Flash - Stories

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Flash - Stories

The wide berth the patrons gave him piqued my interest. Wiry and worn, a scar across his left cheek, his skin pockmarked and leathery, he appeared common enough; but those tattoos, those were something else. His hands riddled with them, the open collar of his shirt revealed even more; all in black ink, intricate as fine lace.

I rolled my shoulders back. I learned to drink, gamble and fight in my brother’s shadow. Yet, I had nothing on this fellow.

“You waiting for someone?” I asked with my fool’s confidence.

He looked up, his eyes disarmingly dark, pulled me into their depths. It was a tumultuous journey, tossed upon the rocks his emotions; rage, disgust, most prevalent, an aching, deep sorrow. He had nothing on me in that regard.

He shook his head slowly, his eyes returning to his glass. “No, no.”

“Well, I could use some company. Would you mind?”

He waved his hand dismissively at the chair across from him. I settled down and caught the eye of the waitress.

“Two shots of... “ I glanced at him. “What would you prefer?”

“Nothing.”

The waitress glanced from him to me, and I shrugged. “Two shots of Vodka,” I said. I was courting the devil and I knew it. Suicidal, my brother always called me.

He eyed me after the girl had left. “Do you have no sense?”

I laughed. “Not really.” I leaned forward. “Those tattoos on your hands are really beautiful. I had to get a better look.”

His laugh was bitter. “Beautiful? Hardly. You are a stupid girl.”

I grinned. “I know.” The shots arrived and I downed them quickly. “I’d love to see the rest of them. I’m sure they tell quite a story.”

“Not for your eyes, little sister.”

The tenor of his voice reverberated across my memories. I closed my eyes. I’d crawl into his bed, battered and bruised; that voice would tell me haunting folk tales.

“Then tell me one.” I asked, yearning for that long ago, not so innocent time.

“One what?” he looked up sharply.

“A story; the sort those tattoos would tell.”

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