In Time: The Tattoo Parlor

This continues the story of Roderick, one of the bad guys from my work in progress. I’ve been sharing both his and Viola’s stories with you. The last excerpt, called Antiquities, had Roderick picking up a new magnet and jumping into time again. This picks up where that left off. Missed the last few stories? Click here for easier navigation.

Hypnotized by the soft swooshing of the train gliding down the track, Roderick realized how tired he was. At least, the human part of him still required rest. He could not remember the last time he had gotten any real sleep. Since his transformation, sleep had eluded him due to his super sensitive sensory system. He heard everything, even if it was miles away, which made sleep incredibly difficult. He closed his eyes and let his senses take over. The train was surprisingly deserted. He could afford to rest. His heightened sense of awareness would alert him if he had company. Nothing foul would happen to him on the train. He let his shoulders relax, pulled his Stetson low over his face, lifted his feet to the seat across from his, and drifted off to sleep.

The bell jingled loudly as the glass door swung open. Detailed tattoo drawings graced the walls surrounding him. Some were simple black and white creations, while others added splashes of color like miniature crayon boxes all around the small store. A pair of feet peeked underneath a set of old-fashioned black swinging saloon doors along the back wall.

“I’ll be right with you!” a gruff voice called out from beyond the doors. Moments later, a figure followed the voice and Roderick took in his appearance. A pair of gold framed goggles sat on top of a bald head covered in wide bands of black ink. His forest green jacket fit his trim abdomen tightly. A white band interrupted his jet black shirt at the collar. Black boots with large gold buckles climbed from the floor to his knees, belying his height. He held a delicate wooden pipe to his lips, puffed, and exhaled, causing a soft vanilla scented cloud to halo above his head.

Roderick slid his hands into the front pockets of his denim jeans, and tipped his Stetson crowned head toward the floor. The man in front of him was strange, but yet seemed somehow familiar.

“What can I do you for?” The man said, drawing another puff from his pipe and exhaling with his words.

Roderick silently pulled a small slip of paper from his pocket. An elaborate drawing of a thunderstorm centered with a pierced heart decorated the paper. “Are you Desmond Lee?”

“The one and only.” A smile broke the stern lines of the man’s face.

“I need this done.” Roderick passed the paper to Desmond and paused long enough to give the man time to study it. When Desmond looked up from the paper, he undid the top buttons of his teal blue shirt and opened it up. His fingers circled the flesh over his left breast. “I need it put here and I’m told you’re the only one who can do it.”

A young woman appeared silently behind Desmond Lee. Dressed as strangely as the man was, she seemed familiar. She took one glance at the paper Desmond handed her before reaching out to Roderick.

“Come,” she said. Seduction dripped from her thin red lips. As he passed her to enter the room beyond the doors, she pulled his shirt off then led him to the single chair centering the room. “Sit,” she cooed. Her fingers caressed the spot he had circled. She stuck them in her mouth, moistening their tips before putting them back on his chest and caressing again. She produced a small disposable razor and cleared the skin of hair before pressing the slip of paper against the skin and tracing it. She held a mirror in front of Roderick.

“This is what it will look like.” Roderick nodded approval.

She smiled. “Cat got your tongue?”

He shook his head. “No. Just no need to talk. The tat looks fine.”

“Good.” She called to the man waiting somewhere behind them. “Father, he’s ready.”

A chuckle oppressed the air. “I daresay he’s far from ready, but, at the very least, he is finally here.” He moved to the rolling stool beside the chair and picked up the tattoo gun and brought it to Roderick’s chest.

“It’s about time you showed up,” Desmond stated as he placed the first drop of ink in Roderick’s skin.

To be continued….


This is the last I have written of Roderick to date. I hope you have enjoyed the story thus far.

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