This is similar to Flash Fiction Friday. The pic that is on my header has intrigued me and a story began to form in my head. Don’t know where it’s going… but I hope you enjoy.

It was hard to lay still. The paste tickled as she lay there for what seemed like hours. It dried and pulled at her skin. She knew better than to move. If she did, he’d only scrape it all off and start over.

“Almost done,” he said. He added a few more dots of paste. He put down his brush and stretched. Then he brought a cup over to her and let her take a sip through the straw.

“Thanks. How long will it take for it to dry?”

“Well, I just applied the last dots, I’d give it at least an hour. I could bring in a few heat lamps if you’d like.”

“Please, It’s getting a bit cold.”

He smiled as he looked down at her skin and saw the goosebumps on her skin. “Mustn’t have the henna paste crack from goosebumps. I’d have to start again,” he said as he went to get the heat lamps.


It started as a trade. All the girls were getting tattoos, and she was afraid of the pain. She’d stopped at his Henna booth at the fair and admired the work he was doing on people’s hands. It had given her an idea. Henna looks like a tattoo, but wasn’t permanent. The vendor wanted $25 for a 5×5 inch tramp stamp. She didn’t have the money. He said that if she’d agree to be his canvas for a larger piece he was doing to promote his work, it would be free. She said she’d think about it and then walked away.

Her girlfriends met up with her and said they were all going to Tat’s R Us in a few minutes. The thought of needles and a permanent mark on her skin was too much. She said that she’d already made an appointment with a man to do some “ink work” and then said goodbye to her friends. They waved and she’d walked back to the table.


The appointment was set for the next day. His instructions were to bathe and put on no lotion or deodorant. She had done as he asked, but was a bit surprised when he showed her the sketch. She undressed and stretched out on the table. She worried about him being a pervert, but he hadn’t touched her except to position her.

The paste was cool, and tingly. He said there was mint in the mix. He started at her neck and worked his way across her body and down to her feet. He’d clamped her foot in place when she’d flinched. Now, she was waiting for it to dry.

The click of the camera had startled her. She didn’t move much, and she was glad. The last thing she wanted to do was have to repeat the process.

“Beautiful. I’ve wanted to do a large piece for years, but no one would sit. Or, their bodies were not smooth enough,” he said.

“Oh. When it’s all dry, I just rinse off and can head home?” she asked.

“Well, I’ll need a few pictures of you without the paste, and then there is the front side,” he said with a smile.

“What in the hell have I gotten myself into?” she wondered.

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