The Naked Bull

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A Devil. A Witch. A Man. And the Dream of Home

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The Naked Bull

A Novel by

Mark R. Stevens

The Naked Bull

Copyright © 2020 Mark R. Stevens

All characters in this book are fictitious and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

All rights reserved.

This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Cover art by Victoria Borodinova

For Paul


The Owl and the Prince

The Night Owl, scanning the barren landscape below, came upon The Prince of the Power of the Air, squatting bare naked in the sands of time. Alighting on the limb of a bleached bone tree, branches lifeless and threadbare, she forced her tearing eye upon the wraith. His knees drawn to chest; one bony hand gripped a shoulder, the other draped across a drawn and grimy face, one finger apart from the rest, exposing a blood-stained eye peering out in abject disillusion; a forgotten stone at the bottom of a disregarded well. As she sat perched on the slender branch gazing down upon the once angel, the Owl gathered her wits.

“Well,” scolded the dark raptor, “Aren’t we a sight,” she rattled, sure he had heard her for the barb of his once promiscuous tail betrayed him, having quite the mind of its own at times. Laying flaccid and forgotten, it twitched suddenly, jarred from its melancholy by her abuse, though words came not.

“Have you lost your tongue as well?” she screeched, growing impatient. A voice rose from hollow depths, to form words on a most clinging tongue

“I have abandoned hope.”

The Owl smirked.

“The wallowing fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.”

“Your Psalms are of no use here, my love.”

“And you are of no use to me,” the night owl spread her wings and crouched in preparation of flight.

“Wait!” begged the Prince, “What then are we to do?” he pleaded

“We?” wrenched the bird from her beak, “You must have a rat wriggling in your scrawny ass for surely you do not toss me in your lot with that…whatever you call him these days.”

The Prince bowed his head. The Owl grimaced at the pathetic sight. Yet still, she held some heart for his plight and so offered a plan.

“We will lay your petition before him. We will demand an audience. You will be heard!” she screeched.

“He will not listen, will not deign to acknowledge our existence. He blames me for what was your doing!”

The Night Owl became indignant.

“I merely beat you to the tree! It was nothing you had not begun in that pointy head of yours.”

The Prince tired of this bickering, knowing his accomplice spoke the truth. The Owl felt for the beast then and offered a plot.

“Then we must find a messenger, an ambassador from among his precious tribe. He listens to them, does he not?”

The Prince was not so quickly tempered.

“He sows promise and reaps worship; the chaff most easily discarded. And in case you haven’t been taking notes, that would be me...and you…”

“Then sit in your dung until your tail rots off! I say forget this nonsense!”

The Prince shook his barren head.

“I cannot, my dear. And might I add, though your tits are pert and your ass divine, neither can you. You know this to be true!”

The Night Owl thought.

“So then, oh great love of mine. Just what might be the test of such a soul?”

The Prince rubbed his grimy face. Oh, but yes, the criteria.

“First and foremost, he must have no fear.”

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