Stand Off

14 Dec

Stand Off

Sean Bracken

The afternoon sun beat down on my shoulders. Blood oozing from the wounds in my shoulder and back dripped down into the sand,  I knew that I'd been outsmarted. My opponent faced me without a mark on him. I struggled to understand what had happened. I was bigger, stronger and more agile that the man standing not more than ten feet away from me.

The task should have been simple. The battle should have ended in seconds. With my strength and speed, one direct charge should have forced the man to the ground. With one thrust to the man's torso, I could have finished it. 

I had trained my entire life for this. I could have retired in glory. Somehow at the last second, the man had swivelled and dodged my lunge. A red hot pain lanced through my back as I missed my mark.  My nostrils flared in anger. Enraged beyond reason my sole purpose now was to destroy this enemy before my own body gave out. 

We now faced each other down, both of us sizing up the other. Despite my wounds I was still a deadly force, not to be taken lightly, or for granted. Neither of us was prepared to make the next move. As we stood off against each other we both looked for a weakness or a new point of attack. Seeing no advantage in making the first move the standoff continued. 

Even though it was only minutes it seemed like hours. I could feel my lifeblood drain onto the now red sand. It was now or never. Another few minutes and I'd have no hope. In desperation, I made one last valiant charge. Just as before the man twisted out of my reach. This time, he stabbed into my exposed neck and I knew that I was finished. My blood gushed like a fountain from the wound. I snorted in disgust. Outmanoeuvred by a smarter opponent, my strength and speed were not good enough. 

As I crashed into the ground I could hear the roars of applause coming from the spectators. Thinking that I was finished my enemy threw his hat to his adoring admirers. And turned his back on me. I struggled to my feet and charged once again. He couldn't hear me through the roar of the crowd. One horn impaled his back and I tossed him to the ground. With my final breath I twisted his limp body and gored his chest with all the rage I could muster. We lay side by side under the blazing sun. The chants of OLE, OLE died away, just as our lives faded. Some call it art. Some call it sport. I call bullfighting WAR.          

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