The Tattoo

by Patricia

The story of the Tattoo...

It was my 40th birthday and I was feeling old. What have I done with my life? Obviously I have not cured cancer or become a famous writer.
Reflecting on this I was overcome with a feeling of remorse for all the years I spent saying "some day" instead of just making a plan and jumping in with both eyes closed. Inside I was screaming "I want to do something with my life! I want to be somebody and be important!"

While I was sitting there feeling sorry for myself a light bulb went off above my head, suddenly I had an IDEA! It's time to go to the store and buy another pack of light bulbs! (I am so smart some days) As I was walking down the aisle of the local supermarket I had another idea, perhaps it is time to review my bucket list.

For those of you unfamiliar with a bucket list it is a list people create of things they want to do before they die, not that I am planning on dying anytime soon, heck no, I am going to live long enough to teach my grandchildren how to food fight and eat chocolate cake for breakfast; it just never hurts to get started on lists early, that way you can do the fun things twice.
Reviewing my bucket list I see a dozen or so things I want to do that might not cause my family to have me locked up in a psychiatric ward (some days I just know they already have the straight jacket on order).

After much deep thought (and a couple margaritas) I decide on getting a tattoo. That's right, the person who runs at the sight of a needle, taking out doctors and nurses in her path has written 'get a tattoo' on my list, thinking about this I decide I need to hunt this person down and kill them but that will have to wait, right now, for some crazy unknown reason I decide that getting a tattoo is actually a good idea.

My idea is met with a couple of giggles from the family as I make my great tattoo announcement. Someone mutters something about a poor doctor who is still in the mental ward from the conversation I had with him when he tried to give me a flu shot. Those rumors are just not true! He is not in a mental ward - he retired from the medical profession and took up bear wrestling as he felt it was less dangerous to his psyche.

My family's reaction has spurred me on to action! I will show them! I can do this! I am She-Ra, female warrior! I can do anything! (Except laundry, dishes and poop patrol the back yard). They will take back their sarcasm and doubt! They will stand in awe of my bravery! I will get this tattoo done before my next birthday and they will stand and applaud me, stories will be told about my courage and legends will be born!!!!!

Exactly one month before my 42nd birthday I am entering the tattoo parlor with resolute determination. My eldest daughter is there with me, I am holding her hand and assuring her that everything will be alright, she is scared and worried for me. For some unknown reason she remembers it the other way around but you know how young people are, they get so caught up in their fears that they just cannot face reality.

The tattoo artist makes her way over to us and smiles an angelic smile. 'Are you ready?' she asks. A beautiful halo floats serenely above her head and butterflies flit around her, playfully weaving in and out of the rainbow that has appeared over her left shoulder.

'I was born for this' I state, simply.
'Then let's make our way to the back room and get started.'

Somewhere between the lobby and the back room the artist's halo begins to fade as horns start to appear and her skin begins to turn a deep crimson red. At this point I am somewhat concerned but I will not let this minor change of reality deter me from my mission. I am She-Ra, female warrior! I can do anything!

This demon beast that stands before me points to a chair that lies flat, not unlike a dentist's chair. I skillfully hop up into the seat and lie down with my belly flat on the surface, this way she can have access to my shoulder to do her work.
Suddenly and without warning tentacles leap up from below me and wrap themselves around my body, making any type of struggle a mute point but I am not afraid, I will not be intimidated. Somewhere I hear a small plea for mercy but the voice gets lost in the maniacal laughter that erupts from my antagonist. Flames shoot up from below me and for some reason the heat only sears my shoulder, right where the beast is filleting my skin with its pointedly sharp, ten inch long fingernail. I hold back the wave of terror that starts to overtake my senses. I refuse to become a statistic; I will survive this onslaught, if only to save others from a similar fate.

Hours turn into days and days turn into years as I endure wave after wave of torture.

The beast must have sensed that I was not going to surrender for she stopped her attack as suddenly as she started. My skin was red with raised blisters and surely would require some sort of surgical procedure to repair the damage that had come from centuries of this relentless attack.

As I walked out of this dungeon my daughter looked up at me and smiled, her mother had survived!

Smiling back at her I thought about the battle that had consumed the better part of the afternoon, yes, I had survived!

I knew I would. For I am brave, I am She-Ra, female warrior!!

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