A whisker between life and death

Brigid pushed her claw deeper into the kitten’s throat.

‘Say it,’ she whispered in his ear, ‘you know I won’t stop until you’ve said it,’ she pushed the claw deeper.

The kitten let out a gasp, ‘stop it Brigid, I’ll tell father,’ he whispered, his words coming out as breath.

Brigid removed the claw from Talroc’s throat, licking the bubble of blood that had bloomed on the tip of it.

‘I’ll tell father,’ she mimicked, her voice high and squeaky, ‘and I’ll tell on you Brigid, you’re being horrible to me.’

She pushed Talroc with her paw, but he remained still on the ground watching her every move. Brigid walked a few paces away from him then pounced, landing directly on top of him, all four paws pinned to the ground.

‘Say it!’ she hissed into his face.

Talroc, spit glistening from his whiskers burst into tears.

‘You’re the best!’ he cried between sobs.

‘The best what? Say it!’ Brigid screamed at him again, her whiskers tickled his as she brought her face close to his.

Talroc began to sob louder, he was under no illusion, he knew his sister would kill him if he didn’t do as she said.

‘You’re the best warrior Cataibh has ever seen,’ he cried, the words jagged and fearful.


‘And you’ll rule the world forever.’ The last words tumbled out before he even thought of them, this wasn’t the first time Brigid had humiliated him like this.

She smiled, stood up, and dusted off her paws.

‘Never forget that Talroc, you may be my older brother, but I will always be the one true ruler in this litter.’

‘I hate you Brigid!’ Talroc yelled after her as he scrambled to his paws.

Brigid stopped still. Talroc felt his heart double thump in his throat, he had done it now he thought, she really would kill him. Brigid slowly turned around and contemplated her brother for a moment.

‘You don’t hate me Talroc,’ she said, her amber eyes flashing, ‘ but you should fear me.’

She turned and strode towards the Broch, flicking her tail as she walked.

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