Tattoo

Chris Cornell here, I’ve been posting almost exclusively fictional content here.I’m thinking maybe a dose of reality is in order. So here’s a fun fact, I have tattoos.

I keep seeing story prompts about what if tattoos randomly appeared on your body, or similar things. So instead of that I’ll tell you about mine.

I have a ton of ideas about what tattoos I want to get, I like this and that and wow that looks so cool. I have a lot of trust in the shop that I go to, they are going to make sure it looks good.

I have four total, half of them are rather large, and one of the large ones is still in progress. My first one, is on my foot, and has had to be touched up already, and needs it again. Its a Fullmetal Alchemist ouroboros.

Here’s a little blurb from the wiki page: “Ouroboros refers to the ancient mystical symbol representing a dragon devouring its own tail. It represents the eternal cycle of life and death. The circular affinity suggests the eternal cycle of life death or death and birth that happens to each life born. The head of the dragon represents life, while the tail as it is being bitten represents the end of life, the circular motion shows the perpetual cycle of life and death as the dragon consumes its tail. All of the seven main Homunculi in the Fullmetal Alchemist series are presumed to have the mark located somewhere upon their person as if tattooed there, save for Pride in the manga and 2009 anime. This particular Ouroboros displays a winged serpent with its tail in its mouth, creating a circle with its body. Encircled within is a hexagram, which is a symbol often associated with alchemy as well as human creation. One could perceive the Ouroboros as a sort of basis for the Transmutation Circles used in the series and it is possible that the Ouroboros may also symbolize a solar eclipse in some belief structures.” (http://fma.wikia.com/wiki/Ouroboros)

It gets a lot of attention. I have had people on the street recognize it as Fullmetal Alchemist, and I have had people in my family ask me “are you in a satanic cult”. My favorite was when my mom asked me if I had become Jewish (Judaism forbids tattoos). I explain what its from and what it means and everyone goes, “Oh you’re a huge nerd.”

I personally love it. I look down at my feet wiggle my toes making the tendons in my foot move under it, and think damn that looks good. I think my mom warmed up to it, she spent a good hour petting it when she visited once. She didn’t understand how it didn’t feel different than the rest of my skin. When I got it a girl had come in to get hers touched up which was serendipitous.

The next one I got was a Duskull #355 from Pokemon, appropriate for a tattoo on Friday the 13th.  He looks super sweet on my lower calf right by my Ouroboros. Honestly I didn’t feel much during the tattooing process, the hour flew by. He’s a Pokemon who has been around for a while, plus hes kind of creepy without being super creepy. I use to watch Pokemon as a kid, I’ve played and replayed a few games, collected the cards.

My mother-in-law doesn’t like it, at all. She thinks I am going to regret it because its a kids show. Little does she know I’m 24 and still play the games (playing X right now) and watch that show (Indigo League is on Netflix!) and have all my cards at my parents house somewhere. I’m waiting on Pokemon Go to die down a little, get updated and the bugs sorted out before playing that one too. There are so many good memories associated with the franchise, I love the little guy.

I have a dragon on my hip after 3.5 hour appointment and a year long waiting list. It is super detailed, and pretty, and totally BAMF but hidden most of the time. I’ve liked dragons for a very long time, I have whole shelves of books dedicated to them, I have drawings and paintings and prints all around of them. Dragons are my favorite mythical creature. It reminds me to be strong and keep fighting.

I would hate to play favorites. On my right thigh, the only tattoo on my right side, are flowers. Super feminine, mandala, colorful flowers (these are things I said I wouldn’t get ever) but they are my favorite. They are still in progress, six hours in so far. They are so beautiful I always want more. It started with a sunflower. On the outside its just a beautiful sunflower. As far as my tattoo artist knows its just a cool flower that he also loves. (He talked me into the design and has had a blast working on them.) Its not just a sunflower though, its a memorial tattoo. There’s no name, no rip, no date of death. Flowers. It reminds me of all that she was and how I need to be. A bright big beautiful sunflower, a small purple and blue flower on one side, and a red, gold, and purple beauty on the other. Abstracted and gradated and beautiful.

I’m sure people judge my tattoo choices, but I really don’t care. If you have tattoos awesome, if you want tattoos I know a good shop, and if you don’t that’s cool. I love tattoo stories, but I totally understand the emotional connections and reasons why someone might not want to talk about them.

Back to fiction tomorrow.

Character: Lim

Lim was born low in elven society, to a castle cook and a Fletcher. He was small for his race, when he was fully grown he was just over five feet tall. Always being the smallest had its disadvantages, bullies being the worst of them. He often found himself spending more time with the woodland creatures.

