The Spanish Bull

The little girl in the red flamenco dress began to wail as the beast whipped his legs into a fervour. His black curls thrashed on his head like furious riders. The Baroque stone courtyard dimmed as candles expired under the wind of his violent kicks and spins. The drums magnified their sound until nothing else could be heard, even the shaking girl. I cried in frustration, my Spanish lost under the furore.

The wooden clips of hooves drove the Bull’s own to stomp holes in the ground. A heartbroken gypsy dressed in red roses chanted in the corner, her voice wavering to match his temperament. Melancholy guitars sang without instruction, finishing each phrase with spitting staccatos. The top half of the Bull’s body transformed into a matador before our eyes, his arms twisting into fast bows that circled his scarlet silk waistcoat. His hands clapped and his head snapped as the rhythm reached a crescendo. His heavy breath was visible in the air and we could all taste his madness.

Where were the frilly flamenco ladies of Spain armed with painted maracas? The crowd formed a horseshoe around the band, and we watched each other through the flailing limbs. The beast continued his solo escapade until his skin bled with sweat. Marble busts stared on as our despondent eyes scoured the darkness for the women – but it was over. Heavy oak doors released the Bull from the arena, his stance victorious amidst the groans of his audience.

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