She was young and dumb and had a tight body. Bob didn’t even bother reaching for his portfolio when she came through the door. She walked straight up to him. “What’ll it be?” he asked
She smiled. “Am I that easy?”
Bob shrugged. “It’s not too hard to spot someone who knows they want a tat.”
She nodded and curled a strand of blonde hair around her finger. “That one,” she said, pointing at Bob.
“The skull,” she said.
Bob hunched down on his stool. “Have you been drinking?” he asked.
The girl shrugged but didn’t answer. She opened her purse and showed him cash which gave her the appearance of being sober enough. “What’s it mean?” she asked.
“Which one?” Bob snapped back.
The girl paused as if slapped. Her eyes scoured the long sleeve of tattoos that covered both arms. She soon realized there were four different skull types to account for. “All of them,” she finally said.
“What the fuck is your problem.” Bob said. The words sounded more like an accusation than a question.
Her demeanor shifted then. Her hair seemed to lose it’s vibrant volume. The fun smile on her lips disappeared. Her arms fell limp by her sides. The lights in the room seemed to dim and her eyes narrowed. Without realizing, Bob’s hand dropped to his pocket and gripped the knife that hid inside.
“I want a skull,” she said. She slapped her palms down onto the glass cabinet between them. “Right on my fucking forehead.”
Bob’s throat felt tight. The girl before him was thin but suddenly seemed strong in an unbearable sense. “How about an X?” he chided. He immediately regretted it.
She smiled a wretched grin. He skin seemed to glimmer in the ever dimming light. Her eyes, once so blue and bright, seethed with rage. “Now you’re getting the idea,” she said.
But it wasn’t her voice. Bob sat upright and his heart began to race. He’d seen his fair share of drunkards and coke-heads come through the place, but this was something entirely different. Not even the crack smokers acted like this. “What the fuck do you want?” he asked. His knuckles were white around the handle of his blade.
“What’s the matter, Bob? Don’t recognize me?” She gave a guttural laugh. The skin on her face shifted and rolled. “I remember you,” she said, in yet a deeper tone. “You made me a promise and I’ve come to collect. You signed it in blood across your back.”
A sting took to his flesh then, a burning flame. His white, wife-beater tank top seared in black to match the letters on his back, “Ave Satanas 666.” The girl laughed and laughed, and Bob hurried to slit his own wrists.