Three Line Tales : The spell of Grimalkin


three line tales, week 70: a cat walking on a dock wall with boats in the background

(photo by Timothy Meinberg via Unsplash)


I stay by the fire. The chores will have to wait for I can’t turn my mind to them. Wood cracks in the grate, spits out sap to sizzle and dance before dying.

She’s ink black, sleek as an eel, curled tight in my lap. I feel her breathing, though her purr is lost beneath the howling wind, the groan of roof beams above our heads.

He’s out on the waves, deafened by spray, blinded by gales, fingers stiff and cracked as the boards beneath his feet. Keep him safe, little Puss, keep him safe.


Written for Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales. See here to join in and read the other tales.

Inspired by a line from a Wiki page on ship’s cats and superstition. Fishermen’s wives would keep black cats in the hope the animal would use its supernatural influence to protect their men out at sea.

Grimalkin was the name given to cats in general but also to witches’ familiars. A cat called Grimalkin is a familiar to the Three Witches in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

11 thoughts on “Three Line Tales : The spell of Grimalkin

    1. Thanks so much, Penny. All those generations of women , waiting for the owrst to happen while the worst is happening to their menfolk. No wonder they turned to superstition. Thanks so much for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was interesting reading the wiki entry on ‘mortal coil’ and its etymology…that’s where my departure into the rabbit hole began…I hadn’t even realised at that point that it was from Hamlet.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. He’s responsible for so many expressions in English, isn’t he? Well, at least making them popular. Between him and the King James bible, they’ve cut up half the idioms we still use today 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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