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

Sunday, August 23, 2009

78. Sedan In the Manzanita

In the brush just below the Buttes Road, someone abandoned an old Ford sedan. Yes, a steel car sat in manzanita.

Who? Why? We didn't ask those questions. We rode by. No one ever towed the car. The thing became a fact. Brush has overwhelmed and hidden it. Fabric and tires disappear fast. Soon, we guess, it all gets down to the chassis.

Oxidation works away. Its shifts run round the clock. Red iron seeks red clay.

Was it by accident or design the car came to rest, to disintegrate, there? Design and accident both, maybe, not either/or. Also, after enough seasons of sun and snow, accident becomes design, you know, and design begins to seem improvised if not haphazard. When, who, what, why, and how leach into the where at which a steel frame comes to rest.

You can't see it from the road now, even if you could find the road and the place below. No, you'd have to know already it was there, and you'd look at the brush, and you might think, yes, yes I think that's the place, all right. All right.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

77. Pun Debt

I want to take a notion cruise, perhaps visit a dessert aisle?

I should like to explore cites of hysterical importance.

I have wonderlust, it seems, a need to sea the whirl and sale the seize.

Ultimately, I shall compost a travel-log, marmolize my daze for posteriority in hoops my words shall be widely red.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

75. Mountain Goat

Look: out of these words pops a mountain goat. White and horned, it stands on a blue ledge in Montana.

Consider the image an entertainment, if you like, one that's free.

You may enjoy it as you will, flipping it like a coin, arranging it with other images, letting it go like one red blossom fallen from a tree.

The image of the mountain goat belongs to you, you see. You see.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

74. Black Rectangle, Red Signal

He kept the television off because he discovered a television off is a large black rectangle in a room and as such holds more interest than what the television is given by the Flow Factory to spray into the rooms of Viewers.

So every evening he watched Black Rectangle. He imagined, thought, and wondered.

Ensuing days found him pretending the black rectangle went with him on his life's wee routes. When his boss was bossing him, he conjured the black rectangle just above the boss's head.

On the Metro, he pretended the black rectangle sat with him in weariness, silence, and a new-found bemusement.

Ah, but the the black rectangle always displayed one tiny red dot, an electronic mole on its sleek epidermis, a signal the television was always ready to be Powered Up.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

73. Continuous Soft Hits

A voice from the car-radio promises "continuous soft hits," and I imagine a boxing match featuring cartoonishly large red gloves stuffed with eider down.

Another voice declares traffic to be a mess "no matter what direction you're headed." As usual, the car and I are headed forward, yet traffic is not a mess, and how does the possessor of the voice know where I am headed?

I wish another voice on the radio would explain how radio works. It's something to do with electrons and frequencies, but I fear I'll never understand, and I long for the voice of Marconi.

I change "stations," and loud voices of two men bicker. Neither voice will define terms, banish bad analogies, resist the temptation to interrupt, or sustain nuanced argumentation, and now I begin to wonder whether the radio's inhabited by entry-level demons.

I wonder also why radio is still around, now that more highly evolved creatures of electronic digitechnics have left in a quaint, pitiable state.

Why indeed am I directing my automobile forward, listening to radio, when I could be an avatar, a hologram, an astral body?

A voice on the radio urges "me" to "hurry" because "the offer" is "for a limited time only" and "certain restrictions apply," but alas I seek eternal offers with uncertain restrictions, offers toward which I may amble sluggishly. I want to tell the radio it is, though dear to me, unsatisfactory. The automobile, the radio, and I stop behind a white line beneath a red traffic-light.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

72. Glow

You said it would be red, and you were right. You were correct about its redness.

How did you know the glow in question would be crimson? You were so sure, did not demur, yet did not lord your knowledge over us, us the we who were so misinformed about the color of the thing caught in a crossfire of perception.

You knew red would be revealed, and so you said so. That is the way to go, indeed, when indubitably you know. You know?