Trifextra 78 – The Ring


White hankies wave.

The beast staggers, bloodied but aware.

His final tormentor moves in closer.

Their eyes meet; in that moment there is acceptance.

Blood drips. Sweat sheens. The final blade is thrust.


These 33 words form my entry into the Trifextra 78 writing challenge.

Apologies if this seems distasteful but in researching ideas for this piece I stumbled across bullfighting. Thought it was worth upsetting a few people if in the end it perhaps helps to raise awareness. For more info on the campaign against bullfighting please go to

44 thoughts on “Trifextra 78 – The Ring

  1. djmatticus

    The poor bull. Tradition over common sense? Blood lust over decency? Then again, hypocrite that I am, if I ever make it to Spain I would probably try to see this spectacle… for the tradition, for the history… for the white hankies waving…

  2. jannatwrites

    PETA certainly as eye-catching campaigns 🙂 Sorry, got sidetracked by the photo!
    Vivid descriptions here. I feel sorry for the bulls and I don’t think I could witness it. (I feel sorry for horses racing, and most of them come through unharmed.)

    1. paulmclem Post author

      It’s not as common as it once was in Spain; however, it is still a big part of the culture in certain parts. Like you it’s not for me and I do admit to letting out a little cheer when I see a picture of a matador being pierced in the privates 🙂

  3. LaTonya M. Baldwin

    I’m not sure if the matador or the fans consider the sport blood lust. I’m not a fan but I think a lack of cultural awareness and sensitivity doesn’t aid in dismantling the tradition. PETA needs more than sensationalism. Anyhoo, your work is honest and unflinching.

      1. LaTonya M. Baldwin

        Paul, actually I didn’t know we were having a debate. I don’t feel passionately about the subject. You did however choose a polemic image which I interpretted to mean you are interested in the subject. To be honest, I commented because you took the time to write the piece. I responded because I think it matters that we support one another. It’s why we link up, right? Would love if you came by sometime. Thanks.

      2. paulmclem Post author

        Apologies LaTonya, a poor choice of words in my previous comment. I didn’t mean it to sound like I was telling you I wasn’t interested in the debate. I was basically agreeing with what you said but it came out wrong. My fault. By the way I read your post last night and would have liked it but you didn’t have a like button. Will post a comment later.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Cheers Jo-Anne. Glad you enjoyed the piece. Had brief doubts about choosing this topic but I think I was right to do it. Even if you don’t agree with or like something it shouldn’t stop you writing about it. Tough imagery but I’m glad I wrote it.

  4. trifectawriting

    I felt as if I was in the stands myself. You really bring the reader in with your descriptive words. Thank you for linking up! Please remember to return for the voting!

  5. Suzanne

    Sometimes we have to shock people a little in order to raise awareness. You did an excellent job here. Your writing is intense and emotive – and, of course, very good. Great take on the prompt Paul!


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