Posted by: sulya | 21 September 2009

500 Words of Fiction: Oxblood & Chocolate


It’s like melting chocolate in a microwave, Babe, finicky. Wrong temp, it burns. Right temp and too much time, it burns.

Babe is a talking pig. I am not a talking pig.

Babe was a talking pig a thousand years ago. Do you get what I’m trying to say?

His hair was like freshly spilled oxblood or  perhaps a mahogany table. It nearly shone with pomade. She wondered if he’d use so much of the stuff if he didn’t have such deeply red hair. Not easy to be a man with red hair, she always thought when she had meetings with him in person, don’t know why. Perhaps the pomade provides a sense of control.

Last time I microwaved chocolate the plastic container melted.

So, you know what I’m saying.

You’re saying don’t sharpen my tongue before the meeting. You’re saying follow your lead and refrain from being the unholy cunt I often am.

Well. I would never use the “c” word.

Not to my face.

His most giant, toothy smile. The one that means you’ve caught him and his Cockney bullshit by the balls.

Maybe, she said thoughtfully, maybe the fact that you have red hair wouldn’t be so troublesome if you didn’t let on that you know so much about melting chocolate.

A flicker of real anger in his eyes and ordinarily she would back off but not today. She mustered up her most even, cold neutral tones and waded in further.

Seriously. It’s great to find out a man can cook or bake after you’ve already been thrown on top of his desk and ravaged but you have to get women to see past the red hair first right? You have to get them to the desk.

Ordinarily he would be breezy and dismissive when she gets like this. But not today. Today he held her eyes without breaking and said nothing.

Something had shifted last weekend. The new director’s house party had been sufficiently alienating to them both for some reason, that they’d wound up alone together, full of wine with their feet in the guy’s roof-top swimming pool.

He’d said he liked her toes. But he hadn’t said it like that. He’d said that in his 44 years he’d never seen such articulated and beautiful toes, that the red polish made them look like gems, that the toe ring on her right big toe was like a crown.

Queen Foot, she’d said and then Queen Foothilda the Third of the House of Manolo and they’d both giggled drunkenly. She’d made her foot sign decrees on the surface of the water. She’d made her toes dance like five tiny jesters and something audibly shifted between them, a heavy antique dresser pushed closer to the wall on hardwood.

You like my desk? He asked as he stood and moved to lock the door to his office.

I do, she said, as she kicked off her shoes and rose from her seat. I like chocolate too.



  1. Very Film Noir. Like it. Like the photo. YUM! Film Noir in COLOUR

  2. Thank you ‘smee. I can feel what you mean about the noir’ish vibe… Wasn’t going for that, fun that it kind of plays that way and glad you like the pic!

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