Published in TATTOOS: A MAIN STREET RAG SHORT FICTION ANTHOLOGY You can purchase a copy here.
"Inklings" is the story of a woman who surprises her husband by getting her back tattooed with the image of one of his favorite pin-up girls. Unfortunately, he loves it. Really, really loves it.
I wrote this story in my very first college creative writing course. I think every writer cringes at their early stuff. This story is certainly no exception.
Excerpt: Junior wiped away the last few beads of blood squeezing through the dark lines on Nora’s back. “Make sure you clean it real good when you get home and keep ointment on it for the next week or so.”
Nora looked over her shoulder at her reflection in the floor-length mirror. “God, it’s beautiful.”
“It’s a nice piece,” Junior said. “Who drew it?”
“My husband,” Nora said.
“Pin-up girls are real popular right now. I’d be interested in purchasing some flash if he’s got some drawn up.”
“He’s not really an artist.” Nora shifted in front of the mirror, catching another angle of her new tattoo. “He’s a cop.”
Junior ran a tongue depressor through a jar of Vaseline and wiped it over Nora’s back. He placed a 9x15 piece of gauze over the fresh tattoo and taped it in place. “Use sunscreen if you go out in the sun.”
“My husband is going to freak when he sees this,” Nora said.
“I’m not gonna start gettin’ unexpected visits from the cops, am I, lady?” Junior asked.
“Oh goodness no.” Nora smiled and turned away from the mirror. “No, no, he’ll love it. He just won’t believe I actually did it.” Junior helped her with her sweater. “I’m sure he’ll love it, though. He’s gotta love it, right?”
Nora paid Junior and walked out of the studio. On the way to her car, she caught her reflection in a liquor store window. She didn’t look like a woman who’d get a full back tattoo. She opened her car door and stepped inside. It felt like a bad sunburn as she leaned back against the driver’s seat. As she started the car’s engine, she had to suppress a giggle for she knew she had just done something so completely out of character that Andy would never be able to call her utterly predictable again.