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A Nation Decides

An iScot Short Story

‘OCH, it’s quite simple,’ said Alex Sharkey, ‘yes or no. Aye or naw.’

He reinforced his point by stabbing the air with his forefinger, but all the while, he was looking at the telly, not at Calum.

‘And, anyway,’ Alex went on, ‘just vote “no” or I’ll turn ye oot the hoose.’

‘I can vote however I want, Dad,’ said Calum, ‘it’s a secret ballot. Ye cannae find oot how I voted.’

Alex gave a snort. ‘Ye shouldnae be voting at all. Ye’re only 16. Quiet…’ he stopped Calum from replying with a wave of the hand, ‘the race is gonnae start.’

The telly was mounted on the wall and the colours on the screen were breathtaking in HD splendour. They saw a salmon-pink athletics track, a packed stand with flags rippling, most of them saltires or lions rampant and eight athletes primed to spring into action. A pistol crack, a soaring crescendo of human voices, a brief explosion of human energy, a lunge for the tape and then another deep, visceral roar from the crowd, by which time Calum and his dad were both dancing around the room.

‘Second!’ shouted Calum, ‘He finished second!’ On the telly there was a brief shot of a sea of Scottish flags in the Hampden crowd before they cut back to the studio.

‘Typical BBC!’ said Calum, ‘cutting away fae aa they Scottish flags. If only we controlled our ain telly.’

‘That’s SNP shite,’ said his dad.

‘It’s just wanting Scotland to have control over its ain affairs.’

‘SNP shite, just like letting 16 and 17-year olds vote.’

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About iScot Magazine

November Edition 2016 issue Number 23 The one with Nicola and Saltire 2020 Vision A bumper 116 pages choc full of the best of Scottish writers today. Robbie Dinwoodie - Ben Thomson - The Legacy Alyn Smith MEP - A conference update - Focused David Bowman Interview - Les Huckfield - ex Labour MP "It's Labour for me... but not in Scotland" David James Hood - A perfect storm Jason Michael Mc Cann - The Alex Salmond Interview Will McLeod - How disasters look good ...on paper Wee Ginger Dug - They're all so pretty vacant Derek Bateman - Doing Middle Class Tom Morton - Sticky Aberdeen - the New Birmingham? Dr Steve McCabe - Fit to Lead? Tom Morton - Scotch and Spirit Jennifer Harper Feature - Simon Community Scotland Mary Edward - Short Story - The Gift Grouse Beater - Investigating Gorbal's boy Alan Pinkerton PI Rachel Gillon - Food for thought Zoe Weir - Glasgow Tobacco Barons Peter A Bell - Forget Darien, this is the bigee - The Madness of Men David McVey - Short Story - A Nation Decides Major Bloodnok - Agony Aunt - He knows, you know