The International Writers Magazine:New Fiction
has always been mans nature to conquer; to have dominion
over his environment. Stories of this struggle are as old as the
glyphs on rocks, papyrus, sheepskin, paper, and clay. Evidence
is found in caves, tombs, libraries, and public places where it
can be seen by all.
come in different sizes; found in a wide assortment of sports that propel
us into a frenzy of excitement that creates pro and con; for and against;
divides us into colonies of fanatics where we applaud the winner and
often, the loser.
He knew he was hurt pretty badly. Blood spilled from his nose and mouth
leaving a red trail behind him. He wondered how this could have happened
and walked slowly in a circle, against the wall thinking of why it happened.
He had been vigorously trained to be the biggest, fastest and meanest
but somehow he wasnt fast enough or smart enough today. He looked
back and saw the red trail behind. The pain was overwhelming. He walked
slower. He was getting tired and his legs weakened but he wouldnt
give up. He was going to win. After all, he always won. Crowds cheered
As he walked he remembered how the spectators stood and clapped when
he was the victor; he remembered the men rewarding him for fine performances;
he remembered how great it was to be famous and popular. What happened?
He was hurt and the crowd clapped and roared approval. He didnt
understand why. He was bleeding badly and his blood stained the flowers
they threw into the arena. How was it possible? He had become the best;
the biggest and meanest but now he was hurt. He wore the ribbon that
testified to his greatness; that he was the best and the crowds came
alive when he entered the ring. The little man walking next to him was
responsible and he couldnt think of why he hurt him so badly.
The crowd yelled louder; stood and clapped longer. The more he bled
the louder the onlookers yelled.
He walked until he could walk no more; his legs quivered. He coughed
and blood spurted from his nose and mouth and dripped down his neck
and chest. He stopped, too tired to go on. He couldnt understand
what was happening. The pain was almost gone but the blood kept flowing.
Now the red trail ended where he stood. He made it around the stadium
one time but he was too weak to continue. He stood looking at his own
blood then at the standing crowd. The man walking beside him spoke to
him softly; almost regretfully. He fell to his knees and the pain was
almost gone. He looked at the crowd but could only hear their loud praises
for such a good fight as his eyes dimmed and became heavy. How tired
he was and how good it would feel to just lay down and rest. His head
slumped to the ground as his legs shook and he lay with shallow but
rapid breathing. He must get up; he must win but he was tired and the
sounds of the crowd faded into the background. Where was the man that
defeated him? He would like to have seen him and to have asked how it
was he could have hurt him so badly. After all he had been a good student,
learning his trade well; well enough to be the best. Something happened
he couldnt quite figure out. He smelled his own blood but couldnt
move his head from it as it pooled around him. It smelled sweet. Maybe
this was his prize for being the best. This was his final performance
because he was the greatest. Maybe this man was the greatest and this
was his reward; to defeat him. He didnt notice before but the
crowds were larger and louder; his opponent was dressed differently;
more brilliant. The man glittered in the sunlight. His eyes closed and
breathing stopped. His was, indeed, a wonderful performance. The crowd
stood up and roared and clapped and threw more flowers.
The matador walked over to the fence, handed his bloody sword to his
assistant, and strutted around the stadium holding the bulls colored
ribbon as the crowds cheered and threw in more flowers. This was without
a doubt a dangerous, well trained and respected bull. He was a real
crowd pleaser. Men raked sand over the bloody trail and the next well
trained and dangerous bull was ushered in to a very excited crowd and
the matador waved.
© Richard Corwin Feb 2006
Richard Corwin with circus follies
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