Ramon Sees Red

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Ramon Sees Red

Ramon, third-generation matador want-to-be, carefully donned the waistcoat of his great-grandfather’s traje de luces. Clutching the muleta under his left armpit and a single banderillo in his right hand, he ran out the door in pursuit of his prey.

The neighbor boy had called and reported seeing Diablo, the Disperser, running like a banshee in the backyard again.

The Disperser had won the last battle.

It had cost Ramon two days of school (not that he had minded that), and three evenings of soccer practice (that he did mind) and three consecutive nightly hour-long soaks in a tomato juice bath.

Between the evils of a bath, and the forced absence of soccer practice, Ramon was not in a forgiving mood.

His mother had been horrified when Ramon entered the house after the first battle with Diablo.

He knew he stunk.

But the way she ran away from him… screaming never-before-spoken words…

For that, he would never forgive The Disperser.

His father had laughed.

In fact, every time his dad had replenished the bathwater on the back porch with another gallon of heated tomato juice, he had had a renewed fit-of-laughter.

After the third evening of baths (at least now he was allowed in the house facilities), his father had sat him down and they had the talk.

Not, thank the heavens, the one about birds-and-the-bees. But the one about when life hands you lemons, make lemonade?

He wasn’t real sure what lemonade had to do with bathing in tomato juice, but his dad had been very serious in the tone of his voice and the seriousness of his message.

Ramon tried to grasp the jest of the lesson.

Find the hidden truth.

Make right the wrong.

Slay the dragon.

Maybe the ‘Slay the dragon’ was just the inner- Ramon wanting out of the tomato-bath to rise and a fight again.

The Inner-Ramon straightened his spine.

There were unforgiveable wrongs to right!


Traje de luces: The traje de luces[1] (‘suit of lights’) is the traditional clothing that Spanish bullfighters. (Wikipedia)

Muleta: A muleta is a stick with a red cloth hanging from it that is used in the final third (tercio de muleta or de muerte) of a bullfight. It is different from the cape used by the matador earlier in the fight (capote de brega). (Wikipedia)

Banderillo: Banderilla most often refers to the colorfully decorated and barbed sticks used in bullfighting. (Wikipedia)

Written for Writer’s Digest Flash Fiction February Challenges: Challenge #3 Today’s prompt is to write something that incorporates the color red.

Written for Flash Fiction for the Practical Practitioner: Week #3. 

“I Wouldn’t Marry You If…”

Her World

“I Wouldn’t Marry You If…”

“We’ve been together since Kindergarten,” he said. “I know we’ve had our ups-and –downs… Every couple does. But through thick-and-thin you’ve always stood-by-your-man.”

“Clichés upon clichés. I know you’re a songwriter and that’s in your nature. But that’s all we’ve become,” I responded. “I used to believe sincerely that opposites-do-attract. We had that going for us.”

“We still do,” he pleaded.

“Well, we are opposites that don’t!. I’m a one-woman-man. I will not be disrespected by your lady-in-every-port perception of a grand-old-time. Once-a-cheater-Always a cheater.”

“”I’ll change.” He was on his knees, begging.

“Then you can go and work on changing and leave me alone. Momma always said, ‘Sweetheart-there-are-plenty-of-fish-in-the-sea. Why do you have to stick with the first one you caught?”

“But what about ‘Love-conquers-all’?”

He was persistent. I’ll give him that. I suspect that’s one of the things I’d always found so attractive about him. That, and he was a hunk!  “No.” I handed him back the ring. “I will not marry you. I want you to leave. Now.”

“But, sweetems…”

“No! They say that ‘Love is blind.’ I have been blind for far too long. Your life’s pursuit of love-the-one-you’re-with’ will not cut it.”

I tried to pull my foot from him to leave …. He was prostrate grasping it. “I love you. I always come back to you. You know I do. Those other girls… They mean nothing to me. It’s my image. My public persona. Why? Why won’t you marry me? ”

Here, I could finally end it. I thought of my final reply:

I wouldn’t marry you if ka-zillionaire and you purchased Hawaii for me as our wedding gift.

I wouldn’t marry you if built like Dwayne John, the Rock, and … That won’t work. He’s handsomer than Dwayne.

I wouldn’t marry you if I were being held hostage and our spoken vows would save the world.

Which one should I pick?

Written for Sunday Afternoon Writings: A Zoom Writing Group. Requirements: Complete this story-Starter.