He rescued many a critter from snares set by human hunters in their sacred woods. He knew his destiny would be to be a Fletcher like his father. He spent most of his childhood in the woods. Childhood was important to the elves, they felt the short time they were allowed to be children was a time that could not get back.

He started to learn his craft in adolescence from his father. He spent time in the kitchens with his mother, gathering knowledge from her as well. The castle was an interesting place to be, full of hustle and bustle. On several occasions he caught glimpses of the royal family. They were the most beautiful elves in the whole kingdom. They never stopped to look at the kitchen staff when they brought food out, so Lim went wholly unnoticed.

As he grew older he felt he could accomplish more than his birth rank would allow. He started to talk to other elves who lived around him, trying to learn more skills. He soon mastered metal working, and paper making. He learned them quickly, and took up more, script, potion making, healing, spell casting.

Word of his accomplishments traveled to the royal family. He received a letter with the royal seal on it. He could either stop what he was doing, or be killed. He didn’t see anything wrong with what he was trying to do. He left the city taking his skills with him. He went into the forest to learn without the threat from the crown looming over his head.

His friends in the kingdom would bring him books so he could continue to expand his knowledge. After many years of exile he started to get visitors he wasn’t expecting. Young children were turning up in his yard. He didn’t chase them off, allowing them to play their games in his wildflower beds.

He watched them grow in his yard, knowing this freedom would be a very small part of their lives. He got a knock on the door. On his doorstep was a boy, old enough to start learning his trade. The boy wanted help mastering a particularly difficult technique of stripping feathers for arrows. Lim obliged, having many techniques to teach the boy.

The boy came by often asking questions about everything imaginable. Lim shared his knowledge willingly. Teaching the boy everything he wanted to know. He did not know the boy visiting him was the prince until a royal battalion showed up at his doorstep demanding his appearance at the castle. He complied because he had no choice.

The hearing was quick. The princess sat on the throne with her parents and her husband beside her. The boy stood at his mothers side, pleading loudly for Lim’s life. They spared his life, and allowed him to be part of the community, seeing how much better her son’s life was with his satisfied curiosity. He would be part of the court if he wished, as a honored scholar. Lim chose to stay in his cottage in the wood, but he would take on any students that wished to know more. The prince was the most excited about the decision and hugged Lim, much to everyone’s surprise.

He spent the rest of his days teaching anyone who chose to visit him about a variety of topics, and learning more all the time. He often traded knowledge, skills that he had for skills that he lacked. He understood he was not a master of all things even with his extensive knowledge.

Character: Edmund

Named by his well read parents for the character in the Chronicles of Narnia  by C. S. Lewis. He had a fairly normal childhood, friends, rebelling against his parents, school work. No extraordinary events for this brown hair little boy. His studious nature was encouraged by his parents, his mother, Assistant Processor in Anthropology and his father, Director of Excellence for a large corporation. He played baseball through high school. He grew to be tall and lanky. College was a breeze for him, he graduated with honors.

He had trouble finding a job in his field of Mathematics that suited his schedule, and remained unemployed for a year after graduation, moving back in with his parents. His home town seemed too small for him now that he was grown. He dated a variety of women but none suited his taste. He returned to his university to get a masters degree, which would allow him to pursue the career he dreamed of.

A part time job in IT and graduate student teaching saw him through to finishing his degree. His parents were both so proud of him. A car accident threatened to take all his hard work away, three weeks in a medically induced coma and two lost limbs showed him his true love, his physical therapist.

Unrequited love  broke his heart. He couldn’t find the passion in anything anymore. Solving math equations did not hold the spark it use to. Trying to derive theories  and prove that the advanced equations held true under strenuous conditions even trying to find more digits of pi was unfulfilling.  His family was concerned about him.

Many years later, as an older gentleman, he realized his of math again. He opened a tutoring facility for the inner city children who lived only a few miles from his parents home, where he currently resided.

Agent 2257

“You’re going undercover as me.” Agent 5474 said handing her a folder about two inches thick.

“I’m going undercover as Silent Death!” She squealed, excitement oozing out of every pore.

“Its just around the office for a few weeks.” She patted the girls head. “Keep it together agent.”

She nodded clutching the documents to her chest. She hurried away to her room to start her research. She would start her impersonation in the next couple days, only the director and Agent 5474 knew about the mission, and they wanted to keep it that way. There would be a final walk through before Agent 5474 left.

Agent 2257 flicked on her light and sat at her regulation desk placing the thick folder down carefully. She flipped open the packet. The first and only line on the page was in bold text.

