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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11 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

  2. julespaige says:

    Just wanted to say I’m finally getting to my April Gems comments – but I guess I have the settings to close comments after a bit. So I can’t get in to let you know I saw you stopped by.

    I averaged about ten miles a day last month. I know I won the contest. But they aren’t doing anything official until the middle of June. I don’t know what if I won anything at all except to say I managed to out walk the other folks who were also stomping on.

    Cheers, Jules

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Jules, impressive mileage.Congratulations on outpacing the others and winning. Generally, I average about 3-3.5 miles and May wasn’t even that good. I started working on a post about it, but because of the grands coming for the week, it probably won’t be posted until next week.

      Thank you for the butterfly postcard from Aruba. Beautiful. It is on my refrigerator. Aruba is supposed to be a wonderful place to visit. Maybe, some day.


      Liked by 1 person

  3. julespaige says:

    Part of a section for school…poetry. Son of Son was more interested in reading the Inspector Flytrap books I got him. http://www.kidsreads.com/reviews/series/inspector-flytrap
    I got him 1 – 3 there is a 4th out or due out soon. I found 2 & 3 at the Library book store and paid full price (w/store discount) for #1. I gave them to him Thursday and he’s already finished the first two. (It’s just Saturday – for all I know he could be finished with the whole set by now!

    He was more interested in helping to bake brownies and reading and playing with his trains. Maybe next time I’ve got him for a few hours…


    • Up until now, I had never heard of Inspector Flytrap…Inspector Gadget and Captain Underpants, yes, but not this guy. I bet my grandsons might enjoy them. As for introducing him to poetry, there’s plenty of time for that. Brownies, reading, and trains…that is more fun, for now. You’ll convert him. I convinced my younger son to write a few haiku in seventh grade. I doubt he has written anything like that since, but…

      I actually taught the two oldest grands to play cribbage when they were visiting for the week. Another generation who can play; I was excited.

      Liked by 1 person

      • julespaige says:

        I bumped into my grands and their Mom at the Mall – Son of Son finished all three books and was going to start at the beginning again! Having him hooked on reading is fun. He was so animated trying to tell me about the stories.

        Really what more can I ask for? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Nothing at all, JP, nothing at all. I love hearing about young readers.


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