place where my feet feel most connected to the earth. I travelled in search of myself I now think and all the different experiences and adventures were necessary for me to uncover the woman I have become…….. I was a quiet, but determined rebel I think. Milk in first every time in my morning coffee!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Pingback: The Champions Award | But I Smile Anyway...

  8. jan says:

    I was definitely a rebel – but not because I wanted to stand out. I just didn’t accept my parent’s or my peer’s beliefs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sacha Black says:

    Do you think people are predisposed to rebellion or not as the case may be? I have never wanted to be a rebel, but it’s all I seem to be able to do. It’s hard that. The unintentional rebel. Actually that’s a great name for a book. Will put that in the notes folder.

    So back to my question. What is it that drives someone to rebel if they don’t normally? What would it take to make you a rebel?

    You say you aren’t. But you are a bit… Mr red beard. Just saying.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Norah says:

    I like your flash and Mary’s quiet acceptance of the passage to adulthood via teenage rebellion. Yes, she knows to avoid the mistakes her mother made, but Penny will probably identify others. However this seems to oppose your own seeming lack of rebellion. I think we may find more evidence of it, as hinted by Sacha, should we delve a little deeper. Rebellion can have many facets, sometimes active, sometimes passive, sometimes something else entirely. I just chose to do some things differently, but I’m a conservative girl at heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Annecdotist says:

    I just love that – rebelling in having a mug instead of a cup, and actually some unpleasant memories of staying in a really nice guesthouse where, when I asked for a kettle and a mug to use in the room, was told “I’d rather you had a cup and saucer” – I’m laughing now but I still haven’t got over it and I wasn’t rebelling, just asking for what I preferred So I could make a cup of herbal tea.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Charli Mills says:

    If you ever travel to Minnesota, don’t get pulled in to eat Tater Tot Hot Dish — it’s shepherds pie in disguise. Instead of mashed potatoes, it’s topped with tater tots. 🙂 It sounds like a successful rebellion if what your ancestors fought hard for was won by the descendants. That’s encouraging. And the fact you recognize it and continue to pass it down is a legacy. Perhaps its more like the ripples of earlier rebellion. I’m liking this turn of the story and the reflection it offers Mary.


  13. Pingback: The Rebellion Begins « Carrot Ranch Communications

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