It hurt. It hurt so bad. I let out a slow breath and remained as still as I could, kept my leg relaxed even as the piercing whine increased and the needling went deeper. I turned my attention to the book I had in-hand, though it couldn’t keep my attention. Music pumped into my ears, though it couldn’t block out the sensation drilling through my bones, rattling my organs every time it started, stopped, started again.

I looked up at my torturer and grinned, popped out my earbud. She paused and grinned back. “Just about done. You doing okay?”

I nodded. “Oh yeah. Endorphins are flowing.”

She bent back over the work and I let out another slow breath as she dug back in, depositing color in careful lines. 

Finished, she wiped up the remaining blood and ink and admired her work. “What do you think?” she asked, stepping around to gather her finishing supplies.

I looked at the design and nodded. “Fantastic. Thank you!”

“Any time. Next time, too, I guess.”

Another tattoo. I was worn out from the pain and the hours of work, but I was sure in another couple of weeks I’d be planning my next one.

March 02, 2021

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