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, January 9, 2009

53. Out of Work

Don't ask me. I just used to work here.

From here, behind the chained gate, I can see the locked doors. Management wants to make sure we can't get in there to produce something.

"Here's your two-weeks-notice," said the manager, "but it's retroactive, so goodbye." After he fired the last of us, he got a call from Corporate, and someone told him to turn the labeling-gun on himself, so he was priced to move, too, as they say.

Now Corporate's declared bankruptcy. Corporate is In The Red. Our pension-fund is nowhere. Where does all the money go? Nowhere. I mean, it stays right where it always was, like the pea in the shell-game, already pocketed before the game begins. There's nothing there for us to understand, my friend, my former co-worker. Somebody always wants it all or has it all and wants to keep it . The rest of us work for a living, until they take the job away, but sometimes we come to the work-site anyway, just to have a look.

I tell you, it's a mystery to me. I'm just another former employee, and I have to go find myself a job.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

52. Past Lives

According to Donnie Portobello, her past-life therapist, she had been one of Cleopatra's courtesans, a Medieval midwife, and the mistress of a captain who fought at Waterloo, for example.

She knew Donnie was just making up shit, but he was so bad at it, she felt sorry for him and continued taking the sessions until he quit the practice to find a job in retail.

She wasn't opposed to the concept of past lives. She just wished she'd learned something, anything, from each of those lives that might help her live this one, which seemed to be the only one she knew for sure she'd live, ever.

She wondered whether her life were going to be the past of life of someone in the future. If so, she reckoned she wouldn't mind writing out things she'd been learning about this life or leaving the person a keepsake, such as one of her grandmother's pieces of ornate jewelry--the garnet ring, for instance.