**contains terms which may offend**

The Bruce raised his sword high, the driving rain battering against the silver blade, washing away the English blood. The dark clouds that had been the menacing back drop to the battle suddenly parted. Glorious sun shone over the tired and battered survivors. This was his moment.

He could think of nothing to say. He pumped his arm, the sword slicing through the sky, shafts of sunlight glinting off the metal. He roared a loud, guttural, animal noise. The brave warriors surrounding him raised their blades to the heavens and joined in the outcry.

Scotland was a nation once more.


Rab walked down Duke Street in the East End of Glasgow. In his pocket he fidgeted with the blade.

The rain bounced off the black pavement, the clouds grey and brooding and unrelenting. Head bowed, chin tensed, he walked on with purpose.

This was his moment. He would show that dirty bastard. Coming up here and trying to take his girl away from him. Getting the polis involved. Typical of the wee feartie wimp.

He knew he would find them in the pub, even early in the afternoon on a Sunday. A typical Catholic Tim, straight there after mass.

He barged in. There was a hush. Locals who didn’t recognise him stared as he looked round. There he was, him and his Fenian mates.

There was no time for the moment of hesitation that followed the silence of his entry. He let out a loud, guttural, animal noise.

The blade flicked out of his pocket. The lights of the pub glinted off the shining metal as he jumped forward, slashing wildly among the outcry.

Scotland’s shame betrayed its nationhood once more.

Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the #writephoto Prompt – Blade curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.

Glasgow, my home city, for many years had a reputation as the ‘knife crime capital of the world,’ fostered both by gang violence and domestic violence. Fortunately those days have moved into the past thanks to concerted efforts by the authorities and councils to re-educate and reduce knife crime levels. Unfortunately, the other scourge of Scottish culture – sectarianism between Protestant and Catholic religions – lives on all too vividly.

19 responses to “SCOTTISH KINGS”

  1. Interesting take on this prompt. (Thumbs up)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Anneberly 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The trouble is that this is still a scenario that plays itself out in our cities far too often…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m afraid so, and recent events are only adding more divisions.


      1. That, sadly, is all too true.


  3. I envisioned the scene, as I were there. Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like where you went with this. I can see this happening.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so viceral, Iain, so well written. That clever comparison between the Bruce and Rab, from courageous kingship to maintain a nation against marauders to horrendous infighting is so keenly felt. Your language was fitting, the tone perfect for the subject. I knew Scotland had its troubles with sectarianism but I’m so sorry to hear this is still the case. Wonderful job

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lynn. It is definitely better in that it has become unacceptable in public, but it still simmers underneath a lot of the time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s very sad, people being divided on such grounds.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I think most cultures have their own version of this scourge. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is a universal theme in many ways.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Iain.

        Liked by 1 person

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