Dear readers,
Here we have a bit of narrative set in occupied Ireland- only 1000 words or so, but writer's block has struck. This is going to be a rather dark scene, so here's the obligatory disclaimer: discretion advised.
With that out of the way... please enjoy!
 
A Day in the Life of Ireland, 1917
A Day in the Life of Ireland, 1917

“And that, madam, will be two pounds exactly.” The shopkeeper scratched his silver moustache and smiled weakly. “Tax included, of course.”

“Two quid. Here y’are.” Gayle O’Connor set the coins with the Limey King’s portrait on them down on the counter. The shopkeeper cleared his throat. “Fancy a bit of corned beef for your dinner? I know you Irish all like it.”

“Not today, you know it’s a Friday.” Mr Rowland asked every Friday, Gayle refused every Friday. It was a ritual. “Just the loaf.” She dashed off, tucking the loaf into her basket. Two quid. A fecking disgrace, anyone wanna know what I think. People rarely wanted to know what an eighteen-year-old Irish girl wanted to think. She pulled out her brolly to shield herself from the rain battering Baltimore’s streets. Her people spoke softly, glancing about to see if anybody could hear them. Bags shadowed their green eyes, symbols of too little sleep. We’re all in the same boat, aren’t we? Gayle shook her head and sighed.

“Papers, mickey.” Burly Sergeant Atkinson, his belly sticking out, loved to stand on this corner. “G’waan luv, give us your”- he leered at her- “papers.”

“Yes sir, coming, sir.” Gayle pulled the crumpled document out of her bag. It gave her name, address, details- green eyes and red hair just like everybody else, five foot two- relatives, and a promise that she’d had nothing to do with the rising in 1916. “Nothing to do with the rebellion, eh? Good girl, good girl. Didn’t even make ‘em a nice bit of cabbage when we got done with ‘em?” The sergeant laughed at his own joke. “Ere, are you who you say you are?”

“Why wouldn’t I be, sir? Me dad and me brothers are all dead, sir. That’s why”- even after a year, talking about them brought a lump to her throat- “that’s why there’s nothing filled in for ‘em on the form.”

“Native food that bad, eh?” Another obnoxious Cockney laugh followed, Gayle chuckling dutifully. If she’d had a penny for every time a limey had made that joke… “G’waan, luv. Yer alright.” She curtsied and took her paper back. As she turned round, Sergeant Atkinson’s hand brushed against her backside. Gayle O’Connor’s teeth clenched, and she walked back home.

Saturday was a quiet day. Gayle and her mum cooked for their family, watched anglers come in from their Atlantic runs, and tried to get a bit of rest. When they went to Confession late in the afternoon, as always, two British soldiers stood at the church entrance and the Union Jack flew prominently above the Vatican flag. “You been a naughty girl, eh?”, one soldier leered. “Keep it up.” His mate cackled and slapped him on the back. She turned red, her blush submerging her mosaic of freckles, and pulled her veil down as she entered the church.

Sunday began at four AM with an erupting alarm clock. Gayle put a lunchtime roast in the oven and made oats for her younger sisters, before doing a bit of sewing- the limeys were paying for civilian clothes and money didn’t grow on trees, not these days. She hated serving the occupiers, but if giving Tommy Atkins- one in two Englishmen seemed to be called ‘Atkins’ or something like that- a fresh pair of trousers kept food on the table for her family, well, pride never filled one’s belly. Gayle knew exactly when five AM came- “Come to the Cookhouse Door, Boys” blazed through Baltimore as the British troops awoke to food cooked by Irishmen. Food that my family needs. Gayle shook her head- she couldn’t afford to get angry and make a mistake sewing, or she wouldn’t get paid for this. But still, there was ever so much to keep bottled away… she was already tired when six AM rolled around.

Church was fine. Gayle knew the Latin by heart and could’ve followed along in her sleep. The world Father talked about- a land of justice and love- was a long way away from Ireland. If the Lord had lived in Ireland, the British would’ve interrupted His preaching and asked for His papers. The idea was absurd and not a little irreverent, but it made Gayle smile. And in fact, two British troops stood at the back of the church just to be sure everyone behaved themselves. Bloody Prots, she thought condescendingly. The bells of the Consecration snapped her back to focus, but she soon drifted off in a sea of Latin. Everybody filed up for Communion, Gayle kneeling down and sticking out her tongue. As she knelt in her pew, shouting interrupted her prayer.

