The Black Bull

Walking, child in hand, only a little further to go. There were deep woods on the left of the dirt road, and a few small aged buildings to the right. A small store, a schoolhouse and a barn. The dirt road curved from the south, turning west at the beginning of this small deserted strip. The buildings were spaced maybe 40 yards apart from each other. There were no cars out here. A broken down wagon sat overgrown with weeds between the school and the barn. A rusted metal coke sign hung limply from a corner on the small rotted wooden porch of the store. All the buildings had grass grown up around 2-3’ high around their sides, and there were small dirt ditches built around each building to drain the water away.

We were walking west on the dirt road, puffs of dirt rising up, coating our legs each time we pressed our feet forward. Trying to be calm and casual, I leaned over and whispered in the her ear that we just had to get a little further and everything would be okay. Just to the other side of town. We continued quietly past the schoolhouse and approached the barn, when my blood turned cold at the sound of heavy hooves falling on the dirt road behind the southern curve of the trees. With one move I switched hands with the child, so my left hand was on her left shoulder, and my right was holding her right hand, and I quickened our pace ever so slightly as I turned just enough to view behind us out of the corner of my eye.

There at the south bend, just becoming visible around the thick woods, was a huge black bull, large as an Auroch. From the short glance I got, It must have stood six feet high at the back, with large horns and nothing but blackness where the eyes should have been. It paused for just one short moment – long enough to let out this horrible noise long and deep, like the sound a cow makes when its dying in pain, but louder, and angry. Terror ran rampant through my body as my little girl screamed. The bull broke out in a full run straight towards us. I grabbed the girl in my arms, tucking her head under my chin so she couldn’t see, and ran like hell towards the barn. I ran past the corner and then made a fast right turn, just in time as the bull barreled past, its huge mass not allowing it to slow for several paces, buying me mere seconds. I slid and stumbled down the side of the barn, reaching a standing of tall brush just as the bull wheeled around, snarling in anger. It leapt forward as I was already leaping around the corner of the barn, until landing again on the east side of it, where I slipped on the grass and landed on my back, my arm scraping the old wood on the side of the barn. As my breath left me on impact, and my arms tightened to protect my little package, I heard the bull skidding round the corner, its movement kicking up the dirt so that I smelled the wet freshness of earth brought up from inches below the ground. The chase had ended. I laid there huddled against the wall, turning my back towards the bull to protect the girl, still trying to shield her eyes and pretend that everything was going to be okay to her. The bull skidded to a stop slightly north of me, just on the other side of the manmade ditch, rearing and bellowing so horribly that I could feel its foul hot breath filter through the grass to my face. I kept my eyes on it, not wanting to look, fearful of turning away. It was as black as the night that surrounded it, and it had two sets of horns that protruded from a massive head. Its legs must have been at least 48" in width, its hooves were elongated and ended in sharp prongs, and the horns both pointed upwards and outwards, reaching easily five feet in each direction.

Fear consumed me so much that I knew death was close at hand, until a tiny whimper escaped the ruby lips and innocent breath that laid trusting yet fearful against my breast. Had I been alone I might not have called, but she warranted it without question. My fear kept me from hating myself for not acting sooner, and in that fear, with that fear, a tiny warbled howl emanated from my tight dry throat. Again I attempted another howl. It came out too quiet and fearful, yet the bull heard, and became ever more enraged. It began furiously stomping and lunging towards us, the steam from its nostrils so close that it wet my face. As I tried not to look into its empty horrid eyes, another howl emanated forth. Still weak, yet stronger, still warbled, yet with more faith as the bull seemed even more enraged, yet fearful, for it refused to advance. For the first time in many years, I hoped the wolves would come. No, I knew they would. The pack would answer my pleas for aid, a bloody fight would ensue, and I would walk the little girl away, still shielding her face, but this time not from her advancing death, but from the blood and death that would surround her life – and again I would owe them. And again I know the price would be high.

The Black Bull

Rivendell

Fort Worth, United States

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

Artwork “The Auroch Attack” was made based on this dream piece.

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