About Red Tales

Here's an evolving electronic collection of short prose pieces, with a poem contributed occasionally. Brevity guides. Although sometimes a piece will run to 900 words, most pieces are much shorter. Here one may find erotica, flash fiction, brief observations, and modest improvisations. Another rule is that each piece must have something to do with"red"; at least the word has to appear in each piece functionally. . . . All pieces are numbered and titled, so there's a de facto table of contents running down the rail below, under "Labels" (scroll down a bit). Browse for titles that look interesting, if you like. Thank you for stopping by. Look for some red today, tonight.

"Flaming June," by Frederick Lord Leighton

"Flaming June," by Frederick Lord Leighton

Friday, August 15, 2008

3. Red Zaley

Some reflections, then, on a man who was likeable in his unlikeableness. Some reflections on Red Zaley.

Whose epidermis was angry.

Whose will was a kind of red pachyderm.

Who lived next to a graveyard, indeed the only graveyard in the town.

Who hired a man and the man’s brother to build hundreds of feet of stone walls, walls which became provincially palatial in contrast to the tacky shackiness of Red Zaley’s house.

Whose house seemed glum at best.

Who suspected everyone of plots against him.

Who became more facially red when drinking bourbon.
Who drank bourbon.

Whose property-line abutted that of the town’s graveyard.

Whose inflamed, suspicious, retaliatory concept of private property gave pallbearers pause as they packed their solemn cargo along the route of the graveyard fence, breathing more easily once inside the cemetery line, funereal circumstances somehow less threatening than Red Zaley and his angry potentialities.

It is too much but also pleasant to say that God was wary of, very wary of, Red Zaley, that even the Devil, that indiscriminate recruiter, regarded Red Zaley, ruddy virtuoso of ill temper and stone borders, as better left alone.

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