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

Thursday, September 11, 2008

24. Panic

The panicked may feel flushed, but panic is not red; it is a mottled gray.

There is no safe place on Earth, the panicked person feels.

Habits, beliefs, confidences, wisdom, plans, powers, hope, strategies, adaptations, faith, will: all vacate the premises of the panicked, who themselves are premised then solely on their incapacities. The anvil is lowered on the chest. Breath becomes disloyal.

Perspiring, the panicked plead with an abyss, negotiate with mute walls, desire to burrow, curl up, and sleep.

Sometimes all that rescue from panic takes is a smile; other times, a tiny pill from a red-orange bottle brings a message to the brain. The message says, "Take it easy." Sometimes suffering is both condition and antidote.

Look at the panicked person. She wipes her brow with a red bandana. She waits for a deep breath. She looks at the red bandana. She finds it to be a humorous piece of cloth. She smiles. She breathes.

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