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The Matador

Updated: Feb 18

The Matador waited,

not making any big movements yet,

just small movements,

poking and prodding at the beast,

while he looked for an opening.


He just needed a split second

for his attack,

but the beast

seemed to know the game,

and instead of charging forward,

stayed on the outside,

only making small movements of his own.

The Matador couldn’t tell if the bull was just mimicking him,

or if he somehow knew what was going on.


The beast can’t know,

he said to himself.


He has to be copying me.


The Matador quickly jumped to his right.

So did the bull, and with hardly any delay in his reaction.

He was right on pace with The Matador—dancing to the same rhythm as he. 


Sweat could be felt on The Matador’s head.

His heart pumped frantically. 


Breathe, he told himself. Stay calm. 


He jabbed at the giant bull in front of him.

Then he tried The Red, but the bull didn’t bite on it. 

No, the bull still stayed back, waiting. 


Change of plans, I have to force him into a corner and try to capitalize on a mistake.


The Matador, 

who was light on his feet from his ten years of dancing with beasts, 

shuffled backwards, 

and then subtly inched forward, 

cutting different angles—disguising his movements and intentions as best he could. 


The bull inched backwards.


That’s it! Try to mimic this,great beast! 


He pressured it as best he could. 


He had to get him back all the way to the wall of the arena, 

and that is when he planned on forcing some action.


Just a little more. Yes. Yes. Good. I can do this. Of course I can do this.


Backing-up a bull with footwork and pressure was unheard of, 

but the audience that was looking down upon the pair 

had no choice but to watch it happen.


Almost. . . Almost. . . There!


He lunged forward with his sword,

and the Bull’s back hit the wall as he took a small step backwards to avoid the attack.

A series of strikes came from The Matador in a burst of speed.


The eye’s of the beast! That’s panic! I got him!


And with a leap forward,

he thrusted his sword into the face of the Bull.


He jumped back, 

but the beast immediately collapsed,

and a lifeless body laid at the feet of The Matador.


The crowd roared.

The Matador took a deep breath. 

Then he wiped the sweat off of his face, 

before bowing to the crowd. 


Hundreds of red roses were thrown down into the arena by the people that had watched the spectacle. 


The Matador picked up a rose and held it carefully between his teeth.

He bowed again and again.

The crowd continued to throw roses down and cheer for him. 

His beautiful wife came running out, leaping into his arms.


He glanced at the bull,

as he set his wife down. 


He was a good opponent. 


He walked up to the body of the bull

and knelt down, 

saying a prayer for the animal. 


It was an honor to fight you.


. . .


Yes, this is what happened; 

but really, 

if you must know,

if I have to be truthful,

which I do like to be sometimes, 

this fight wasn’t between man and bull,

no, this was a fight between man and man,

as millions watched at home,

and thousands watched in an arena in Anaheim, California.


‘The Bull’ was actually a fighter from New Zealand,

and he had been a dominant champion of his division

up until the moment that a Spaniard, 

nicknamed ‘The Matador’,

backed him up against the fence,

and landed a massive right hand to the jaw of the champ.


It was tragically beautiful.


And horribly poetic.


And it inspired this story.


CH 2/18/24

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