A Constitutional #blogbattle #shortfiction

Geraldine Stipend was grateful for the struggles undertaken by her ancestors that enabled her to enjoy the rights and privileges that, today, people took for granted. She determined to teach her children that they should be prepared to make sacrifices, in their own way to preserve them. There were always lobbies and pressure groups willing to remove the hard won liberties of yesteryear, or try and water them down so as to render them meaningless. She looked at herself in the mirror, admiring her toned biceps, nicely counterpointed by the tank top she’d chosen that morning. She was ready.

For today she and her brood would catch the bus and gather with many like minded citizens in front of the Lincoln Memorial and march on Congress determined that their voices would be heard. The irony that her father, Senator Victory Stipend would be speaking against her wasn’t lost on her. She and her Papa hadn’t seen eye to eye for the best part of a decade and the only reason they even deigned to spend time in the same state was her mother’s desperation to have a relationship with her grandchildren. She’d seen him on that morning’s news, crisply constrained in his Brooks Brothers finest. You’d not see him without his jacket on. Heaven forbid. She even joked with her girlfriends that he probably wore a jacket when she was conceived.

There was a party atmosphere as she and her kids, undertaking their first proper protest mingled with like minded liberal families, ready to confront the intransigence of Todays establishment and its New Conservatism.

‘Will grandpa be there?’ Her youngest, Martel had yet to understand the barely concealed antipathy across the generations.

‘Him?’ Her eldest, Prendegast scoffed; he understood. ‘He’s farther right than a fish knife. He’ll be manning the barricades.’ As if to show he was prepared for any contingency, he rolled his sleeves right up the his armpits and flexed his muscles.

Dapple, her middle child looked up from her phone. ‘It says here this is all because of the French. What’s that all about, mum?’

She exchanged a look with Prendegast who shared her mild exasperation. She thought she’d explained the background to today’s conflict but clearly not. ‘No one thought there was an issue until the mayor of a small French seaside resort announced a ban on topless bathing. The French are more aware of their liberties than we are and it caused a sensation in France.’

‘So we’re here so we can all go topless?’ Dapple looked confused.

‘No sweetie, we know the conservative right would never allow that, but this debate in France triggered something. The populist movements across Europe began to demand greater modesty and this led to a number of narrow minded people over here to start a campaign aimed at undermining our hard won constitutional rights. That’s why we’re here.’

‘Okay, Mom.’

They had reached the start of the march. Fortunately it was a warm day and the organisers scanned the throng. People looked at their neighbours and smiled as some rolled up their sleeves.

Yes, Geraldine thought, there would be nothing concealed, nothing hidden. The Second Amendment made it very clear. She tucked Martel’s T shirt sleeve inside his top. They show those dinosaurs that they were serous. No one was going to take away their right to Bare Arms.

This was written in response to this month’s #blogbattle prompt : conceal


  1. 1000 words max (give or take a few)
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. Any genre that fits within PG-13 (or less) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the randomly chosen word(s) and/or be centered around the word meaning in a way that shows it is clearly related.
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. Put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section
  7. Please tweet and otherwise share your battler buddies’ stories across social media.
    1. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting all the stories so we can cross-share.
  8. Have fun!

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. 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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14 Responses to A Constitutional #blogbattle #shortfiction

  1. Terrific, Goeff.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. willowdot21 says:

    Love it Geoff the only arms bearing I approve of 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha! Great setup, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. aebranson says:

    My interest was piqued from the beginning about what this protest was going to be about, so I was probably reading it more carefully than I needed to … and you got me! I wasn’t sure whether to chuckle or slap my forehead when I reached the end. Probably did both. One minor note: In the States ‘Mom’ is the common usage instead of ‘Mum’, although I can’t swear there aren’t any Easterners who’d never say that…. Nicely set up and very entertaining!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: #BlogBattle Stories: Conceal | BlogBattle

  6. Beth Camp says:

    I was drawn in by Geraldine’s mothering strategies, different for each child, depending on their age. These days, so many unresolved issues face us, I found it difficult to smile by the ending, for the divisiveness remains — between generations and so much more. Meanwhile, the pandemic continues around the world, here in the states, smoke from wild fires makes going outside impossible and has dislocated so many, and unrest over social and political issues create havoc in our cities and uncertainty about the integrity of the coming election. Still, Geraldine very aptly carries out the prompt, making me wonder exactly what she will bare!


    • TanGental says:

      Ah, sorry if it felt too close to the bone. Easy for me, sitting in sweaty London to smirk with a play on a serious topic. Hopefully both of us will see the return of sensible balanced governance before long.


  7. lizzie666 says:

    Most of us given up so many of the freedoms that we take for granted in the pandemic “for the greater good”, so I loved the reminder that we should not take those freedoms for granted. I also loved the every day build up style to the punchline which was so unexpected. It brought a smile to my face. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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