Falco watched me as I ate; a wicked smile spread across his lips.
‘At least if you’re picking potatoes, you won’t have time to hunt demons tomorrow.’
Dadda dropped his spoon with a clatter that rang in the silence of the dining room. His face turned to me; wisps of ginger hair fell into his eyes that bore into me and made me feel like a worm being eaten by the earth. Mamma stopped chewing and gazed up, her face white as the moon. I saw her hand grip the table as she stared at Da.
‘Did you tell Falco you were hunting demons?’ Dadda asked. His voice was strained as if he was trying not to shout. Mamma swallowed a lump of stew.
‘No,’ I answered, staring down at my bowl, pushing a potato with my spoon.
‘You did. You told me you killed one,’ Falco gloated. I glared at him but he didn’t care. In fact, he smiled at me, just a fraction so no one noticed. Anger swelled inside me and I wished the Gods would strike him down.
Dadda still stared at me, his mouth tight. Everyone at the table was staring at me. Shame swelled in my cheeks and I wished I could run away, that I had never said anything, that I had never spoken to Falco.
‘I won’t abide liars in my household, Catrin. The Gods condemn liars on their Day of Judgement. I prayed for you in the shrine this morning. Thanking the Gods for sparing your life, and you dare repay them by telling lies? Do you think it was brave or smart to tell people you killed it? You were foolish to face it in the first place.’
‘I was trying to protect the village!’ I cried, wishing my voice was more powerful.
‘Don’t answer me!’ he boomed, shaking the very air between us. ‘You know what you should do if you see a demon. It was dangerous and foolish. If Gareth wasn’t there I might not have a daughter sitting with me at table.’ He turned away from me and plunged his spoon into the stew. His jaw chomped down with extra ferocity in his reddened face.
Thanks for reading!