**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.
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.