juan‘Another cerveza  Juan, por favour!’ Pepe calls. Juan hooks the top off and places the bottle in front of him. Drinking beer out of a glass isn’t ‘macho.’ The bar is full tonight. Small, wiry matadors sit in groups, playing cards or dominoes, reading newspapers, or watching the TV.
‘Ole!’ cheers Miguel. The other toreros grunt approvingly. It’s an old video and they know every swish of the matador’s cape.
Juan gazes round his bar, glowing with contentment. This is his world, his life. He stares at the walls covered with memorabilia; photos, swords, the banderillas, the lance of the picadors. His own suit of lights is laid reverently over a chair; a guitar is propped in a corner. A stuffed bull’s head stares sightlessly down from one wall, a cigarette dangling from its lips.
With a smile, Juan turns his head, fingering the scar on his neck. He points to the framed, signed photo of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. ‘They sent that to me when I was in hospital,’ he says to no-one in particular.
matador1Pepe and Miguel grunt sympathetically in the right places. They hear the same story every night.
‘Yes, I nearly died, you know,’ Juan continues, ‘It was my eighth goring. It finished my career. But I was good in my day. I was one of the best!’ He shuffles from behind the bar, a tray clamped under his arm, his eyes glazed. One hand arches proudly in the air, saluting the crowd and the Presidente’s box. The years melt away. The trumpets play as the ghostly bull enters the arena. It stares around, confused. Then it spots the scarlet cape. Pawing the ground and snorting, it lowers its head and charges. It has been bred and trained for this moment.
Hundreds of kilos of solid beef with a killer instinct loom over him. At the last moment, Juan lightly performs a perfect ‘paso doble’, then he bravely turns his back on the enormous animal. The crowd goes wild. ‘Ole! Ole!’ they cry, and Juan struts proudly across the arena, his eyes moist with tears of emotion.
matador3‘Two more cervezas, Juan!’ calls Miguel, and the young torero is metamorphosed into an old barman with a bad back and a limp.
Jose reads aloud from his newspaper. ‘Hey, a man’s been arrested in Inglaterra for murdering some young children!’
Pepe bangs the bar angrily with his fist. ‘They kill young children in England?’ he shouts, ‘That’s disgusting! Children can’t fight back!’
Sighing, Juan grabs a cloth and wipes the bar. What’s happening to the world? he wonders. Why, in my day, when I was young…

In memory of Juan the Torero.

About Lyn

LYN FUNNELL CV (well, sort of!) Lyn had very successful careers as an Air Hostess, Sales Rep, (she was one of only a couple of women. She beat all the men regularly, becoming the Top Rep in the UK, and 2nd in the world.) And then Catering took over. She did everything from the washing-up, to Silver Service Waitress, and Chef. A few times, she had to cook the meal, dash round the other side and Silver Serve it! In between all this, she wrote as often as she could, building up a reputation as a published short story writer, (Horror and a twist in the tale,) and a Poet. She has appeared as a Performing Poet, and a Demo Chef. Then she discovered the world of the Food & Travel Writer. And that’s what she has continued doing to this day. Her main hobbies are Cookery and entering Competitions. She has won many prizes, including holidays and a moped. She enjoys entering Competitions, submitting her original recipes. She was first in many Competitions, including the Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu, Fruits of France, Bernard Matthews Turkey Recipe, and appeared on BBC’s The One Show Spag Bol contest. She was one of three Finalists, coming 2nd, which makes her Britain’s Spag Bol Queen! Now she runs B-C-ing-U! and loves it! After several years of being messed around by Editors, and having loads of contacts, Lyn formed her own online Magazine, vowing to treat her writers fairly, and to do everything possible to further their careers, publicise their books, etc. She now has a band of excellent regular writers, and the Magazine’s going from strength to strength! Lyn’s online published books; Adverse Camber A collection of my published poems. The First Book of Short Stories The Second Book of Short Stories The Third Book of Short Stories. Many of these stories have been previously published. St Anthony of Padua. The Patron St of the Old. A story of one woman’s terrible ordeal in a Home, and her family’s rescue of her. The Girl Who Watched. A Cuban girl is attacked by an English journalist & what follows! Willy the Whizz & the Wormhole. Suitable for Young Adults, aged 15-95! Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out – Forever! Unsympathetic, hard-hitting, realistic solutions to your problems. All these books are published by Andrews UK Ltd www.andrewsuk.com No, I didn’t pay them to Vanity Publish! They’re all available from Amazon, and many other online publishers. LYN FUNNELL.