The British soldiers in the communion queue had their hands stretched out.

“I tell ya, you can't receive!” Gayle’s face turned white beneath the sea of freckles- no one had ever seen Father lose his temper. Her mum and sisters stared at her, the same horrified expression on their faces. “You know what we teach, now go.”

“Come off it, mickey.” That was Sergeant Atkinson. “You lost the bloody war, remember. We say wot’ what, don’t we boys?” His mates laughed unpleasantly at Father, who hurriedly put the Sacrament back in the tabernacle. “You men get out of my church! Go on!”

“You heard him!” Gayle stared, stunned. Where had she got that courage from? “Go on, leave!” Her breath came fast, and she hardly noticed the glow with which everybody stared at her. As Sergeant Atkinson walked up to her, Gayle’s heart rammed against her chest. “Listen, mickey girl”, he growled, flashing his tobacco-stained teeth at her, “we run this place. Not you, you little redhead. I’ll remember this.” He jerked his thumb and the British soldiers left the church. Gayle collapsed into her pew, all the adrenaline having left her.

Monday dawned. If anybody had wanted to thank Gayle for her heroism the previous day, letting her sleep in until six would’ve been a pleasant way to do it. Nobody did though, and the O’Connors still had to eat, so she was on the streets long before the sun poked its way through the trees. Baltimore was already bustling, with fishermen heading out to sea and people from nearby Sherkin Island- as lifeless a rock as ever existed- (1) coming in to work on the mainland. Gayle headed off to the pub for sixteen hours of cleaning and serving tables.

She was to be spared the dull day’s work… but what she got instead made dull look desirable.

Gayle was halfway to work when somebody touched her. “Get away!” Probably some drunk. It wasn’t as if such a thing hadn’t happened before. But this was no drunk.

“Allo, luv.” Sergeant Atkinson’s grin was predatory, not mirthful. “You been doing alright then, eh?” He scowled at her, once again displaying his stained teeth.

“Sergeant”. Gayle tried to keep her panic out of her voice. “I can't stop now; I’ve got to work.”

“Oh, you do, do you?” He grabbed her arm. “Let’s see about that.”
“Get away!”, Gayle screamed at the top of her lungs. “Help, I’m…” Atkinson shoved his hand over her mouth. “Now we see wot happens when you cross the men who run this island, girl. Don’t think you can get away with that.” She kept on screaming. A British soldier marched back on patrol, and her hopes soared. Surely he would save her! But no, he merely turned a little red and kept on marching. Damn you! Damn you! If you were here, with this… you have no idea, do you? No one heard her cries. No one ever heard a bloody mick when she cried for help. Thrashing in fear, Gayle bit Sergeant Atkinson’s hand covering her mouth. He roared in pain but didn’t let go. Sergeant Atkinson grabbed her belly… and his hand reached lower, and there was nothing Gayle O’Connor could do to stop what came next.

This was Ireland, 1917.

(1) I speak from experience

Comments?
 
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Also: WOW!! 100 pages!!

When I started Place In the Sun, I'd never imagined that it could reach this. Seriously.
I'm more than a little overawed, to be honest, that something of mine could attract this many views and attention. I absolutely couldn't have done it without you readers! Thank you so much for getting me to this benchmark and I hope to have many good times with you in this TL in the future...

-Kaiser Wilhelm the Tenth
 
...while Hughes might not want to openly endorse rebellion by the Irish against Britain, assuming a revolt breaks out and the British respond with utter brutality, he can't really look the other way either. The Irish-American community will make 1920 hell for him if he does, and the Democrats will pounce even if purely out of opportunity. Even more so as the German-Americans will continue the trend* from 1916 and back the Democrats against the pro-British Republicans. At the very least, while Hughes won't officially support the Irish, he won't lift a finger against Irish-Americans heading off to Ireland to fight against the British, or smuggling weapons and the like to Ireland.

