Describe your first brush with danger

Describe your first brush with danger

A Story by Alex Ware

When I was growing up, I saw a book on a shelf in my brothers room called "The Writers Block" by Jason Rekulak. It's a little book shaped like a cube (or block if you will), with each page...


...offering a suggestion on something to write about. I always told myself I'd go through each page in that book until I reached the end as a little project. Lately I've been sick to death of writing and how pointless it seems and I needed something to get me started up again, so I've started with the first page. It just says: "Describe your first brush with danger."

Describe your first brush with danger

As I start on this, I realise I've never had a brush with danger. I've spent most of my life in relative safety, even half a lifetime of heavy alcohol abuse has never put me in harms way beyond putting wind in the sails towards the inevitable voyage to death.

So I'm not sure what to write on this point. All the brushes with danger I'm aware of have happened to other people. The first one that comes to mind is my brother, on a family holiday when we were kids, coming fairly close to falling off the edge of a cliff. I wasn't there though, so I don't remember it and don't remember processing it. I think my dad came to get him so it turned out ok.

Another one I can think of is when I was “teaching English” in the north of Spain. At the time I was living with another one of the teachers and we were pretty heavily in our wine. It was a sleepy town, with little to do after work but head to a nearby bar to eat pinchos and drink locally made cheap red wine until the sun set and the lonely cold of the October day no longer bothered us.

Anyway another teacher at work found out how much we liked to drink, since it wasn't exactly a well kept secret. He was an older man who'd long settled into the area and married one of his students, and was a kind man and an excellent teacher. I thought about how nice it must have been to be able to get on with work so well and be so firmly established, in a way that one often yearns for in ones early twenties when nothing seems to make any sense and you wish someone would explain what you're supposed to do.

He would sometimes make trips to a nearby village a short drive away to pick up boxes of wine from a bodega there. To describe it now it sounds like the wine was cheap, but it was flavourful, rich and warming in the way good red wine usually is. It didn't have the tart tackiness or the promise of tectonic hangovers you'd get for the same price in the UK.

We picked something up, I don't remember what it was called exactly. It doesn't matter to the story at all, since we wouldn't drink it until later when we'd rip through the box over the course of a few weeks.

After we picked up the wine we went to kinda just hang out in the village. I don't remember much of what it was like, but it was probably an old village of simple roads, clay coloured buildings with kids running between them, and leathery old men who had been born and would die in the village without seeing any reason to head anywhere else.

The point is, we'd visited on a day when a running of the bulls was taking place. I don't know if the trip had been arranged with that in mind, but there it was. It was myself, one teacher about my age, the older guy and his wife, and a giant crowd of all the locals and anyone from nearby towns with nothing better to do. Most of the streets were protected by barriers, so unless you were looking for danger you were pretty safe. People would jump over the barriers as the young bulls stormed through the open routes, obviously scared and likely submitted to some cruelty beforehand to get them a little riled up.

For some reason, presumably wanting to be involved in something, the older teacher decided to jump over the barrier just as one of the bulls reared its head close to us, manically and without purpose. I didn't see it directly, but one of its horns slashed the teachers leg open at the side of the calf. To be honest, he seemed fine, but I wonder if he was downplaying how bad the injury was. His wife chastised him on the entire walk back to the car, kept calling him an idiot and so on.

That's pretty much it. I wish I had my own story to tell but I've had a pretty boring life.

© 2021 Alex Ware

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Added on June 5, 2021
Last Updated on June 5, 2021
Tags: Danger


Alex Ware
Alex Ware

Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

Hi all I'm an I.T professional and student living in Oxford who enjoyed writing when I was younger, and want to explore those abilities again. I'd love to work towards collections of longer stor.. more..

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