‘Do you have to go?’ asked Brigid as the kittens played around her paws.
‘You know I have to, we have to support your brother, his troops can’t suppress the clans by himself,’ Nechtan leant forward and kissed Brigid on her forehead, ‘we’re family, he would do the same for us.’
‘Would he Nechtan? Do you really believe Talroc would be there for us when we needed him?’ Brigid said bending down to scoop up a white kitten in her arms, ‘then I’m coming with you, I don’t trust him, and anyway I’m a much better warrior than either of you, you need me there.’
Nechtan smiled, he knew he would never win if Brigid had made her mind up about something, ‘fine, we’ll go together, Eithne can look after our kittens till we get back.’
Happy that she had won the argument, Brigid kissed her husband on the nose and handed him the mewling kitten.
‘Here, take Cru, I have to train, I’m so rusty!’ she cried, as she ran off towards the Broch, waving her paw to him.
As the biting wind ruffled her fur, Brigid shivered, shrugging off the feeling of doom that engulfed her. She couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong; but there was nothing amiss, the sky was blue and clear, the troops were in the perfect place for the battle, but there was just something, that’s what frustrated her. They had trained for four solid weeks, the warriors were fighting well as an army and even her brother Talroc had been in a good mood, which was most unlike him. But now as they stood in rank, awaiting the signal to attack she couldn’t shake the feeling. As the mewl went up she leant over and kissed Nechtan, so handsome in his armour, and squeezed his paw.
‘I love you,’ she said, leaning in close.
‘I love you too,’ he replied.
They ran headlong into the fight, quickly losing sight of each other in the melee. All around her cats were rolling and hissing, fangs and clumps of fur were flying as they all battled for supremacy of the lands. Brigid looked over the battlefield, she couldn’t see Talroc or Nechtan, it was all a flurry of fur and claws everywhere she looked. Just then she was knocked off her paws by a sideswipe, a cat caught her round the waist and knocked her to the ground. She twisted and caught the cat on the cheek, her claws slicing through his fur and skin. The warrior opened his mouth and threw himself towards Brigid. She raised her arm and the cat bit into her forearm. Brigid winced in pain, but struck out with her other arm, clawing at her opponents’ shoulder, curling her claws deep into his flesh. The warrior mewled, making Brigid extend her claws deeper, finding herself smiling as she did it, she had forgotten how much she loved this, the thrill of being in battle, the surge of power as it pulsed through her. As the warrior in her clutches scrambled trying to get hold of her, letting go of his grip on her arm, she pulled her free arm back and with a yowl, punched him square in the jaw, knocking him out cold.
Brigid pushed the warrior’s unconscious body away from her and stood up, looking for Nechtan. She could see him, on higher ground fighting with a swarthy looking grey tabby who was twisting and turning trying to get away from him. Brigid smiled to herself, she loved watching him fight, he was so strong and brave.
As the grey tabby fell at Nechtan’s paws he felt someone’s eyes on him and looked up. He could see Brigid in the distance, her white fur gleaming in the sun, she looked like an angel. She raised a paw and waved to him, he smiled and waved back.
As Brigid smiled and waved at Nechtan she felt an icy sensation crawl over her. As she watched her beloved, she saw a figure rise up behind him and grab him by the throat. As she watched in horror, the cat behind Nechtan pulled his head back and bit down into his neck. As Nechtan slumped to his knees his eyes were still on Brigid’s. He seemed to be pleading with her, trying to tell her something, but she didn’t know what.
She realised she was running, her legs pumping as she ran up the hill towards Nechtan, still kneeling as though praying to the Ancestors for his life. As her eyes moved from her beloved to the warrior still standing behind him, his mouth covered in Nechtan’s blood Brigid felt her paws wobble beneath her. Her brother had just killed her husband.
As Talroc watched Brigid run towards him he felt elated. Finally he had triumphed over her.
Brigid reached Nechtan as Talroc turned and began to sprint away from them. Dropping to the ground and cradling Nechtan close to her, she screamed at the disappearing silhouette of her brother.
‘I curse you Talroc, I will hunt you down and rip your life apart, you can’t run from me you coward!’