Spent the morning working from a coffee shop. I was feeling hip and fresh.
I came home and was going to whip up a sammich for lunch and then get back to work.
Opened the bread to make the sammich and then had to go and bring the puppy back in the house. Eli had "accidentally" let him out. Oh well. I bring the dog in and return to the kitchen.
I got the ham and swiss laid out on the bread. Then I get called back out because Eli let the dog out again. Bring the dog and Eli in this time.
Back to making the sammich. It was taking longer than planned (something like 8 minutes had elapsed) but it was gonna be gooooood. I proceeded to drop some succulent bean sprouts onto my delicious lunch creation.
Panicked shouts from the living room.
"Curtis and Eli are peeing in the front yard!"
This just won't do.
I go and bring the boys in and deliver a fatherly lecture on the right and wrong times and places to pee outside. I send them to their room to clean it up. Super dad.
Super hungry dad.
I get back to the kitchen to finish making the sammich.
The dog ate the sammich.
There was no answer.
Though drenched with sweat, the summer heat was no match for the desperation of a father for his son. Racing through the field, the leaves on the cornstalks met Gustavo's skin like slender green blades. He didn't even notice the pain as he closed the gap between himself and where he had last seen his son.
As he burst free from field where he toiled, he nearly toppled over the children. Julio's playmates were frantic. Tears streamed down their faces carrying the the dust of the pasture from their eyes. Gustavo hardly halted for a second.
He had already heard their cries from a long distance off, and he had heard the cry of his son.
The pasture wasn't far now. Gustavo's heart filled with a mixture of fear, love and rage as his eyes settled on the dark shape ahead beside the fence row.
Cavernous black eyes laced with red veins met the eyes of the overwhelmed father. The now giant bull that he had raised from a calf stood above the limp, bloodied figure lying in the dust.
The cry was one of desperation. The thunder of the hooves behind him surely drowned out his small voice. He glanced to his right and for a brief moment felt relief at the sight of his friends sliding under the fence to safety.
"This shouldn't be," the primal thoughts that raced through Julio's mind told him. The animal must have broken free from its paddock and entered the previously empty pasture that was the children's playground for the day.
It happened suddenly. The great horn hooked his light frame and sent him hurtling through the hazy air. The scene of the pasture swirled around him. Then the crunch of his back against the fencepost and the taste of blood and dirt in his mouth.
Before he could recover the hooves and horns of the great beast met him with blow after crushing blow. No more cries he made, only the involuntary sounds of air being forced from his now-beaten body.
The pain blanketed him like the heat from the midday sun blanketed the countryside.
"I'm finished," he barely thought as consciousness mercifully began to depart him. Darkness was closing in all around.
A terrible sound tore across the pasture and reached the ears of the fading child. It was familiar to him. Again it sounded, cutting through the darkness of his consciousness like a sickle through wheat. Rather than adding to his misery, the deafening sound comforted Julio.
His father had arrived.
Before the first shells were finished dancing in the dust near his feet, Gustavo unleashed another round upon the treasured animal, now turned murderer. It reared away in fear and pain and stumbled to the ground a short distance from the child. The nearby ground shook as the great beast fell to the dust.
Casting his weapon aside, Gustavo cleared the fence and was at once by the side of his son.
Julio felt the whole world begin to shake, as visions of the farm where he lived flashed before his eyes. With his final act of consciousness before slipping into the darkness, he realized that he was in the arms of his father, who was rushing him off to undoubted safety.