new flash fiction, (c) 2012 by C. N. Nevets
I dropped the scarlet nail polish into my purse and took a sip of red pop that I had poured into a ruby-tinted glass. I swirled a cherry lollipop through a container of red velvet yogurt and lift it up to my burgundy lips. Licking the lollipop clean, I then gestured broadly with it. "All these things taste the same."
"They do?" he asked.
I nodded. "They taste red."
"Red," he said. Then he added, "Red's not a flavor." Then, thinking twice about the dogmatic tone he'd chosen he further appended, "Is it?"
"It is," I affirmed. I licked my lips. I ran a fingernail across my tongue. "It all tastes red."
"You mean cherry?" he asked. Stupidly, I would add.
"No, I mean red."
He was chain smoking. He always chain smoked when he was pissed off. A curtain of smoke hung between us, birthed from his lips and anchored by the ash try I had made him in rehab. He lit a new one from the stub he was about to drop.
I said, "Red's a flavor. All these things taste the same. They don't taste like anything else. Just red."
He blew a long stream of smoke while he stared at the ash tray. I had crafted it in the crude shape of an apple and painted it a bold, enticing crimson. After a few moments of slow, laborious breathing, he chain-lit a new cigarette. He took a puff.
I watched closely. "Did you cut yourself?" I asked.
There was a trickle of blood on his lower lip.
"Papercut," he said simply. He shrugged. I couldn't see his face clearly through all the smoke.
I bent through the smoke and pressed my lollipop to the cut on his lips. I kissed his mouth softly, smearing my lipstick on him.
When I broke the kiss, I took the lollipop and retreated back to the fair side of the haze.
He licked his lips.
"Tastes red," he said.