Once it reaches that point, though, the cat's pretty much out of the bag. Once Irish-Americans start getting killed, even WASPs will start getting worked up against the British, especially if - and this is quite likely - the Irish go down the republican route. They'll be seeing a mirror of 1774, and the American press will be drumming up the pro-Irish tempo. Eventually, Hughes will have to respond, either to mediate a peaceful withdrawal from Ireland by the British, or an outright ultimatum threatening sanctions against Britain and the Commonwealth unless they acknowledge Irish independence.

*IIRC, both the Irish-American and German-American communities solidly voted for Wilson ITTL's 1916 election. Apparently, they saw his isolationist policies as having directly contributed to a German victory, and a British defeat in the war.
 

Rivercat893

Banned
Also: WOW!! 100 pages!!

When I started Place In the Sun, I'd never imagined that it could reach this. Seriously.
I'm more than a little overawed, to be honest, that something of mine could attract this many views and attention. I absolutely couldn't have done it without you readers! Thank you so much for getting me to this benchmark and I hope to have many good times with you in this TL in the future...

-Kaiser Wilhelm the Tenth
The power of fan feedback can help creators for the most part.
 
Well, there's a lovely catalyst.

Rule #2 of Occupation: Your soldiers have to be 100% disciplined.

If I had a nickel for every riot or rebellion against a foreign or occupying authority that happened because of shit like that across history, I could probably pay the national debt of the US.
 
Rule #2 of Occupation: Your soldiers have to be 100% disciplined.

If I had a nickel for every riot or rebellion against a foreign or occupying authority that happened because of shit like that across history, I could probably pay the national debt of the US.
Coupled with Rule #3; Make sure your idiots understand provoking the locals is how you wind up ripped apart by a angry mob.
 
Well, there's a lovely catalyst.

Rule #2 of Occupation: Your soldiers have to be 100% disciplined.

If I had a nickel for every riot or rebellion against a foreign or occupying authority that happened because of shit like that across history, I could probably pay the national debt of the US.
No need if you want the country to simply be convulsed.
 
After the huge and very expensive mess in India, a full revolt in Ireland will be the absolute last thing the British really need right now...so of course that's what's probably going to happen. I can see many British Christians (with imperial inclinations) looking up to heaven and asking for a freaking break already from the constant downpour of ill tidings striking the empire.

In some ways, I think the Irish revolt could cost Britain even more then the subjugation war in India.

Unlike with India, the Irish will probably get a much more supportive reaction from the western world. An American volunteer legion is almost guaranteed to happen, as an example. The President cannot afford to anger the large Irish lobby by totally ignoring the situation in Ireland. To be fair to him, I think the president and most Americans will have a natural urge to feel sympathy for the Republican Irish fighting for their independence from the tyrannical British - especially with all the recent British atrocities committed in India fresh on everyone's mind. I know the political inclinations of the Irish rebellion were all over the place, but for the sake of getting American support I can see some Irish leaders advertise themselves as republican while other leaders advertise themselves as monarchist to other potential supporters like Germany.

There's also the fact that Britain is currently on thin ice with the American business world after defaulting on all their loans after WW1. If Britain comes to America and dares asks for a new loan, the interest rate alone will reach out into space and touch the moon.

Since the Emerald Isle is much closer to Europe than India, Europe will be much more curious and more likely to involve themselves in some ways to the developing conflict. Nothing military related will happen but I do see incidents where foreign reporters will enter the warzones of Ireland and report many unsavory things against the wishes of the British government. A blanket information ban will then be implemented that will add fire to the flames.

Wilhelm II will not be able to resist himself and will say more inflammatory remarks to the consternation of many in German government. Any more overt support will probably not happen since Germany isn't in the mood for another war so soon after the Weltkrieg. I don't see Italy or Spain getting involved either.

I just had a brainfart regarding Britain's oldest ally in Europe.

Portugal might be inclined to accept willing Irish immigrants for their African colonies due to shared catholic faith, but even that's a stretch. I'm just guessing that if the war drags on and gets really nasty and the British takes the gloves off, I can see many poor Irish families wanting to avoid the chaos altogether by migrating to Angola and such. The British win because every Irish family out of the island means one less hostile clan to worry about and the Portuguese gain catholic and white immigrants for their severely underpopulated African colonies. Everyone wins (except the native Africans as usual).

