Conspiracy of the Bulls

Entry by Glen Lupher Jr. This entry needs artwork!

My name is Dexter Jared Peterson. I am 26 years old and I live in New York City. In the last seven years I have lived as 11,577 different people.

The sound of chanting rang in my ears as I blinked my eyes open and looked around. Six men formed a chain at the front of the mass, holding me and the collected throng back as words became clearer and clearer: “A San Fermín pedimos, por ser nuestro patrón, nos guíe en el encierro dándonos su bendición.” I remembered enough Spanish from my time on the high seas as a pirate, well, the second time as a pirate to recognize the word “encierro.”

The chants gave way as the sound of a rocket firework shot off overhead, followed by the thundering of hooves and the sound of cowbells mingling with the roar of a crowd watching from the balconies above. Another rocket shot as the police scrambled out of the way and the horde which I found myself part of started to scramble down the narrow streets. I managed to jump out of the way of a particularly mean looking black steer, and could feel the breath of another on my lower back as the ground vibrated harder beneath my feet.

Instead of the inevitable feel of horns goring me, a pair of hands grabbed my shoulders and pulled me to the left up against a wall. Smacking into the stone, I spun around and stumbled before falling onto my rear. Looking up for a sign of my rescuer, my eyes fell on a familiar sight – Alexandria, standing over me with a smirk on her face, “Chivalry isn’t dead, Dexter. It’s just changed hands.”

With that statement, she took off down the Mercaderes, leaving me panting against the building as an oxen trotted past, with the final rocket sounding minutes later; it was confirmation that the bulls had made their way to the stadium and to their eventual deaths. As I walked along with the remaining masses from the streets, wondering how Alexandria had managed to recognize me this time when all the other times she hadn’t, I caught wind of conversation between a well-dressed gentleman and someone whom I recognized as one of the guards who held us back until our time to run.

Com a graça de Deus e as nossas mãos, Franco vai morrer esta noite.

The first thing that came to my mind was, of all things, “That wasn’t Spanish. It sounded like it, but some other dialect… Portuguese?” A sidelong glance back at the men, and I disappeared into the stadium to watch the fight and figure out what I had to do before I ended up as my next incarnation. As I watched a matador slay the first oxen to raucous cheers, and an announcer read, first in Basque, and then Spanish, that Generalissimo Franco was in attendance today.

And then it hit me – Franco vai morrer. “Franco will die tonight.” Between fights, I managed to slip out of the stadium to alert a police officer to what I had heard. This being Franco’s Spain, I ran the risk of being imprisoned or worse, but I knew that history could not alter from its due course, that Franco eventually, and for all I knew, that could be 40 years from now, cedes power to Juan Carlos.

I’ve come to the conclusion that being a time-jumper brings around situations that I could only describe as Hell – I could kill guys like Franco and Hitler if I had the opportunity; but I wouldn’t dare risk the future of others for a short-term gain.

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