The Impudent Tattoo

I’m staring at my arm. I blink. Blink again, in the hope I will wake up. I pinch my arm to check if I’m dreaming. The expensive, painful, carefully drawn dragon has vanished.

This morning, while showering I noticed the ink was fading. Soap trickled into my eyes as I attempted to solve the puzzle. Had I been conned? Money taken for a cheap tacky job. No, I couldn’t call it either tacky or cheap. It hurt.

The tattoo was to mark the turning point in my life. I was free from my husband. I suppose it was an incredibly stupid act of rebellion but  I did it. I got a tattoo, at thirty eight years of age.

Once dressed I decided to return to the scene of the crime – the tattoo shop. It was small, crowded and busy. Despite the recession, many of us are escaping age or misery by acquiring a tattoo.

The door bell jangles as I enter.  The artist looks up. He scowls, then flicks the chewing gum from his mouth into a waste bin by his side. The current victim sitting in the chair is young, pale faced and clutching a tin of alcohol. I grimace, turn from the boy.
“Lo. You’ll have to wait.” He grudgingly acknowledges my presence and waves his implement of torture in my direction.

“I.” Clearing my throat I start again. “We have a problem. The tattoo you gave me is disappearing.”

He smiles. This is not a pleasant smile. It is a horrific metal smile. Cool and ugly. His voice canons into me, “I want whatever you are on.”

The boy in the chair glances at me,  “Can I have some? Does it make the pain go away?”
I ignore him and focus on the artist who is staring at my arm. I glance down. Disbelief washes through me because I have a tattoo of a dragon on my arm.
“I think you should go for a sleep and relax. It looks like a nice clean job, swelling has already vanished. You will be fine.” He dismiss’ me.
I feel the blood drain from my face. ” It’s back.” I whisper ignoring the giggles from the boy.

I leave as quietly as I can.
However two minutes later, cutting through the park, I glance down. No tattoo. This is madness. I head for a park bench.
“I must be crazy.”

“You are not but I wouldn’t class you as being un-crazy either.” The voice is elderly but pleasant. I look around and see nothing. Not even a cat lazing in the bushes or a bird tweeting in a tree.

I feel a tweak of heat on my arm and I glance down. The dragon stares up at me. He is approximately three inches tall and is breathing fire at an amazing rate.
“Please don’t do that.”

“Why? I’ve lain amongst the pages of that blasted book for ever and now that I’m free, why not?’
I shrug my shoulders and think. I can understand that. “But it’s my arm and I would rather not be burnt.”
He smiles at me . “I’m George, by the way.”
I lean over and pluck a leafy twig from the nearest shrub. “Try this.”
He does and is happy with the result. A black shriveled mess.

To prove his happiness he begins to dance, tap dance if I’m not mistaken all the way up and down my arm and along the seat I am sitting on.
A shadow looms above me and I look up. The park keeper is standing glaring at me. “Why would you do that?”
“Do what?”
“Set a twig on fire.” He has yanked off his cap and is mopping his brow with a white hanky. His bald head is a shining example of cleanliness.
“I didn’t..” I begin.
“It was me.” George explains as he jumps onto the arm of the bench. To reinforce his point he releases a bellow of fire that catches the end of the park keeper’s hanky. It goes up in smoke. He looks at me and at George. He faints, landing on the ground with a nice soft thud.
Standing up, I step over the keeper saying, “George, this is interesting.  Would you like to meet my ex husband?”
George smiles and I leave the park with him sitting on my shoulder.

Curling thoughts.

 This is part of  the DP challenge: Collecting Detail:  Being a writer isn’t something you can shuck off, like a hat or a coat — being a writer is a quality that lives inside you — a part of your brain you simply can’t shut off, doing the work of the writer regardless of whether you’re out and about during your day or you’re in front of your typewriter, your screen, or your notebook.

 My 3 details: Dark winter sky, Taut cobweb ready to net its prey, strength, see through deceptiveness, smell of smoke rushing curling  towards the ground

An elderly woman huffing along the road, children racing by calling, shouting, each to each other she is unseen, unnoticed – in a different world.

Pushing jostling crowds in the shopping centre, people smiling calling to friends, loud greetings hugs, closeness, warmth that dispells the cold bright air.

Result:

 Curling thoughts.

Tracey slouched against the seat in the shopping center. The walkway filled with jostling Christmas fueled shoppers. A glimpse of the Spirograph, cobweb design in the shop window brought memories rushing back to her. Time slipped back, allowing Tracey to smell the crayons. She loved the feel of the smooth wax in her chubby fingers. The crayons scent mingling with the more overpowering turkey aroma. Home made decorations adorned the ceilings, paper lanterns swung in the draught of the open door. Firelight reflected off bright baubles making them appear to dance on the tree.  Uncles, and aunts poured into the room, wet boots and jackets abandoned. Tobacco and perfume curled about her, tying everyone in one neat parcel. Jovial voices rose and faded, as though they were a choir. The warm atmosphere in the room continued, making the light brighter, the room smaller, voices louder. Suddenly it faded as time spiraled, Tracey landed in the present with a thud. Remembering where she was, who she was, and that home was wherever she managed to scurry into at night, a doorway, a warm vent. Standing up she smiled, a toothless warm smile, I’m alive and lets enjoy being here, she thought as she moved to the next bench. Her smile was rewarded when a security guard pressed a warm cup of tea in her hand. “No sugar, I’m sorry.” He whispered.

Traceys eye’s twinkled at him, “don’t be sorry there is always hope for the next time.” Together they chuckled at her absurd joke before he quietly slipped back to his post.

Further examples, can be found at :Dp Weekly Challenge

Flash Fiction.. Reeled in….

He wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming infusion of her.  The simple scent of citrus was driving him beyond reason.  He never wanted to let her go. His hammering heart warned him that if he didn’t do something soon, he would be tempted to push the boundary of their new and tentative friendship.

She smelt sweet, tasted like heaven and he knew he needed more than friendship. Her constant claims of not looking or wanting a boyfriend puzzled him. If she didn’t like men then why did she hang around with him?