Back to the actual rebellion.

Britain will have to fight with one arm tied behind their back. Since they're fighting fellow white Europeans, they cannot go full genocidal mode like on India. Britain already has a horrid reputation for the concentration camps used in the Boer wars and for their many massacre's during their war to reclaim India. If Britain, for example, decides to mass gas a major Irish city like Dublin, I can see many nations contemplating doing something drastic like completely embargoing British products altogether. Britain's already weak economy would not be able to handle that.

Even if that doesn't happen, I can envision many nations attempting to lessen their dependence on British imports - like for example, coal. Italy traditionally imported most of their coal from Britain. After this TL's world war 1 and the war Britain is now raging against a fellow catholic nation like Ireland, maybe Italy will now buy the majority of their coal from Germany and the Balkans. It would hurt the Italian economy a little but would hurt the British economy a lot - especially if many nations get the same mindset at the same time.

Just some scattered thoughts.
 

Rivercat893

Banned
After the huge and very expensive mess in India, a full revolt in Ireland will be the absolute last thing the British really need right now...so of course that's what's probably going to happen. I can see many British Christians (with imperial inclinations) looking up to heaven and asking for a freaking break already from the constant downpour of ill tidings striking the empire.

In some ways, I think the Irish revolt could cost Britain even more then the subjugation war in India.

Unlike with India, the Irish will probably get a much more supportive reaction from the western world. An American volunteer legion is almost guaranteed to happen, as an example. The President cannot afford to anger the large Irish lobby by totally ignoring the situation in Ireland. To be fair to him, I think the president and most Americans will have a natural urge to feel sympathy for the Republican Irish fighting for their independence from the tyrannical British - especially with all the recent British atrocities committed in India fresh on everyone's mind. I know the political inclinations of the Irish rebellion were all over the place, but for the sake of getting American support I can see some Irish leaders advertise themselves as republican while other leaders advertise themselves as monarchist to other potential supporters like Germany.

There's also the fact that Britain is currently on thin ice with the American business world after defaulting on all their loans after WW1. If Britain comes to America and dares asks for a new loan, the interest rate alone will reach out into space and touch the moon.

Since the Emerald Isle is much closer to Europe than India, Europe will be much more curious and more likely to involve themselves in some ways to the developing conflict. Nothing military related will happen but I do see incidents where foreign reporters will enter the warzones of Ireland and report many unsavory things against the wishes of the British government. A blanket information ban will then be implemented that will add fire to the flames.

Wilhelm II will not be able to resist himself and will say more inflammatory remarks to the consternation of many in German government. Any more overt support will probably not happen since Germany isn't in the mood for another war so soon after the Weltkrieg. I don't see Italy or Spain getting involved either.

I just had a brainfart regarding Britain's oldest ally in Europe.

Portugal might be inclined to accept willing Irish immigrants for their African colonies due to shared catholic faith, but even that's a stretch. I'm just guessing that if the war drags on and gets really nasty and the British takes the gloves off, I can see many poor Irish families wanting to avoid the chaos altogether by migrating to Angola and such. The British win because every Irish family out of the island means one less hostile clan to worry about and the Portuguese gain catholic and white immigrants for their severely underpopulated African colonies. Everyone wins (except the native Africans as usual).

Back to the actual rebellion.

Britain will have to fight with one arm tied behind their back. Since they're fighting fellow white Europeans, they cannot go full genocidal mode like on India. Britain already has a horrid reputation for the concentration camps used in the Boer wars and for their many massacre's during their war to reclaim India. If Britain, for example, decides to mass gas a major Irish city like Dublin, I can see many nations contemplating doing something drastic like completely embargoing British products altogether. Britain's already weak economy would not be able to handle that.

Even if that doesn't happen, I can envision many nations attempting to lessen their dependence on British imports - like for example, coal. Italy traditionally imported most of their coal from Britain. After this TL's world war 1 and the war Britain is now raging against a fellow catholic nation like Ireland, maybe Italy will now buy the majority of their coal from Germany and the Balkans. It would hurt the Italian economy a little but would hurt the British economy a lot - especially if many nations get the same mindset at the same time.

