Sleeping Beauty

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Image: Pixabay


 

Under the leer of a new moon, inky slithers melt into life.

A mermaid licks salt-crusted lips, flicks her scales and dives, breaking through the waves of skin that roll across your chest.

The rose unfurls its petals, nips at flightless doves, thorns snatching at banners declaring ‘Stella’, ‘Gloria’ ‒ ‘Mum’.

You wanted ‘ink’ ‒ to be a man. Now the pictures that smother your skin smother you.
They weave and warp to form a tattoo where you never felt the sting before – your throat.

You dream of the needle, of the sea, of Sleeping Beauty cradled in her bramble nest. You stir, gasp, swallow.

Ink is your final breath-taker.

 


This is a story I first wrote last year for the now sadly defunct Micro Bookends flash fiction challenge.

Micro Bookends: Sleeping Beauty

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Sleeping Beauty

Under the leer of a new moon, inky slithers melt into life.

A mermaid licks salt-crusted lips, flicks her scales and dives, breaking through the waves of skin that roll across your chest.

The rose unfurls its petals, nips at flightless doves, thorns snatching at banners declaring ‘Stella’, ‘Gloria’ ‒ ‘Mum’.

You wanted ‘ink’ ‒ to be a man. Now the pictures that smother your skin smother you.
They weave and warp to form a tattoo where you never felt the sting before – your throat.

You dream of the needle, of the sea, of Sleeping Beauty cradled in her bramble nest. You stir, gasp, swallow.

Ink is your final breath-taker.


Another day, another photo of a semi-naked, heavily tattooed man on my blog. Ah, well, such is the way of the world.

This was my second entry to last week’s Micro Bookends challenge – you know, Undertaker, man with big, scary needle – and parp-parp-parp-parp-parp-parp! (How do you do a decent trumpet blast in words?) …

My Sleeping Beauty WON! Winner! Winner! Winner! Hang out the damn flags!

I was very surprised and totally delighted that my third attempt at the competition was succesful, especially as I’d read the other submissions – these folks are just too good. Thanks to David Borrowdale who runs Micro Bookends and to Jessica Franken last week’s judge and worthy former-winner.

If you’d like to read my author page on the site (and who wouldn’t – it’s very good) then click here.

And I shall see you anon 🙂

Micro Bookends: the bedpost tattoo

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The bedpost tattoo

Under the leer of a new moon, she watches Guy sleep. For hours, he’s lain blue-lit by the moon, gold-lit by her torch.

Memories fall through her mind like knives, murdering each old, fond thought. Her fingernails once scratched at his bicep as she counted and recounted the notches on his bedpost tattoo.

He laughed – swore, ‘no more women, baby, not since you’.

Finally, he groans, disturbed by the torchlight or his own dark thoughts. He twists, rolls over, arm thrown up to cover his face.

The torchlight shivers as she counts…

As she runs through the cold, cruel half-light, he is transformed, renamed. No longer Guy, but Faith-taker.


Another week, another Micro Bookends challenge. This time, we had Under as a starter and taker at the end. Maybe the whole word – Undertaker – inspired me, beause both of my entries were … towards the darker half of existence. Just to make a change, eh? Oh, and the photo prompt was of a tattooist, so maybe that helped!

For more flash-based fun, tune in tomorrow, when I have a lovely snippet of news to share. 🙂