Save Your Ink

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After his visit to the greenhouse, Parker was now chomping at the proverbial bit to try out the Horo one more time and he had an idea. Something that would really help make things a lot easier on him in the long run.

Parker patiently relaxed in the waiting area of the tattoo parlor, if one filthy, faux leather couch held together with duct tape and cigarette ashes constituted a waiting area. He watched a woman with black hair and even blacker lipstick approach.

Parker imagined the woman standing before him probably had the maximum weight limit of piercings  her short body could handle, yet she came highly recommended. Apparently, her work was second to none and that's all that mattered. Who was he to judge, anyways? There was no question she was good and he was willing to pay the nearly 25% higher rate for her services to boot. Not that it required any real skill level to have done what he wanted. He just needed it to be done right. Period.

"Are you sure you want to do this, honey?" the walking jewelry display inquired, looking down at the man reclining on the couch.

"Such a profound question," Parker thought and nodded in affirmation. "Oh, I'm sure."

"Your body, babe," the woman said with a shrug. "Still, I think you should've picked better artwork than this...um, piece."

"It's my grandfather's work," Parker said and pressed his lips together to keep from bursting out laughing at the woman's expression.

The woman rolled her eyes. "Alright, then, come on. Just sit your ass down, let's get started."

The young man nodded with a snicker, rolled up his sleeve, and lay back in the chair. Parker looked toward the street through the myriad of glowing neon signs occupying the tattoo parlor's storefront window. As the needle made contact with his skin, he winced and closed his eyes, thinking about what else he had recently uncovered in his grandfather's book.

"Multiverse..." he thought. "It had such a nice ring to it. The word scientists and theorists assigned to the theory that there were more than just one reality out there and more were produced with each decision and action. The collective assumption was that there was an infinite number of these realities.  

Technically, these 'experts' were only making conjecture in this area, whereas Parker knew the truth...well, a good portion of it, or so he believed. The young man had the crap slapped out of him with the reality of its existence once already. And regardless of conventional thought on the subject, his grandfather and the Voynich Manuscript basically indicated the number of realities were limited rather than infinite...albeit noting  that there were a considerable amount that did exist.  And this is where Parker laid his bet.

After eight hours of pain, Parker felt the needle lift and was finally able to relax...somewhat.

"Done," the woman said, wiped Parker's arm with a rag, and sat up, putting her tattoo gun away. "Go on, take a look."

Parker stood and strolled over to the smudged mirror to examine the woman's efforts. He smiled. There on his left arm were the first three of the Voynich multiverses tattooed permanently to his skin. And in the center, a rendering of the second disk with a red arrow pointing to what his grandfather indicated was home. This way, Parker knew, unless he lost the Horo, and then none of this would matter anyways, he would always know where he was at and where he'd been. Plus, he wouldn't have to keep it all memorized if anything happened. It would literally be within arms reach.

Parker chuckled. He actually thought about patting himself on the back were it not for the fact his arm was killing the hell out of him.

"Alrighty, mister. That'll be $2000."

The month previous and Parker would have passed out, but in his new world, this was pocket change. "You take Express Card?"

"All day long, mister. All day long..."

Parker strolled down the evening sidewalk beneath the Spanish moss that hung from the oaks in Savannah's active downtown. Strings of fairy lights carpeted the branches overhead. Glowing street lamps and clocks from a bygone era were everywhere. It was such a beautiful town and so full of magic, of history...and although this town had seen quite a bit throughout its existence, it had no idea of what was occurring only miles outside of its borders.

Wrapping his fingers around the Horo in his pocket, Parker realized his travel plans were nearly complete. He just needed to figure out what part the moon played in this whole scenario.

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