The Lady In Red by Aidan Moffat

The Lady in Red by Aidan Moffat was first published in Gutter 14 as part of our Spoken Word Issue. You can listen to it here:


The Lady in Red

Wait here, she said, and ran to the DJ. We were in the hotel bar, four boys from Falkirk and
three girls from far enough away, at the last disco of the holiday, playing pool like pros and
enduring the music. A few pints ago we’d laughed about songs we couldn’t stand, and soon the
distant drum machine and soft organ of The Lady In Red tiptoes across the dancefloor, and the
DJ dedicates the song to me: a special request from my holiday blonde. I don’t want to dance
but I’ve got no choice, she’s got me by the hands and she’s pulling me in, all swimmingpool eyes
and sunblushed skin as we shrug along with mums and dads. The lights fade up and the bar
shuts down, so we all take our dregs to the outdoor pool. And even as she lets my legs brush
hers underwater, even as we dunk and splash and laugh, even as I replace the strap of her
swimsuit like a true gent, I know that nothing’s going to happen. Wrapped in stolen white
towels, we walk back barefoot and pretend we’ll keep in touch under only half a moon.