Of Course My Tattoo Is Normal!

For those of you out there reading this that love writing I have a challenge for you. I little while ago I had a writing competition I wanted to enter but with school and everything I ended up not having very long to write it. Here’s the kicker, my work was better when I didn’t overthink it. Sure it needed some work and edits, but when I didn’t think about it I wrote better. The competition was to create a short story using a writing prompt and use 1000 words or less. It was a great way for me to exercise my brain and to figure out what style of writing I love best. I think I ended up spending two hours on it, including edits. So here’s the challenge; try doing what I did. Write a short story under 1000 words in two hours. See what you come up with. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me. Below I have added the story I wrote for the competition.

 

Of Course My New Tattoo Is Normal!

The room feels neither hot nor cold, it has an awful temperature of nothingness. The room is empty, except for seven chairs in a row facing me and a foot tall dais which stands in front of them. I know what I’m supposed to do but I don’t want to. What will they say about me? What if they pick something for me I don’t like? The questions keep coming unbidden into my mind and it takes me a good few minutes before my mother’s voice of reason comes into my head.

           “The Tellers have been doing this for centuries, they haven’t made a mistake yet have they?” I remembered shaking my head no. The Tellers had the job of foreseeing what your future will be. When they foresee your future they give you a tattoo so everyone knows your social status. At the age of eighteen, we would go before the Tellers and they would read us and know what we would do for the rest of our lives. Today was my day, and I was terrified. I drew in a breath and walked to the dais and stepped onto it. A door creaked and I glanced up to see seven people walk into the room. They are all different except for their tattoos. They each have a symbol of an opened-mouthed head. The sign of the Tellers will reside on their throats for their entire lives. The youngest Teller looked to be about twenty-one. He’s tall and handsome, with dark hair and eyes a deep chocolate hue. I realize I’ve been staring like a lunatic and shift my eyes down to look at my feet.

           “What’s your favorite color?”

           “What?” I look up and see a bemused look on several of the Tellers’ faces. The others look unamused.

           “What’s your favorite color?” The speaker is by far the oldest Teller in the room. Older than my grandfather.

           Confused, I answer, “Lilac.”

           “How many siblings do you have?” This time, it’s a woman who asks. She seems to be about my mother’s age.

           “Just an older brother.”

           “What’s a chore you hate doing?” This man looks to be about twenty-eight.

           “Vacuuming.” I’m getting annoyed now. “Excuse me, how is this supposed to tell you what I will be when I grow up?”

           “Ramona Tupper.” The eldest Teller’s voice is hard and commanding. “Your only job is to answer the questions we ask. We will then tell you when we come to an agreement.” I clench my fists and grind my teeth. For what seemed like forever I answer their ridiculous questions. All of the questions they ask are simple-minded such as “What did you get in this class in fourth grade? What’s your favorite animal? Favorite food?” Finally, they run out of things to ask me.

           “We will go and discuss now.” The leading Teller says. They leave through the same door they came in and close it behind them. My legs are cramped from standing in one place for so long. I sit down on the dais and wait.

 

 

           I was supposed to be scrubbing dishes in my family’s kitchen sink that night. Instead, I’m staring at the tattoo on the inside of my wrist. I should’ve known it would be a baked treat. All of my family members have one. Mine is a cupcake. When they had been injecting me with the tattoo the liquid had been a bright green, but when it was done, it was the darkest black I’d ever seen. It was almost magical.  I don’t think I’m mad about my tattoo, just disappointed. I like baking, but to do it the rest of my life? How did the Tellers know that was what my life was to be? I shake my head and continue to scrub. When I am done I dry my hands off and scowl down at the tattoo on my wrist again. But this time it’s not a cake. The image I’m looking at is a skull inside of a bottle.

           “What?” I screamed.

 

 

           My mother doesn’t believe me, I try to tell my father and he is stubborn too. They tell me I must be mistaken. My brother in the only one who shows any emotion when I tell him, I just wish it was different from what it was.

           “Oh no!” He yells overly dramatic, throwing his hands in the air. “Your tattoo is haunted!”

           “You’re no help!”

 

 

           I don’t pay any mind to the rain. Let it come. It’s the perfect example of my mood. Dreary and disgruntled. I’m walking down some random alleyway on the far side of town. There aren’t many people here, and that’s fine. I want to be alone anyway.

           “You’ll catch a cold if you stay out here too long.” I look up and my eyes almost bug out of my head. It’s the youngest Teller from my meeting.

           “You!” I snap. I run up to him. “Explain this!” I pull up the sleeve of my shirt to see my tattoo. This time it’s a stethoscope. He looks me dead in the eyes and says.

           “It was time for a change.”

           “What?”

           “The Tellers couldn’t agree on what your life would be like. You aren’t like most others. We couldn’t figure out what kind of person you are. So I hijacked your tattoo to change. So that you wouldn’t have to be like the rest of us, handed a life and expected to like it.”

           “Excuse me? How is that even possible?”

He grabs me by the shoulders to make sure I am paying attention. “Get out before they find you. They won’t be happy when they find out what I’ve done.”

           “I don’t underst-” Lightning flashed overhead and the street lights went out, plunging the alleyway into darkness. The Teller released me and vanished into the darkness.

           “Wait! You have to tell me why they’d come after me!” Oh. I hope this is just a bad dream.

 

Before I ended this article I need to give credit where credit is due. The writing contest came from GetUnderlined.com and the writing prompt came from Katytastic on YouTube, the host of the contest. It was a lot of fun and I highly encourage you to try it out. I will include the writing prompt I used to get you started. Now get writing!

Writing Prompt: I think my new tattoo is haunted.