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Bad Widow

My husband just died but at least I’m taking it well. Everybody tells me so. ‘Oh Julie, you’re just handling this all so well’, they gush, willing it to be true. Insisting upon it.

At first I tried to play along; I wanted to believe. The love of my life died at 43 after a grueling duel with leukaemia, but whatever, I’m so strong. I’m so competent. Look at me, I’m handling it. Just like you all want me to.

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BAD WURDZ

Please note: this piece contains strong language

 

The social worker’s name was Teresa. She had glasses, short blonde hair. She looked like a teacher except she was younger.

She’d be there every second Tuesday when me and Bex got hame fae school.

Me, Bex and Sarah would be on the sofa. Mam and Teresa would be at the table, talking, drinking coffee.

Aye, athing’s fine, said Mam. Apart fae this ane and his cursin and swearin.

Mam said it like it was just something funny but, Teresa didn’t take it that way.

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Because Ah Matter

Like a rat up a drainpipe I shot back out that school gate lik’ the devil was on mah tail. This wasnae mah gig and ah wasnae unpacking. If ah was gonnae engage in education anywhere, it wasnae here. Ah totally had the fear and the battle lines between me and mah maw were drawn. Day in, day oot, ah was frogmarched through the gate as invisible anxiety stirred within. Opposing the forces at play, ah shot right back oot it.

“Get back here!” Gangley Gibson with the protruding teeth stomped a path towards me.  

“It’s no happenin!”

“We’ll see!”

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Beer, Loathing and Air Piracy

Ca’ me Demian.

Ah’ve drank well oan this story o`er the years.

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Beginners

Scotland. 1985.

Amanda is a teenager.

Dr Clark is the local Medical Practice locum. He’s in his mid-twenties.

Dr Clark: So, Amanda. How are you feeling?

Amanda: I need to know if Victoria Gillick’s happening here. 

Dr Clark: Victoria….?

Amanda: You know. Her. The Catholic wifie with all the kids.

Dr Clark: Sorry. You’ve lost me.

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Best friends

”What did you do at school today, pet?”

Angela flopped down on the chair, legs dangling, a frown spread across her face. Her mother put a glass of milk on the table in front of her. Angela looked at the glass, scowling.

”Nothing.”

Angela’s mother looked at her daughter. Ever since she had started school, she had loved it. Today was different. Angela wouldn’t look at her mum, instead staring intently at the glass on the table.

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Best Pals

Yes this might go very Clockwork Orange. There are so many rebel stories I have to share, the question is which one do I share?

Best way to jog my memory was to have a guid auld chin wag with my best friend from back in the day...

"Julie Bradley – the one from Libby High school? How about 'Merry Christmas Liddell', you will need to help me refresh my memory...”

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Better Late than Never

A therapist told me that at a certain age, even unconsciously, we all reflect back to our teenage years, when the burgeoning promise of our whole lives was unfolding. Many resolve to focus on what they hadn’t yet accomplished before it’s too late; think bucket lists, mid-life crises and unfinished business. 

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Big Red

Big Red

I used to scare the dogs with Big Red.

Sometimes Big Red and I would chop the heads off the flowers.

Up and down we would go.

Whizz! Whizz! Whizz!

I would ride on Big Red with Brian, Alec and Pam, but not Elsie.

Elsie had more sense.

We had to be careful not to squash the chickens though.

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Boo!

Boo!

I am a rebel on April Fool's Day.

I like tricks.

Sometimes I like to hide.

One day I hid in a cupboard and jumped out on my brother Graham.

'April Fool!'

It was funny.

Another time when I was away on a trip to Glencoe.

Lynn and I hid from Fiona.

We jumped out and said 'Boo!'

Poor Fiona was surprised.

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