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Red Light

by Selena Jardine

I sat with my feet up on the desk, waiting for my two o'clock appointment. There was a worried group around the water cooler, secretaries and typists. They all said the boss's axe-man was in town, cutting jobs like deadwood. They said he was vicious. I wasn't worried. I was necessary, even in the ruthless world of Grandma's Cookie Company. There was no way they would fire me, not Philip Marcheloup.

Then my appointment stood in the doorway, hands on the frame. Red dress, fire-engine red, with gold buttons down the front. Creamy freckled tits showing in the deep opening of the dress. Long slender legs. Red shoes. Pale, freckled fingers. Long, gleaming red nails the color of stoplights. And a spill of hair like nothing I had ever seen. In the glow of the lights, it was the color of poppy, the color of flame, the color of blood or wine. I said nothing.

She came toward me, sat on the desk, slowly raised the hem of her dress. She was a natural redhead, with thighs the color of living cream.

“What?” I said.

“Into the woods, Philip,” she said. I couldn't resist such a tasty morsel. I leaned forward and kissed her poppy-red bush, then treated myself to a long, luxurious lick.

“What a lovely tongue you have,” she said.

“The better to eat you with,” I told her.

An enormous voice said from the doorway, “What the hell is this?”

I raised my head, my tongue hanging out, my face covered with her sticky scent, and saw a huge man standing in the doorway.

“Hi, honey,” said Red. “Meet Philip. Philip, meet my husband, the axe-man.”

A setup. I had suddenly quit being necessary, all for a goddamn redhead.

I threw back my head and howled.


This flash story was inspired by some work Desdmona was doing. She asked me what modern-day stories I could think of that were based on myth or fairy tales. My mind started to wander... So thanks, Des, for a wandering mind, and for editorial suggestions.

September, 2002

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