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

Saturday, September 13, 2008

26. Blood-Donor

Being O-Negative and CMV-Negative, his blood is positively desired, although nothing in his blood improves his knowledge of what CMV-Negative or O-Negative mean.

The donation-room is quiet. It holds faint traces of blood-ritual awe from epochs when blood not science was exalted and people with insatiable blood-lust and melodramatics attempted to sate an invisible but much-named, much-certified realm with blood.

His heart pumps doggedly. Elsewhere ill babies sleep in the presence of their lords.

"We use your blood for babies," the woman in charge of needles tells him, and someone records on a chart how many pints the place has drawn that day of baby-friendly blood.

The opaque bag darkens deeply red with his corpuscular tithing. The darkness of red's blood always surprises him once more. His blood in a bag fascinates him. It doesn't seem like his when it's in the bag, and he's lying on the donation-bed looking at it.

On some unknown day, he will unknowingly pass in the street a former baby and current adult to whom his blood was once distributed. There will be a certain sameness coursing through strangers, a certain godly ignorance preventing either person from being alert to a most pragmatic communion, all the more reason, oddly enough, to offer thanks to something holier.

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