I ink, therefore I am: A short story

Mara B., a friend of mine through the now defunct Red Room writers’ site (which I still miss, but I digress), suggested that she’d like to read a short-short of an event described in a poem I penned a couple years ago. That she believed it could be just as, if not more effective, as flash fiction. Frankly, she is the person I consider a master of the genre, describing in exquisite, tight prose a person or event. I finally present it now, with trepidation. I only hope that I have succeeded in my attempt.


Waiting in the Auckland airport for our return flight home, I was sitting by myself minding our luggage as Rob was briefly away.

A few seats down sat a dark-haired, twenty-something male sporting a tattoo that completely covered his left bicep. An obviously new tattoo as the ink was black and clearly delineated with a greasy ointment. The fact was he was picking at it as if it were itchy and irritated, too, yet there was a satisfied expression being manifested by his body language.

As a general rule, I am not particularly impressed with tattoos as there is little that I would want engraved upon my person permanently, but I have to admit that this tattoo caught my eye with its Maori-like swirls, yet also reminiscent of a Celtic knot.

To look or not? To speak or not? I chose to look; I chose to speak. “Fresh ink?” I asked, and he nodded, shoving his sleeve of his white t-shirt up to his shoulder, showing it off further.

“It’s the souvenir of my trip,” the dark brown-eyed youth said. The pride in his voice was obvious, and smiling, he allowed me a closer look. I could see that it was not his only inking as there was a small, less visible tattoo on the skin of wrist, but this one was the one upon which I was focused.

“Very cool, truly nice,” I said, and it was true. I could believe it was the souvenir of his trip as this tattoo would have been really expensive. Moreover, it was the kind of tattoo I could understand as I had traveled this land for two weeks. I realized the power of the land of the Maori with their ritual tattooing, each one designed by the village chief to symbolize both paternal and maternal families, their haka, a war-like dance even performed by the national rugby team, the fairness-for-all doctrine that ruled throughout the country, and the pride of every citizen who had even one drop of Maori blood, to change a person. I know the marks are invisible, but I too was ritually tattooed, never to forget this land and its people.



About pedometergeek

A pharmacist by profession, a haiku poet by nature, I read and write. I have a book of haiku, Ohayo Haiku, and another somewhat alternative haiku book, Three Breaths, but write other genres. I also read...lots of novels! My favorite is, and remains, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged but I am also a big Harry Potter fan. I truly am a pedometer geek strapping on my pedometer as soon as I awaken.
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3 Responses to I ink, therefore I am: A short story

  1. julespaige says:

    I think you may have visited my Flash Fiction page – I believe this piece would be at home with Carrot Ranch prompts…well if you could say the same thing in 99 words (no more no less).

    I’ve just gotten back from Aruba. Their is still a populous that is native. One woman we spoke with could trace her heritage back several generations. And another with family from Switzerland spoke of how it was getting used to having a King as sovereign, since the last two or three had been Queens. I am fairly certain that the majority of the income of the Island is from tourism and the duty free shops. Though most of our funds went to meals. I did buy some post cards and the stamps to mail them 😉

    I enjoyed your BoTS = Based on a True Story flash fiction. I’ve just created a new page at my fiction site for a fiction series that seems to be growing in segments and intensity. You can find the page here:
    Janice vs Richard

    Even though we do not wear our ink…I think we do wear our words 😉 ~I had to mow my front lawn even in the heat since another storm is on the way. But I’m saving the rest of the lawn for tomorrow or Saturday.
    Cheers, Jules

    Liked by 1 person

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