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The shop was exploding with color and interesting collectibles. Every wall was lined with artwork, most of them tribal, with intricate line work that begged to be noticed. On shelves, there were all manner of the strange and corpses of once beautiful animals lay on them. In short, this place was as macabre as it gets.
I don’t know why I agreed to this. A girl I had just met at a coffee shop had mentioned casually that I would look infinitely cooler with a tattoo on my wrist. She had these hypnotizing yellow eyes that urged me to listen to her. We ended up in this odd place after about a mile walk, it being hidden by lankly trees close to the river’s edge.
A few minutes after I took in the shop, a man waltzed over to me. He had a long beard and dirt all over his face, but walked with grace and a grin. The girl, whose name still eluded me, turned to meet my eyes.
“Do you see that tribal raven tattoo near the cash register? I think that one would look ********* She whispered to me.
I nodded, I guess I was doing this. The man gestured to the seat and I sat down nervously. I’ve seen my brother get tattoos, but only ever thought of getting one myself. However, I decided it was best not to live my life in fear and bite the bullet. I pointed to the design I liked and he put a temporary on my wrist to agree on the placement and size. The girl with the yellow eyes smiled wide as if she was wishing my goodluck. It was time.
It didn’t hurt at first but after a while it did become sore. When it was done, the man washed my skin and put a black plastic film on it. He handed me an aftercare instruction sheet which I didn’t bother to look at because I was exhausted. I paid him what cash I had, which luckily covered the tattoo, and walked outside.
It was then I realized the girl had disappeared. Where could she have gone? We didn’t live in a large town, maybe she had gone home or back to the coffee shop. Wherever she was, I knew where I was going, and I started towards my apartment to sleep of my growing headache.
It was 1PM. I had overslept. I scrambled out of bed but quickly noticed my wrist was bruising. I took off the black plastic and washed the tattoo with water. I’m still unsure about it, but don’t have time to be thinking about it because I had get going to find that girl.
I grabbed my denim jacket from the coat rack, but then I was thrown off balance by the pain coming from my wrist. I stumbled backwards into the mirror in my entry way and it fell to the floor shattering into a hundred pieces. Darn it.
I surveyed the damage. Just a cut on my hand, but on my wrist my tattoo had moved. I’d sworn the raven had his wings stationary, but now they were spread like he was flying. Was I just imagining it? I shook my head and laughed at myself. Tattoos don’t just change.
When I arrived at the coffee shop, they were closed. I’m having some really bad luck today. Just when I thought my day couldn’t get any worse, a bird pooped on my jacket. That’s the last time I acknowledge my day is going down the pipes. I head towards the library.
The pain in my wrist is getting stronger. I can’t concentrate on simple things, like holding my phone or reading an email. I’m about to take some pain medicine, the pills cupped in my hand, and then I see it. The raven has opened his mouth as if it is screaming. I stand up so abruptly the people around me stop and look. I sprint to the nearest bathroom silently praying its a private bathroom.
Locking the door behind me, I crumple to the ground in pain. I stare at my wrist, and notice a few feathers to either side of the now angry looking raven. It’s then when I notice, it has yellow eyes. The same yellow eyes that girl had. Was it a coincidence? What in the world was going on with my tattoo?
I tried to visualize last night. The girl had come over to my table and I remember thinking of how beautiful she was. Her pale skin, but with a twinge of blue. Blue. What had she been going on about? She was passionate about how the mayor should put up signs around the river because it was extremely deep. Then she had talked about mundane things, like the weather and how the coffee there always smells amazing. I realize no one looked at her besides me, and how can you not look at someone as mesmerizing as this girl. The man in the tattoo shop didn’t seem to pay her any attention either.
It was becoming clear. Either I was going insane or worse, my tattoo must be haunted or something. I laughed so furiously at the idea, but started to cry. My wrist was hurting more and the Raven had now turned its head upwards and its wings were full spread, feathers flying everywhere.
I started heading to find the tattoo shop to ask questions, but it wasn’t me walking anymore. It felt like I had just woken up from a dream, but I wasn’t in control. I wasn’t me anymore. I tried to move my legs but they didn’t listen to me. They were walking in another direction without my consent. I knew then. The yellow eyed girl was taking me to the river.
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