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The Red Cat

by Okensha

The silver chain around my ankle --
ankle so delicate held so high --
shimmers in the candlelight, and
softly dances the rhythm of our love.
excerpt from a poem by Languorous Scorpion
"Come in, come in! I recognise that uniform! You're with The Forsaken's Bastards, aren't you? We always give fighting women a special rate! You, Tempetay, fetch this fine woman some wine!"
- Mitake, owner of the Red Cat, greeting a guest

From the outside, The Red Cat still looks like the residence it was not long ago, with a few minor exceptions. The first is the new frieze over the door, carved of red teak. The subject is five cats, the middle one sitting with a mischievous air as the other four stretch and pounce. A wide balcony opens from the third floor where the ladies often lounge, singing and joking with one another. Occasionally, Languorous Scorpion makes one of her odd pronouncements to the street below here.

Mitake – the retired mercenary who owns and runs The Red Cat – had the inside much more drastically renovated. The main floor is one large room, where refreshments are served and the ladies skillfully play music and dance complex and sensual performance pieces for the guests. The second floor is essentially a ring of balcony that overlooks this room. (Many is the performance accented by laughter and running feet overhead.) The floors above this are mazelike, filled with snakelike corridors, rooms with multiple entrances, mirrors, and gauzy fabric in shades of red hanging across hallways, down walls, and over beds. (Privacy is an expensive commodity in The Red Cat, but few of the women who visit seem to mind.) Mitake has also acquired many works of art glorifying the female form and the act of female love. Most of these tend towards the blatant, but holding a place of prominence in the first floor is the sublime sculpture, ‘Lady of Dancing Tiger Reeds’.

As brothels go, The Red Cat is not so very strange; games and harmless pranks abound, and occasional dancing processions into the back yard to … bathe ... in the pool may have driven away the non-brothel neighbours, but these antics are hardly unusual in such a house. No, the main attraction of The Red Cat for many visitors is Languorous Scorpion. A graceful woman trained extensively in the arts of love, she usually wears her thick charcoal-black hair up in a charmingly haphazard knot, and dresses in layered translucent robes which, shifting, show off the stylized tattoos of scorpions on her back and arms and legs and belly. She claims that a scorpion sting opened her mind to The Truth, which is apparently the reason for her oddness and strange brilliance. She’s Mitake’s favourite and the most expensive lady to be had at The Red Cat, in part due to her prodigious training in the sensual arts. Mostly, however, it is simply her surreal company, as she wanders the halls or lies taking opium and philosophizing, that commands such prices in comparison to the other women.


  • Mitake has a business partner who occasionally visits The Red Cat. This individual is referred to only as “Kitty” and appears as a tall lady in tasteful clothes, with a beautiful face, graceful way of moving, and long braid of silky black hair strung with ornaments. None of the girls have ever served this lady more than a few drinks, and she always mysteriously retires alone to one of three rooms otherwise kept locked. Gossip is circulating amongst the ladies of The Red Cat that “Kitty” is in fact a very pretty man who visits to watch the goings on in the brothel though hidden peepholes or the like.
  • Women who visit The Red Cat and end up in the arms of other guests are charged anyway, and some suspect that Mitake has ordered her staff to maneuver certain ladies into this situation ….


Languorous Scorpion was once an Immaculate monk on a missionary expedition in the Threshold. Separated from her traveling companions, she was stung by a scorpion whose venom erased much of her memory. She has no knowledge of her previous life, nor does she care; but she retains much of her training in writing, poetry, athletics, etc.


I'm always glad to see someone pick up one of the links I created.

So am I. I was happy when I saw you pick up The Avenue of Enigmatic Philosophy so fast, and then I had a flood of ideas for the Red Cat. It almost feels like cheating, fleshing out a link off of a link from something I did. o.o I just hope I don't get irrevocably associated with brothels! -Okensha
Well, seeing a street called the avenue of enigmatic philosophy assocated with a gay brothel was too good to pass up. I like what you have done with the Red Cat. I personally don't think it is cheating to create a link off something that someone created off of somthing you did. I might even try to come up with somthing for that sculpture you mentioned. As for that last sentiment, you and me both.

I've fixed a few typos and restored a phrase... I feel that "the act of female-on-female love" is somewhat redundant - I think "the act of female love" gets the point across, as it indicates that there are no males involved. Also, I think "female-on-female" is too crass for referring to works of art (even if the art is crass). I decline to use "lesbian" or "sapphic" partially because they have, in my experience, a lot of cultural baggage attached, and partially because Sappho of Lesbos has not yet lived in the Age of Sorrows, and it seems jarring to me somehow. My final argument for keeping the text as "the act of female love" is that it was good enough for the title of The Great Mirror of Male Love, an interesting anthology of Japanese love stories. (The first half deals with samurai, the second half with kabuki actors, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in that aspect of Japanese history and culture.) -Okensha

That was me, as you probably figured out. I have to say that as a straight woman it sort of bugs me that "female love" would automatically be considered lesbian love, but hey, whatever, I understand your reasoning, and it's clear enough from context, and it's your entry. Rest of my editing okay?
~ Shataina
I agree that "female love" can mean a variety of things (or is sometimes not clear in its intended meaning), but I was hoping the context would make what I meant clear. Yes, everything else is fine. :) -Okensha
I've uncovered a better word! Not Lesbian, no, but rather, REZBIAN! Yes, rezbian. What do you think? Should I change "female love" to "rezbian love"? -Okensha will not razz the rezbians
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