I am tired now, and the spoils of war have spoiled. I have spoiled.
The dragon-woman is still hucking curses and woe-begotten prophesies like spears. I want her to shut up, but I can’t be bothered to move. I’m ready for home and bed. I’m ready to stop.
Some chuckling brings me around, though, and I see three younger men – my kin – coming back to the woman. They think she’s funny, and they missed their turn for sport earlier and their blood has not stilled.
They begin to tease and blow kisses. Her resolve falters and they are on her like dogs.
I tell them to stop. They don’t. No one listens to me. But I am the bull again and I stand up – more aggrieved that they disrespect me than that they plug this woman.
They tell the bull to blow his horn, and I’m angry. I’m the angel now. The devil. And I add to the butcher’s bill one of my own. The other two pop up and there’s a new lust and a new anger. They mob me and I go down for some stupid woman.
After they’re done with me, but before my lanterns go out, I see them kill the woman. She’s thrown on top of me. I guess our bones will be here for the dying god when he finally feels like getting up again.
I ought to be angry – with myself, with my people – but what good would that do now. I’m here forever – cut off from my people, separate from my land. I am the cut flower, the bladed grass. I am a bull on the altar, the angel of death.
Make no mistake – this is the way of our god: take what you can, fight what you want, crush who you hate.
I’m tired of it, but as I slip away I think maybe it would have been better if I didn’t die here in this valley of judgment and war.