Avoid agent 3642, Aka Darkness Bane! 

Agent 3642 was rumored to be Silent Death’s significant other. Agent 2257 had to admit he was attractive, every girl recruit in her class had a crush on him while he trained them in  enemy critical points.

The next page was marked confidential. A hand written note in pen said “I will kill you if you reveal any of this.-Agent 5474” With a heart with an x through it below it. It was an ominous warning.

“Agent 5474, Silent Death, open field agent. Specialty  coven destruction and specialized combat. Moderate power level of increased speed and strength. No reported relationships on base. Close personal ties with several other OFA’s requested avoidance by double. Physical appearance is slender and short, quoted as saying pixie like in self descriptions. Pixie cut hair style, natural color is black, current color is also black. Eyes green. High cheekbones and an angular face. Noted, saying boyish is not appreciated by Agent 5474. Finger nails are cut short and unpolished, always. Preferred color pallet is black. Quirks wears red sweater after elimination missions. Gate is light and soft, footsteps are never heard even in the heaviest boots, but has military quality, double should avoid wearing heavy boots or shoes to mimic her silence. Standard two octave vocal range, low to mid female vocal range. Samples provided with common sayings. Frequently keeps conversations short with other agents, has mastered her accent to mild while around compound, and is nonexistent in the field. Agent often crosses her arms, and slouches when she thinks no one is looking. Always makes eye contact while speaking, often challenging in nature.”

Agent 2257 hoped they wouldn’t make her cut and color her platinum blonde hair and she would need contacts if she was going to make challenging eye contact with anyone. She sighed and thumbed to the next page which went into great detail about how her room was kept and the wing of the building it was in. She would have access to it once the imitation began and would be staying in it until it ended. There was another entire three page devoted to food preferences and choices. She clicked on the desk light to read what she was going to have to eat. There was a list of accomplishments and completed missions that went on forever.

She woke up with a knock on her door, a large drool spot on the page she had fallen asleep on. Agent 5747 walked in without waiting for an invitation.

“How is the research going?” She asked, eyeing the drool spot suspiciously

. “Good, good.”

“Say it like me.”

“I haven’t gotten to the samples yet…”

“Say it like me.”

“Good.” She did her best imitation.

“Work on it.” Agent 5747 walked out the door.

She thumped her head on the desk. Failure clawed at her insides. She couldn’t fail this mission, it was her first one. This should be an easy mission to do. She got back to work on the huge pile she needed to read. She fell asleep again listening to the audio clips. She tried to think like Agent 5747 , she picked foods that she would like to eat, walked like she would walk. Her vocal imitation was almost perfect now. She found a package on her bed that had a black wig with Agent 5747’s haircut and contacts with her exact eye color. She practiced doing her makeup so her face would look sharp and angular, instead of its regular rounded shape.

Agent 5747 visited her in her room after a week of trying to become her. “You look ready.”

Agent 2257 shifted nervously from foot to foot, which was reprimanded with a swat on the hip.

“Remember avoid Darkness Bane at all costs.”

“Why?” A perfect imitation made agent 5747 do a double take.

“He would blow your cover. Any OFA would.”

Agent 2257 let it go. She had read enough to know when her superior officer was lying, she could even mimic the behaviors now.

“Don’t mess up.” She said pulling a bag on her shoulder and walking out of the room.

Agent 2257 waited a while before donning the outfit and leaving her room to head to her new quarters. Her palms were sweating while she walked down the hallways, it was different now. Her backup was gone, for the past week she could count on someone seeing the real thing somewhere and knowing she was still in compound. She was worried she would not be convincing. Panic rose up when she saw Agent 3642 standing outside of the door she needed to go through, she doubled back, struggling to keep her composure. She took the alternate route and managed to avoid disaster. She was instructed to keep to the room most of the time, report to the command wing on occasion, and report for all meals.

She closed the door behind her to the now familiar room. She locked it. She opened the closet of entirely black clothes. They should all fit her even if she was a little more full than the other agent. The red sweater was missing. There was a note on the desk, “Don’t snoop.” Signed with a heart with an X through it. She left the drawers of the desk alone. It was set up almost exactly like her own which made the transition a little easier. There were more things on the desk and it was a little darker. Almost everything was untouched regulation issued, no personality. In her own room she had switched out the fitted sheet for a light one instead of the issued white one.

The first week was a lot of ducking and hiding from OFA’s the second week went better. She managed to hold a couple conversations with tech research agents, and people who had met Silent Death in passing.

Week four she had it mastered, then trouble when she had a run in with Darkness Bane.

