Marked for Life – Flash Fiction

Ryan visits every week for his weekly tattoo.  What is the tattoo for?  Why does Ryan add to it weekly?

Sam’s Diary

Once a week Ryan comes in for more work on his tattoo. To say I look forward to seeing him is an understatement.

I have worked at Inks for four years. After completing my art degree, a tattooist apprenticeship became available.

I took the job more to spite my parents. They had told me many times my art degree wouldn’t get me a job. Least now I had proved them wrong.

I got the equipment together ready for Ryan’s weekly visit. It was always the same the last appointment on a Monday, Ryan came in. Always the same tattoo, another mark on his tally chart.

Ryan walked in exactly on time. He was wearing his best Levi’s and a designer T-shirt. He always seemed to dress to impress. His smile lit up his whole face. I have to admit to having quite a crush on him. I hoped the tally chart was for my benefit.

Two weeks ago my boss had called me in and explained that Ryan’s tattoo was a waste of equipment and not worth the money. When I had mentioned it to Ryan he told me he would pay 10 times what the tattoo was worth, if I carried on. It had been the first time Ryan had showed that he liked me as much as I liked him. I relayed this to the owner and he had changed his mind. No one was going to turn that money away.

Ryan sat down with a grin.

“How was your weekend,” he asked.

I preceded to tell him what I had been up to. He smiled and listened. He held out his arm. I filled the needle with the ink, hit the foot peddle and tattooed the diagonal bar over his tally. Number 20 today.

“Twenty-one is my lucky number,” Ryan said.

I asked him why and his answered made my heartbeat.

“I will tell you if you agree to go out with me Saturday night,” he said.

So this is how I find myself settling my nerves, writing this before we go out. I wonder what the tally chart is for. I asked him if anyone knew about it. He told me not any more.

Oh god, I hope the tally isn’t the weeks since someone he loved died. Now my mind is working overtime, still, in 30 minutes I will be meeting him and the mystery will be solved. I can’t wait.

Gemma’s Diary

Did my first tattoo today, a tally mark on this right handsome blokes arm. His name is Ryan. I know he fancies me, wouldn’t tell me what the tally was for though, 21 marks its well weird. He told me one day he would let me know. Bet I can get him to ask me out next week.

I love this job. So lucky to get it with the apprentice before disappearing, like that. Wonder what I will be doing tomorrow?

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