by Eric Drewes

Quesero was a beast of great strength.  Like many before him, he was doomed to a violent death at the hands of a matador for the entertainment of guests at the Tafalla Arena in Madrid, Spain.  There was honor in this death, to die a true warrior was an opportunity to be cherished - there were also bulls of legend that met their slayer head on and did not fall, but instead fell the matador in turn.  The man would then be carted off on a stretcher or limp to safety, a victory for the bull. Occasionally the bull would kill the matador... that was the greatest victory of all.  Most bulls were simply killed with little drama while the crowd cheered and celebrated the skill of the matador while the animal whimpered his last futile breath.

Quesero was half-asleep when he was called out and a man put a rope around his neck and began to tug.  The time had finally come, his reckoning was here at long last.  Quesero shook his head to clear his mind, the trainer, believing the bull resisted, lashed him across the back leaving a bloody line. The trainer then led him along and untied the rope before opening the steel gate.  The sun blinded Quesero as it beamed down on him as he walked towards the exit of the tunnel.  He closed his eyes in a squint as he trotted down the path towards the center, his fur gleamed in the sun, his muscles and arrogant stride gave him a certain majesty that momentarily silenced the fans.  When the crowd began cheering again he felt like a king as he continued forward to meet his foe.

And then, finally, there he was:  A man in a sequined shirt that glittered like firelight in the sun and wearing pants of pure white - in one hand he held out a red cape and waved it as the crowed oohed and ahhed, especially the children who gazed at the scene in terror and curiosity.  In his other hand he held a blade of gleaming steel, long and slender. The bull fighter bowed to Quesero and Quesero lowered his head in response, snorting.  Win or lose, Quesero knew this day was his last - a thought he kept as he circled the outer rim of the arena.  As he picked up speed, the kicked up dirt made a small dust cloud that trailed him giving off the effect of great ferocity to the crowd.  The matador's footwork was good though and he kept his body facing the bull, lest he be trod upon.  Finally feeling the moment and seeing his opportunity, Quesero charged.  The bull slashed with his horns to make contact with soft flesh, but the matador made a deft move and slipped the attack before getting a jab of his own in right below the ribs.  He retracted his blade and blood blotted the ground.  Quesero limped a retreat, and tried to muster up the strength and rage for another go.  As he paced, a feeling came over him, if complex animal emotion could be translated into words this is how it would be described:

Quesero.  You are a bull.  You are a beast, a creature with no subtle thoughts, just gross action dictated by instinct and instinct alone.  You have no comprehension of the world around you, no way to even ponder the wonder of existence.  You have been bred through thousands of generations by men who wanted to use you, your ancestors, your brothers, your fathers, your sons, for sport.  They kill you for their pleasure and amusement.  You have no way to understand what a crime this is, to understand the cruel fate of these circumstances inflicted upon you.  You are an animal that can only live (and thus must live) in the moment.  Right now is your time.  Your last moment of life.  You can go quietly, or you can let the world know that no matter how briefly, you exist and that you did not go quietly.

Quesero hesitated only slightly before rushing towards the matador and then broke to the left towards the wall.  Fueled by a spirit of righteous indignation, he leaped as no other bull had leaped before (and may never again), clearing the edge before landing in the stands.  The crowd fled in horror, screaming as Quesero drove into them like a freight train.  He roared and flared, scattering grown men to the ground like they were rag dolls as he charged with great fury.  Revenge!  Revenge for the Bulls! Revenge for the downtrodden! Revenge for all!!!

"I EXIST" Quesero bellowed (in Bull language).

Moments after the rampage began, many men with rifles flooded out of a tunnel, took aim, and fired at Quesero. 

Life, whatever that is, faded to black.


The End