“Hey!” He called from the end of the hallway. Agent 2257 did a half wave and quickly ducked into the nearest hallway to avoid him. He was faster than she expected, OFA’s often had special talents or powers that the general agents didn’t have. She had managed to run around two corners before he grabbed her up.

“Babe, you’ve been avoiding me all month what’s wrong?” He asked trapping her against the wall. She struggled to keep her persona up, meeting his eyes with confidence that only the Silent Death would have dared. He was gorgeous. Her heart was pounding so fast she was sure he could feel it in his arms.

“Put me down.” She insisted.

“I mean did I mess up our date?”

She couldn’t help but look surprised. Silent Death and Darkness Bane were an item, no wonder she had been so adamant about avoiding him. He dropped her.

“Did you forget about it?” He asked sounding hurt. She didn’t respond, her training hadn’t covered anything like this. He had turned away and was looking at the wall. She slipped away silently while he looked at the wall. She needed to get back to her room.

She slipped through the door panting from running for so long. She took off the light shoes that helped silence her footsteps and flopped onto the bed. She took the wig off and the contacts out. She tried to find herself again, she felt like she was getting too lost in  being someone else.

The door slammed open. The pixie like Agent 5747 stood in the doorway fuming. “I told you to stay away from him.”

“I did, for four weeks, I tried to get away and he caught me.”

She crossed her arms, it looked like there was something else she wanted to say, instead she sighed, “I guess its good you didn’t hang around. He didn’t realize you were a double. You are relieved of being my double, for now.”

Picture perfect.

She poked at her soft doughy belly. It reminded her of pizza dough, both in color and texture. Her nail polish on those prodding fingers had mostly chipped off and was just jagged circle in the center of each nail. She lifted up her boobs, heavy in her hands, enjoying the cool breeze on their sweaty undersides. She held them where she thought they should sit then let them go to flop almost painfully onto her rib cage.

She picked her nose and tried to fling the slimy booger away from her without getting up. She felt her butt jiggle as she walked to get a tissue or something. A receipt from the grocery store came up first and she dutifully threw it out resisting the urge to just leave it on the counter. She realized she had to pee and went to the bathroom, the sound of her pee echoing through the house since she didn’t need to close the door. The cat and dog came to join her. She petted them and they sniffed her undies before she shooed them away, where they watched from the doorway. She washed her hands and sprinkled water on her pets. The dog took it but the cat scurried out of the way.

She flopped back onto the couch to watch her show. She felt everything shake as she deposited herself into the cushions. She picked at the ingrown hairs on her legs, that she vaguely thought she should shave and didn’t want to. Vaguely bored she wiggled her thighs trying to decide what she wanted to do with her day.

Engagement

“No,” She said looking at the diamond at the bottom of her glass.

“Babe that ring set me back $3480.” He pleaded as she plucked the ring out with her pinky finger.

“This is silver not gold, meaning most of that cost was on a stupid clear rock.” She dropped the wet ring on the table. “That is a stupid amount to spend on a rock.”

“But its sparkly.” He picked it up and dried it off on the bottom of his shirt.

“You got swindled.”

“I did not.”

“Did you get paperwork?”

“I got a receipt.”

“You should return it then…” She said pushing it away from her when he held it out for her. “You know I don’t want diamonds. Next time take me with you.”

“That would ruin the surprise!”

She laughed, “No it will save you a ton of money. That’s not the reason why I love you, you boob.”

“The guy said you would love it.”

“The guy wanted to make money.” She drank her champagne. “I’ll marry you but not with this ring.”

“Fine,” He sulked.

Just before

She touched her delicate finger to her pale pink lips. Her blonde hair hung into her sparkling green eyes as she leaned in. It cascaded over her shoulders in pale waves brushing the thin straps of her coral tank top on the way down. A smile tried to free itself as she backed away, her flip flops smacking the ground. She turned and flounced away her white skirt floating around her muscular legs. She kicked off her white flip flops bending to pick them up. She laughed a bright clear sound, in the dark house.

She felt his strong arms wrap around her and his rugged face nestle into her wavy hair. She heard him take a deep breath smelling her citrus scented body spray. The soft fabric of her shirt gathered under his fingers, warm on her pale stomach. It inched upwards. She could hear his breathing in her ear. She could feel the scratchy fabric of his button up shirt on her back as he pulled her tank top over her head.

She slowly turned around to face him, meeting his dark eyes. There was too little light in the kitchen for her to see all of the colors in them, but she knew they were there. His hands were on her waist, the ground disappeared from under her bare feet. She held onto his shoulders. Their lips met and she lost herself.