Fiction Teaser: Meet Adele!

I told myself to stay focused intently on the patterned skull wallpaper. If you stare long enough, maybe it will become one of those Magic Eye mirages—you know, the ones you could never quite figure out as a child?—and you will be able to block out the pain you are paying someone to inflict. I heard the tearing of the sterile packages being opened, smelled the rubbing alcohol and felt its cool sensation on my skin. It all sent an exhilarating chill down my spine. For the first time I wasn’t doing something that went along with the Florencia way of life, something that was expected of me. I was doing something that I wanted.

I was sure my clever little plan of just not looking would work. It had always worked at the dentist and when I had blood drawn, so why wouldn’t it work in this similarly reclined chair? It was effective for the full five minutes of prep time…still no hidden image being illuminated, though. This will be a walk in the park. Just keep looking. Maybe cross your eyes? Is that how people see these things?

I felt the blood begin to seep out from the underside of my wrist and gave up on trying to find the beauty in the yellowing wallpaper. I instinctively cast my eyes downward, just quick enough to see the beginning of “Famigilia” being etched into my skin in flowy black ink. I was 20 years old and naïve enough to think that this word would always have a strong enough meaning to me to be a part of my body. Forever. I smiled light-headedly. Dad’s totally going to kill me.

I continued watching until the third “i” was dotted, mesmerized as my skin went from needing-a-tan-white, to ink-black, and then quickly to irritated blotchy-red lined with blood. It was as our small town’s best tattoo artist tilted my wrist toward her, ever so gently, and began swooping her needle up on the final “a” that I passed out.

* * *