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, January 30, 2012

186.That Town's Whistle

After the railroad company stopped sending trains through that town, the tracks got overwhelmed with red rust, gray grass, black brush, and green trees.

The townspeople eventually purchased a a big whistle--a horn, actually--that sounded like a train because almost everyone missed that sound.

Now people take turns.  One person goes down there one night a year and makes the horn make that sound. The horn is housed in a little shed, with ventilation to let the sound out.

Oh, now, if the train could only hear that sound, maybe the train would return.  But--no, it's been gone too long. It's too far away. In the town's imagination, the train passes through an eternal red-rock desert, hauling its steel boxes of freight to the lip of an abyss, unloading.

Friday, January 27, 2012

185. Migraine

After doing carpentry or carrying hod for 8 hours in summer Sierra heat, I'd sometimes know a migraine headache, which announced itself with a red curtain behind the eyes.

I'd go home and lie on the floor of a room built of concrete blocks: cool and dark: eyes ready to scream at any hint of light, head warning, "Don't move me."  Sometimes the headache subsided slowly, leaving a grudge behind, a thumping reminder. Sometimes I'd see an aura--white, tinges of yellow, faint threads of red....

...And the ache then would burst, eyes going grainy, sandy, and relaxed.  By then all the evening birds were singing, and swallows--black coats, rust-colored breasts--swooped gloriously over the pond as sunset came.

184. Sir Realism

Sir Realism, Knight of the Spherical Table, quested for pleasure, loved to watch orange of carrot vanish once it touched the elaborate mechanism of his horse's mouth, enjoyed kissing the red tongue of the queen. Self-knighted, he disliked juxtaposition of monarchy on the vibrant blur of masses.  One night a star morphed into a golden spoon and swooped to Earth.

Sir Realism, armored in found objects, jumped aboard the spoon, applauded frogs and their croaked chorus in luxuriant dew, and embarked--became a levitated image in someone's dream of a dream.