5
min

The Day The Bull Lived

52 readings

1

They say the ghosts of the bulls charge in Pamplona. The pale whispers of their mighty roars can be heard as the wind blows in the distance. They cry for their fallen brothers in anguish and in mourning of the night before the bullfight, before the death in the afternoon. An unrelenting moon stands beneficiary of an unforgiving kingdom, admiring distant evening stars. A chorus of vultures by the harbor bridge lend mocking shrills and cruelty to the solitary man in the iron boat. In the distance ahead, the lights flash motionless to eternity, fleeing the barefoot struggle, draped in a cloudy fog. Tomorrow is the day of reckoning.
A solitary raven emerged from the tree. And then another one came as he approached a flower and he saw that it was a strong flower one that can tempt the mighty fates and battle the horde of locusts that approached en masse. While this was happening, an assortment of butterflies joined in the fray and they saw the crow on the flower and the armies of bees approaching, and the butterflies dismayed by all that was going on, sounded their call to the ants who came and followed and marched. and the ants saw more ravens flying overhead, and the butterflies dancing around the daffodils while they looked at the bees pollinating and peered at the grasshoppers in the meadow and they looked for a way to build their mighty castles on the hills.
As they began to edge slowly toward the open field , the bull slept like a lamb out of heaven. He awoke and yawned like a lion and admired the view over the hill. Watching the candle dimming, the clock struggling, the hours crying, and time whispering, he remembered how life happened, truth reigned, and tears mattered. He began wishing for forever to be free, for hearts to be enlightened, and for fates to be delivered. Under the veiled tree of life’s trials and shames, lay years of torment, hundreds of games, and blood upon the sand. Today, one more spectacle ensues, one more death match poisons, and one more memory flows into the abyss.
People began to fill the arena like tiny drum majors, marching to the things that are not seen but are left frozen. Bringing gifts from far away, the thorn-less roses shine redness upon the arena while the cheers echo until eternity. As the crowd fills, there emerges a sudden stillness. The sounds of the world are dimmed and only the sunshine between reality and fantasy remain. As the rainbows dance and the children play there is quietude in the air yet laughter dances its way on stage as the entourage makes its way to the grandstand.
Leading the way dressed in his Philip II costume, the alguacil gives his marching orders to the matador. The picadors chuckle and prance as the sword handlers parade behind the congregation. The matador dons his black hat, drags his foreboding cape along the sand, and stammers his graceful, unreachable confidence. As peaceful as a fire, the bull marches slowly before his doom. He is followed by Death who is the last one to enter the arena. Wine-soaked toy soldiers taunt with the beast but the bull stands unafraid, unrelenting, and unsinkable to the wishes of the fear that is expected to encompass him. The game was about to begin.
The Ill-fated matador begins to tempt the bull hopelessly. Like an the old master about his business , he rushes, lunges at his opponent. Into death’s arms he lays to the gates of hell, he marches, the bull erupts like a spewing volcano. Alone, defeated, towering, the bull tires like a faint whisper. Death slowly peers from the crowd to stare his prey into oblivion and lay his laurel upon the breadth below.
Piercing, bold, determined, the bull forges ahead. He takes a jab, a puncture, a breath, throwing a punch at fate. A miss, a near miss, the bull dodges his enemy's blow running like a sinner in purgatory. Charging, roaring, running, the bull fights on amidst the jeers of the crowd's porcelain smiles.
Ole. Ole. Ole
The crowd cheered.
The bull ran like the wind. Like an unshaken freight train, huffing breaths of disgust and lament, the bull grew weary of the prolonged suffering at the hands of his elegant killer. Looking into his eyes, he sees the determination of his foe, the depths of the struggle, and the contrast to his own frail-haunted body.
Numb determined, and focused, the bull stopped. He prays to his fallen brothers and to the archangel above.
“Angel, Beloved. Broken eyes like teardrops with wings, take thee into your hands and make my traveled feet dance anew. Pray, angel beloved. Tearful goodbyes like torn thunder with lightning, take my wanted wear into your divine ocean and cleanse the soul of its shortcomings. Heal, angel beloved. Mountain sky like unending story with butterflies, take my spirit and lift it to its woven clasp and flood its gates with glittering sunflowers. Mercy, angel beloved. Hidden canyon like an unfound temple with rubies, take my unshackled coils from its lonely shell and delight to liberate the mind of its confusion. Peace, angel beloved. Unspeckled rainbows like falling stars with memories, take my hand and show me the open road and teach me to follow the light. Fly, angel beloved." He was ready to die. He was ready to bear his testimony and languish before the choirs of plenty.
But sometimes, courage and luck marry themselves upon us.
A shimmer of hope plays fortune upon the bull. From the clouds above, a sign in the form of a white dove appears. Soaring like the mighty eagle, seven sails to the shore, the dove rests on the bull's forehead.
The crowd stares in wonderment by this unmistakable form of happenstance as if the bull is being ordained by the Holy See himself. Through these moments, there is hope, there is infinity, there is life once again.
He will live to dream. He will live to see another day. He will live to see the golden land where the palaces are high and low. There is another rainbow-filled sky and another unbeaten path and cloudless skies that are waiting to be flown, slaying the absence of pain fearlessly and taking the dreams that are not within reach but chaseable. The bull continued to stand majestic..
The white dove then flew onto the matador, resting his tiny body on the brim of his hat, unwavering in his quest for a longing, lasting peace to unfold. Flinging its soul like a broken lyre, trembling knowledge and solace, praying for starry nights, the dove sings his melody to the masses. Cursing on his weed-stemmed rainbow and inspecting his lowly abode, the dove looks into the crowd, full of half-loathing creatures that are pure and robbed of innocence. Quelling passion, birthing freedom, and restoring sanctity, the dove anoints the bull with song and verse like a sounding harp. He then flew off into the sunset, returning to the humbleness of his solitude and on to its next mission of mercy.
The crowd cried, they wept, they toiled. Bewildered within, impelled with repose, as if the bells of the crier bled feelings. It was as if anger twisted itself upon its lies without form and somehow the rhymes of the saints penned truth in stone. The hope they somehow desired buried deep within the layers of confinement were suddenly thrust upon the seering landscape. Entranced, washed of disdain, flowers replaced longing and the soul repented its hatefulness.
Live. Live. Live.
They chanted.
The bull was immediately escorted out of the ring, by his unwilling hosts. Bouquets of roses were thrown from the balconies as old women did the sign of the cross as he was led away.
He was brought to the corral, surrounded by his thoughts, and thinking about the events of the day. The bull came across a small copse of ash trees beside the comfort of a honey-glazed oak. Death and life desire time and patience, he thought. Luck took her place among the stars along with her soulmate, courage.
The bull then rested his head upon the grass, began to dream about the reverence of his frailty, and drifted to sleep once more.

CONTEST

Image of 2018

Theme

Image of Short Story
1

Few words for the author?

This is a place for encouragement, constructive criticism, and respectful comments… unsure if you should say what’s on your mind? Take a look at our advice on commenting here! Read the chart

To post comments, please