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"Carmella Cooks"
by Jude Bradley

          Red moves. It can’t sit still. It was her favorite color and everything she wore had red in it somewhere. You can’t look at red and think of nothing. It awakens, it tickles, it frightens. It’s the color of fire and anger; blood. It reminds us of the rivers of life coursing through us with every passing second. It proclaims beginnings and screams of endings. Her soul was red. Her ideas were red and they pushed her onward until she reached a yellow wall too vast and too tall to climb. Routine saved her sanity. The days had to be the same or the subtle taste of challenges and creativity would have driven her mad.  She closed them all and silenced their songs.

          But, in her tiny kitchen rife with clutter and dry heat, stainless steel and off whites she found red. Cans of plump Marzano tomatoes filled the cupboards. Shiny red peppers with their unreal, odd-shaped heads cocked and grinning. An erupting pomegranate spewed its horror on her arms, a tart droplet finding her lips. She smiled; cherries, raspberries, radishes and beets, strawberries. Bitter radicchio threaded with tendrils of red beside the white like holiday fabric. Stalks of rhubarb with their smell of dirt and poison trick her tastebuds and cry for sugar and hearty cranberries anxious to rupture in a pot. They saved her. They all saved her.



This is my workspace.

As part of my writing

classes, I express

to my students how

important it is to

create a comfortable

area in which to work.

I love my attic room;

golden walls, slanted

ceilings, they form a

fortress around me

where I can welcome

my characters as they

come to life. They're

safe here, as they

emerge into existence.

         Photo: Cynthia Anne



With every moment, I taste you again. Each memory fills my mouth. You entered with your turbulent, spinning madness and filled the corners, up to the ceiling, painted the walls a brilliant red, and told me it was the color of you.

From the short story,

"Gone Soon" by  Jude Bradley

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