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, November 27, 2015

247. The Duty

Her foot moved on the carpet, a swift brushing step. The big toe's nail gleamed, deep burgundy polish. I stared at the toenail as she spoke: "My first hike was near Ashville, North Carolina. They led us he lup a mountain, and we stopped, looked around. We walked back the same way, and I thought, 'Okay--that's it?'" I raised my eyes. She stood naked above, well most her body did. She held a glass of red wine. She smiled wisely after observing me admiring her pudendum, which is a strange word, by the way. Her eyes told me that knew precisely how many men in history had gazed upward like that at naked women. Modern cultural criticism has some things to say about "the male gaze," as you no doubt know. Except that sort of thing didn't seem to fit with what I was doing, not that I wish to evade responsibility. And no, it wasn't some sort of BDSM thing, which isn't my thing, but more power to them, or to half of them, I guess. No, as I stared up at her and admired the light on her body and her physical and psychic composure, and feeling her warmth in the warmth of the room, and seeming to melt into her abdomen, or whatever, the thing is it happens all at once, these sorts of moments; well, anyway, it seemed a necessary and sufficient activity, staring up at her, like an acolytes's duty. Soon I would be promoted above acolyte and join the admirable woman in embrace as an equal but of course not really, not really equal: it is what some men a born knowing about women--that women are more, and individual women are more in their individuated ways.

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