The whir of the tattoo gun cut through Eddie's nerves. Monica flashed him a bemused smile from the counter and went on talking.
"So anyway, this guy was freaking out. Screaming from his window. I flipped him off and drove away."
"You better be careful, sweetheart. Guy's like that are likely to shoot you nowadays." Gabe didn't look away from his work while he spoke. The tattoos on his forearm seemed to dance with every delicate twitch of his muscles as he laid out his work. A large vein of roses curling around a pillar. The pillar had been completed over the course of two sessions the previous the summer. The vein rose constituted the final phase of the elegant sleeve cascading down the man's arm.
"Whatever." Monica hopped off the counter and walked over toward Eddie. They'd often joked about her hips, or lack thereof, but whenever she wanted to she could make them swing. Her fingers curled around the back of his neck, tickling the short hairs there.
They had dated over a year ago. He'd gone to a mini golf course with friends, a sad attempt to keep his social life going after the Great Breakup. After moping through two rounds of putt-putt they went to the ice cream stand and for approximately five minutes he forget all about What's Her Name.
Monica had something about her. He still struggled to put it into words, but she seemed undeniably older. Mature in a way that few people at school seemed. Even the few seniors he knew, seemed like caricatures compared to her. Half-people who still seemed like they were trying on different outsized outfits.
Monica's personality fit her better than her pants. And, well....
He nodded dumbly. Eddie didn't know much. By comparison he felt like a little kid whose feet still dangled from his chair. But he knew enough not to let on how out of place he felt.
"Yeah." Good. Excited but removed. That was about as close as he could come to cool. Which for high school was close enough.
Monica started dancing and threw her arms around him. Another thing he loved about her. She was weird. She acted like either there was no one else around or that she was so close with everyone else, she didn't mind being odd. It made being with her easy. Like walking around with a living, breathing VIP pass.
The pen came to a halt. Murph dapped at the man's arm once, twice, then took a step back to admire his work. Over the past hour Eddie had been captivated by his easy intensity. A practiced artists plying his trade with precision and grace. A far cry from teenage vision of tortured artists dying to make something beautiful.
This was the closest he'd ever been to real art.
After craning his neck, inspecting his work from every angle, he clapped his hands and told the man to, " Check that out" and "let me know what you need."
This was undeniably the coolest person he'd ever met. After Monica, that is.
The man in the chair expressed how good it looked, how much it meant to him. How Murph had captured "exactly" what he had been thinking. At the end they slapped hands and the man took off, waving at everyone in the parlor, thanking Monica for her running commentary, then left. The bell above the door dinged and he was gone.
"Alright!" Monica clapped her hands and started dancing again. "We up?"
"He's up. I'll deal with you later."
Monica contorted her body and made a soft, suggestive sound that Murph took in stride. Flirting was part Monica's DNA the way hair color was for everyone else. If you knew her, you enjoyed it and carried on.
Murph invited Eddie into the seat, told him to get ready, and that he would be about five, ten minutes at the most, then he disappeared into a door near the back of the room.
Monica wasted no time hopping up on Eddie's lap. "You sure you don't want one on your face? I could have him put my lips right here."
"I think my mother would shoot me. And then kick me out."
"That's ok. You could come live with me."
"Not so sure your dad would be happy about that."
She rolled her eyes so hard she slipped off his lap. "Please, he likes you more than any other guy I've ever brought home. My mom still talks about you."
"I have a way with moms."
Monica slipped her phone from her back pocket as she hopped back up on the counter and for the first time since arriving at the parlor, Eddie could feel the seconds tick by.
"So, you gonna hold my hand when it starts to hurt?"
"Give it two seconds and you'll addicted to it." She hiked up her shirt and revealed the column of chinese le
The following challenges were completed during the writing exercise:
Begin Start typing to begin
Words Reach 50 words
Words Reach 100 words
Location A tattoo parlor
Event Nothing interesting happens
Words Reach 200 words
Letter Use the letter C
Words Reach 300 words
Words Reach 400 words
Words Reach 500 words
Sentence "I'll deal with you later."
Words Reach 600 words
Words Reach 700 words
Prop Include a cell phone
Words Reach 800 words
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