Strangers in the Broch

Brigid stood on top of the Broch, her paws on the edge of the precipice. She reached her arms skyward, her claws extended and let the sharp, icy wind buffet her fur.  She closed her eyes and tipped her head upwards, her whiskers tingled as a shiver ran down her spine. She loved to feel the elements like this, it made her feel alive in a way that nothing else did. The energy pulsed through her, from the tips of her claws to the end of her tail, she could feel it fizz through her veins, her very essence, she knew the power was within her.

Opening her eyes Brigid gazed towards the cove. A small boat was being dragged rather awkwardly up the shingle by two tom cats. One was tall and ginger, the other was slightly smaller with tortoiseshell colouring. She watched as they dusted themselves off and looked up towards the Broch. Brigid stood stock still, feeling the flush of embarrassment rush to her cheeks, what would these cats think of her, standing like a wild thing on the roof edge?

They sauntered towards the building, chatting as they walked, oblivious to their watcher on the roof.  When they had disappeared from view into the entrance below her, Brigid leapt from the edge and ran as fast as she could down the stairs, through the corridors, until she was level with a slit in the wall that opened into the grand meeting room. She pressed her face close to the opening, her whiskers flattened tight against the cold stone. The two strangers were standing in front of the fireplace chatting animatedly with her father, Cruithne, and as the ginger cat turned around and smiled as a serving cat entered, placing a dish of salmon and cream on the table beside them, Brigid felt her heart flutter in her chest.

Cruithne beckoned to the serving cat, leaned down and whispered something in her ear. Brigid thought for a moment his eyes had flicked over to her direction and had to place her paw to her lips to stop a gasp escaping. Her father however had returned to his conversation and as the threesome moved over to the table to help themselves to food she began to relax again.

‘King Cruithne asked if you would join him,’ said a voice beside her.

Brigid jumped and mewled at the same time; she had been so focused on watching the tom cats she hadn’t realised the serving cat was beside her.

Embarrassed at being caught spying she nodded her head at the cat, smoothing her paw over her fur as she did so, not wanting to appear a wild thing to them.

‘Thank you,’ she replied. The serving cat nodded and disappeared through a door towards the kitchens.

Brigid took a deep breath, then marched through the doorway and into the meeting room, smiling at her father and making a point of ignoring the two cats with him.

King Cruithne smiled at her as she approached and held out his paw to her, ‘ah, here she is, my little warrior queen,’ he said, ‘Brigid, I’d like you to meet some friends of mine.’

The ginger tom cat held out his paw and as he took Brigid’s paw in his she felt a surge of power race through her. The force of the ancient and the new, together as one.

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