Tattoo of the Black Angel
The right of A. E. Kirk to be identified as author of
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Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
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© A. Kirk 2013
I’ve always classed myself as a plain Jane with an exceptionally ordinary, yet displeasing childhood alongside an exceptionally, yet lonely, ordinary teenage life. My parents worked constantly when I was younger, leaving me to fend for myself in our cold house in Bristol with my older brother who saw me as a punching bag. Growing up, I noticed my friends around me leading extraordinary lives. They visited foreign countries, flew in planes to distant lands, crossed seas in cruise ships and I had never left the country. I was fortunate enough to go to a private school where Latin was compulsory, having poor grades was not tolerated and where students were quite well off. Yet if someone told me that I would end up training in a secret base in London, having a fight to the death mythical monsters and travel around the world in a split second, I’d say you were crazy… so let’s see how my ordinary life was changed drastically beyond recognition.
Receiving a handful of moderate grades in secondary school, I took a year out to earn some money at a local retail shop and applied for a few universities. Then, when I was twenty-two I was accepted into university in a small Welsh town to study Sports Technology. After taking a while to settle in, I made a handful of friends, but not many; I wasn’t one for socialising much, and kept mostly to myself.
Every other night, the few friends I had encouraged me to go into town to see the sights and to meet new people at the pubs and clubs. I would never stay out for long, maybe a few hours at the most before I got bored and went back home.
One blustery October afternoon, I found myself searching for a decent place to have a quiet warm drink, when I came across May Cup’s Café.It was nestled at the end of a small lane, close to the only tattoo parlour in town, called Needle and Ink. Approaching it, I saw my friend Amanda heading in the same direction. She glanced at the parlour as we went past it on the way to the café. Her friends Beth and Heather tagged along side her.
'Amanda, don't be such a baby,' Beth snapped at her. Amanda sighed heavily, looking forlornly at the window. It was ridiculous as there was nothing to see in the shop window apart from local advertisements, like "Wanted, Solo Singer for new and upcoming Punk Rock Band, the Shazmo's", or "Snake's for Sale, £130 O.N.O". It was a weird parlour run by a very heavily tattooed bald man.
Pulling my coat tightly around me to ward against the cold, I followed the girls into the warm aromatic smelling café and saw a small clean table by the window.