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

Monday, December 15, 2008

51. Rowers in the Blood

Vagabonds, bound to a remorseless way, pull Will's vessel across gray oceanic fate.

The chieftain roars orders in fog, curses rowers, who are mapless, hopeless, ragged, stuporous, and rank. Absurdly, they are also certain. Pulling oars, they know they will hit land or death or both eventually. They are sure of their hatred for the one yelling. They know exactly how and why duty pulled them away from their village, their kin.

As tough as salt and oars make their hands, their hands will bleed red, darkening the oars.

Do you hear them? They row now in your blood when you are most coldly determined to go on, obstacles be damned, everything but the going, the way, be damned. Vagabonds. Bound to the way, bound to persist.

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