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, March 30, 2012

199. We Use Deep Blue . . .

We use deep blue to tell a desert canyon's depth at twilight. --Use warm red to remark upon a last sliver of dusk visible through haze, clouds, or diluted fog. --Use green to see where refugee groups of trees have survived that onslaught of our colorless phenomenon: development. --Use yellow so often for caution that now we see daffodils as warning: Here comes another Spring, which we'll fill with our history.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

198. Of Buzzwad Carsatchel

Buzzwad Carsatchel, CEO of Schmoozel Embroglios, LLC, is golfing with enormous marketers and marketeers who sweat scotch whiskey.

He hates them.

He hates golf.

He pulls out an enormous pistol and shoots it at turtles in a water-trap, also known as a pond.  He misses.  The turtles slip into the water.

The marketers and marketeers laugh.  "It's not funny!" he cries.

He throws the gun into the water. His wealth and all he traded for it have tracked him all the way to this humid, hissing golf course.  The world goes red, tilts.  Buzzwad 'Buzz' Carsatchel is experience a "heart event."

He lies down on the hot green grass.  It sweats. He sweats.  The marketers and marketeers madly phone.  They drip scotch-whiskey sweat on Buzzwad Carsatchel's ashen face.

Buzz remembers something about a lecture on the topic of absurdity, a lecture by a philosophy professor in his second year of college.

Buzzwad Carsatchel believes he hears the sirens he believes will save him.

197. Fate's Like That

I was walking down a country road. Dry yellow grass hissed on both sides of that road.  Heat gave the scene of trees and farms a vibrating cinnamon hue.

--Came upon a fellow playing blues harmonica on his porch, a glass of lemonade at his feet, red threads apparent in his overalls.

"Sir, have you seen my fate?" I asked.

He paused his playing, wiped his mouth with a flannel sleeve.  Men who wear flannel in the heat are to be respected, I have learned.

"It's right behind you," he said. I turned and look. Nothing.

"Oh! It moved," he said. "It's up ahead."

I looked up ahead. Nothing.

"Fate's like that," the man said. "Always slipping past you.  His brown eyes were red-rimmed.  "You thirsty?" he asked.

"Yes, sir," I said.

"Well, then, it seems your fate, which is here, is to drink lemonade on this porch with me. Come up."

"Thank you, sir," I said. Fate's like that.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

196. Those Bluejean Shorts

Those bluejean shorts, cut to the crotch, you wore that summer: I've sent the memory of them to my Hall of Recall Fame. There's going to be an induction ceremony, where I will speak about your brown legs, the red thread in the bluejean shorts, the shadow in your belly's button, what lay north of that, what lay south, what happened to those back pockets when your buttocks filled them, how we lay in all directions as the swamp-cooler rumbled and as little black waves of spinning vinyl delivered tunes we thought might cool our heat eventually.

It'll be a short speech at the induction ceremony.  But O my darling, the memory of you, of us, of heat, of those bluejean shorts you cut to the crotch, how "crotch" was never a crude word between us, how I--this is not too strong--worshiped your brown legs and your crotch when you took off the shorts and the bright, white panties.  O my darling, O.

195. R&B (Sex Is Clumsy)

Sex is clumsy. Everybody knows that,
especially the ones who portray it
otherwise: Hollywood, Harlequin,
Playboy . . . It's an awkward comedy,
part of its charm. We can overcome

the clumsiness--part of its grace.
Hey, look, it's a list of kisses, strokes,
talk, tastings, fittings of bodies, of
minds, of pleasures. Such elements
assemble. They're the improv troupe
of sex. And it's all right, it's good,
even very good. Great?

Well, sex is probably better
when it's good, not great.
Anyway, for now, let's talk
of something else (or not talk)
and sip red wine, maybe smoke
some weed, and listen to R&B.

Copyright 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

194. Old Kisser of Women's Toes

There is an old, lascivious man in our village who sits on sidewalks and beside park-paths in the sunshine. Some of the young (and not so young) women know all about him, and they come up to him and stand.  He rouses himself from lethargy, gets on his knees, and kisses their toes protruding from sandals.  Some women take their shoes off for this service.

Often the women visit him in pairs or trios, and after he kisses their toes, they giggle and scamper away.  If they try to give him money, he refuses.  More than once he has said, "I'm neither a prostitute nor a destitute man. This is a hobby, and my gift to you. And to me."  He's oddly formal, this old man. But this doesn't keep him from savoring details, such as the color of paint on toes, a tender hammer-toe, a wee tattoo, the angle of the big toe, and so on.

At twilight the man often lies on a bench and sleeps deeply like a beast. I know because I am he.  No doubt this hobby of mine disgusts you. Technically, it's not a fetish, as I don't get aroused.  Difficult as it may be to believe this, I see this activity as a community service and a whimsy of my twilit years.

Last night as I was still dozing, one of the women left a red rose on my chest as I slept.

Later her husband--who had been spying on her--came and threatened to beat me up. He was at least 30 years my junior and in excellent shape.

I told him to go home and kiss his wife's body, starting with her brown toes, which, I said, had that lovely ruby paint on them today.  Hers are sweet toes, yes, coated with the finest summer dust, like pollen. By the way, for those of you obsessed with hygiene, I do rinse my mouth between toe-kissings. I hope this fact eases your concern.

Anyway, the husband's concern was not eased. That is, he knocked me down.  A few decades ago, I might have written, "He hit me in the kisser."  He left.  I lay and looked at the starts for a while, smelled the dew, listened to the complaints of a frog. I shivered, got up, found the red rose, and went home.

In the bath-water, I thought, not so much of the toes and kissing them, or even of the feet, but of the smiles of the women and their laughter.  Yes, I'm a lascivious old man, living in a village, looked at warily by police, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, and partners.  I am a toe-kisser with a bruised face.