Just some scattered thoughts.
And let's not get into the Troubles or whatever TTL version of the events are called in Place in the Sun. Britain would absolutely want to hold onto some of the Emerald Isle so they would take all of Ulster for the local Protestant population, and it would be made into a constituent of the United Kingdom like Scotland or Wales even if they lose the Irish War of Independence, assuming if historical butterflies don't get in the way.
 
Britain will have to fight with one arm tied behind their back. Since they're fighting fellow white Europeans, they cannot go full genocidal mode like on India. Britain already has a horrid reputation for the concentration camps used in the Boer wars and for their many massacre's during their war to reclaim India. If Britain, for example, decides to mass gas a major Irish city like Dublin, I can see many nations contemplating doing something drastic like completely embargoing British products altogether. Britain's already weak economy would not be able to handle that.
Oh yes they can. They can repeat the Massacre of Drogheda. If Cromwell could do it, they can now.
 
The Irish are Europeans while the Indians are South Asians. Which ethnic group will gain more sympathy when a Drogheda-esque massacre occurs.
Maybe. That might raise the ire of the US against the Brits. There are a lot of Irish in the US, probably more so in this timeline. My ancestors left Ireland right after the 1916 rising, because they were convinced that, especially in wartime, that the British would be responding to Ireland with their normal tenderness.
 

Rivercat893

Banned
Maybe. That might raise the ire of the US against the Brits. There are a lot of Irish in the US, probably more so in this timeline. My ancestors left Ireland right after the 1916 rising, because they were convinced that, especially in wartime, that the British would be responding to Ireland with their normal tenderness.
The United States already has a large population of Irish and Ulster-Scots. We've seen them clash in the Orange Riot of 1871 and since the Irish War of Independence is even worse in TTL, ethnoreligious tensions are going to flare up again. @Boneheaded_Bookkeeper has already pointed out, a lot of Irish-Americans are going to pressure President Hughes to take action against the British and he can't ignore them especially with American business having a fuzzy relationship with their investors from across the Atlantic. We might even see the emergence of an Irish lobby in America after the uprising. All of Europe will be watching this conflict and reporters will definitely spill the beans on any atrocities or scandals from the British government's involvement in the Emerald Isle. In short, the conflict is going to become Britain's Vietnam when compared to India.
 
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Oh yes they can. They can repeat the Massacre of Drogheda. If Cromwell could do it, they can now.
The history of Cromwell's record in Ireland has been rewritten enough, let's not do that here. Also, the 1640s aren't the 1910s, even if your version of Drogheda was all that accurate.

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What the British are getting is a very much "you reap what you sow" problem. Rome held onto their Empire for centuries as they declined, and it took a long time for things to actually get shaky.

for Britain, all it took was one lost war and the whole thing is being rocked like a van at a nightclub 🤣
 

Rivercat893

Banned
The history of Cromwell's record in Ireland has been rewritten enough, let's not do that here. Also, the 1640s aren't the 1910s, even if your version of Drogheda was all that accurate.

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What the British are getting is a very much "you reap what you sow" problem. Rome held onto their Empire for centuries as they declined, and it took a long time for things to actually get shaky.

for Britain, all it took was one lost war and the whole thing is being rocked like a van at a nightclub 🤣
Ireland is going to be free and India is next to follow in its footsteps eventually. Whatever happens in the Emerald Isle will put Britain under heavy scrutiny from the international community especially if there is widespread mistreatment of the Irish. The local Ulster-Scots population would definitely engage in a lot of brutal warfare and atrocities against Catholics in Ireland. America and Germany would be very much interested in the conflict for their own specific reasons.
 
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Ireland is going to be free and India is next eventually. Whatever happens in the Emerald Isle will put Britain under heavy scrutiny from the international community especially if there is widespread mistreatment of the Irish and the local Ulster-Scots population engaging in brutal partisan warfare. America and Germany would be very much interested in the conflict for their own specific reasons.
Indeed. Both sides have their own incentives to criticise the UK apart from the obvious humanitarian ones.
 
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