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, August 11, 2017

266. As If You Were Different from Them

You're in a forest, so weary you wedge yourself in the hollow of an old-growth red cedar tree. You sleep deeply and wake to black darkness.  You hear raccoons and foxes, coyotes and bobcats--they're all commuting to work.

You climb out of the tree and stand in a city: noise, rain, crowds, stench, neon, fluorescence, larceny, fraud.  You're leaning on a metal light-pole.  And now you remember: it took years but the city finally broke you by revealing how absurd it is.  You saw how you'd betrayed yourself by living, working, there.  You began to suffer spells, every day, so that you might find yourself on a sidewalk when your mind takes off and flees to a forest, sleeps in a tree, and leaves you looking quite mad.  "Disoriented," they call it, although your state has nothing to do with East.

You know none of the people passing by.  They stare at you as if you were different from them. Your struggling scares them momentarily.

hans ostrom 2017

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