“25.34 BlueChain 1542”
A voice has been repeating itself over and over in my head yet I do not have the slightest clue whose voice is it. As much as I recall, I have been bearing the sight of no memory. Not sure since when though. In my brain, I have been looking right, left, front and back. Nothing.
I led my legs to carry me with no destination in sight while grasping to every inch of my energy. It may come to an end and when it does, I know I will leave this world remembering nothing at all. It scares me a little.
A large Lionel Messi poster is hanging on the wall. Right next to the wall is a small yellow-green field with some of the local kids playing soccer. I have my eyes upon the number 9 kid. Their goalkeeper stumbles after making a save. As his teammates are marching back to defend, he wipes the pouring sweat on his forehead with the back of his hand and peek at the poster before rushing back to support the defense. A determined smile. It is as though Lionel Messi has given wisdom to him on how to save his team. That’s what I saw on his face.
I look to the other away and I see the street’s name; Pamplona. From afar, a bustling bus appear out of the corner and it comes to a stop. Whilst my sight changes, the bus catches my interest right away when it rotates at its position, revealing its name concurrently as the side of the bus becomes more vivid. BizkaiBus.
“Fascinating” Some of the tourists commented as the bus stops rotating and it is now positioned 180 degree from where it was without making a U-Turn. It is an easy access turntable for buses at a congested area.
But I feel no admiration at all because it seems too familiar to me.
Some of the passengers disembark from the bus. Most of them are wearing white attire with a red piece of cloth wrapped around their head. One in particular, dumps his bus ticket into the trash bin but missed and it lands on the street instead. I pick it up and see the date; 07/07/2013.
“Mummy! Mummy! Why are there many people today at the street?”
“It’s the El Encierro, the bulls get a little freedom and they are led to the streets for a little run in the morning before they are put into fight in the afternoon. But these bulls are passionate and in high spirit. So they run with full energy as though they are being chased by ghosts! And there are people running in front of them guiding them on the routes.” A passionate lady explaining to her child.
A group of people are walking along the narrow road. From behind them, I witness a wave of white and red. I guess the colors resemble the El Encierro celebration.
In between the crowd, I see a group of cheerful ladies. Their laughter channels to my attention. And I can hear every tiny bits of their bliss as though they are only a distant away. It is refreshing.
El Encierro. Interesting.
“25.34 BlueChain 1542”
The voice visits in my conscience again. My frustration builds as I search and keep searching every corner of me to interpret the meaning of the now-seemed-a-meaningless-set-of-word and numbers.
“Vamos vamos a ir amigos” I am perplexed as I become carried away and without a choice, joining in the parade. One tourist is very excited with the atmosphere and shout “Come on, lets go, friends!”
The jolly laughter of the ladies accompanies me along the way as they were not so far ahead. Although I am trapped in a whirl of confusion, the laughter brings a little distraction.
A brochure slips from the pocket of a tourist who is standing away from the street. I pick it up. The El Encierro consists of 4 rocket blasts.
The first signals the opening of corral gate.
The second signals the release of 6 bulls.
The third & fourth signal the entire herd has entered the bullring and its corral respectively.
The average duration between the first and the fourth rocket is only 4 minutes. Eavesdropping, picking pieces dropped by people. My senses are working the extra mile to pick up information.
“Very well. As all it takes is only 4 minutes to end, I might as well enjoy it.” I thought
A giant clock on the wall is showing 8.00 a.m. The first rocket booms.
“I’ll just wait till the bulls are around the corner” I thought
The second rocket booms.
The minute I hear the screaming and cheering, I am too late to realize that I am in the way of the bull’s running route. At the corner, the people are running frantically towards me. One of the bulls manages to pass through a few people. I have left with no choice but to join in the run. Apparently, there are more panicking people and they are running a little more faster. I am now a little behind.
“I should catch up” I thought
I hear a rough breathing right next to me. I see the horn first and as the thumping from each running gets louder, the whole bull’s body appears. It is catching up with my speed and finally the sight changes with the bull speeding ahead of me while thrusting its head everywhere. The cheering from the crowd seems to make it more excited.
“The greatest curse of all is to die not knowing yourself” I thought
The cheering is getting ecstatic as the bulls pass by one by one. I see the faces of the crowd as they are focusing not at the front to catch a last glance of the bulls but at the back. I take a little peek. 2 bulls are charging towards me.
“This period of 4 minutes is sure seemed long” I thought
Before I can do anything, one of the bulls charge and collide with me. I fell hard and land at the side of the road.
“One has passed. Please just make another one pass by the same way.” I thought
Faith has put it that I will find my memory in a twirl twist. As when I am getting up, my whole body is being swept across the route in mid air. I find myself balancing in between two horns and bouncing on the bull’s head. The bull is in the state of restlessness. I am struggling to see the route ahead of us but my position is not allowing it. While the bull is thrusting its head everywhere, the sky seems near and far in distant.
“When this ends and if I die, will God just take my soul straight from the sky?” I thought
In a moment, I feel as though the air captures me from the bull and my sight shifts slowly from the sky to the crowd. Finally, the bull’s horns emerge in my eyes with full pride. But it is not passing through beneath me. In the end, I finally grasp my consciousness when the horns were zoomed into my eyes. The bull thrust its feet and thumps its glorious head to the air, to get rid of me. Eventually, the horns gore through me.
The third rocket booms.
I lay on the street as the medic team rushes towards me. They are trying to engage with me. But what is more soundly is the voice…
“25.34 BlueChain 1542”
It was a command.
7/7. That is the date today.
66. That is the house number and I was looking for the house before I become totally out of memory. Still clueless how.
Bluechain. It’s the access code.
Glimpses of pictures are running through my head. Those pair of hands is in every one of them. Some are with gloves while some are not. All are tainted with fresh red blood. Ways and instruments that are used to force the life out of those people; I remember each and every one of them. At this junction, this time the victim is me myself, taken away by a pair of horns.
“Perhaps, the greatest curse maybe that one knows everything at the end.” I thought
The medic team tries their level best to restore me who is falling apart; inside out. My body is being carried into the ambulance. But I know the better and I chuckled as my last breath draw nearer.
The fourth rocket booms.
This story is purely fictional and may contain certain facts which have been inserted to suit the story line The brochure contents are an added information of which were taken from El Encierro’s article in Wikipedia.