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

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

265. Grace and I

I am the bull charging toward me. Grace is the red cape and the sidestep. I am the boulder in the middle of my road. Grace is ways around. I am the iron door locked. Grace is removable hinges. I am the long, bad winter. Grace is April. I am accident. Grace is pattern.  I am pattern. Grace is serendipity. I am full. Grace, empty. I am empty. Grace?



hans ostrom 2017

264. The Placers

I would thank them but I don't know
how to contact them--the ones
who have placed books where I'd
find them at just the right time
over the years. In childhood, the
affordable hardbacks, Westerns,
on the family bookshelf, published
by E.P. Dutton and Doubleday,
red, blue, or green colors, wispy-
light pulpy pages, always an illustration
or two.  The Complete
Sherlock Holmes at age 15,
The Fire Next Time at 17, Snow
Country at 19, and so on. Most
recently, the Collected Stories
of Marquez. Each one adjusted

my perspective, often jolted it.
The secret network of book-placers
is vast, superbly trained, and precise.
Sometimes they enlist parents.
Usually it just seems like serendipity.

Oh, yes, I've tried to place books
myself, as a friend, a parent, a teacher.
Clumsy, amateurish, inconsistently
effective.  I hope one day to visit
the headquarters of the Secret
Book Placers International and
get the proper training.


hans ostrom 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

263. Tiger in the Light

Tonight a tiger's in the light. A windstorm leaves red rose petals on frozen lakes. An old man finally gives up thinking he's younger than he is and locks up remnants of his lust. Overcome with relief, he weeps as he waits for public transportation. But enough about all that: what I really wanted to tell you is that I've never seen an angel. This is an important fact because I want very much to see one.  See an angel, there, in reality.