The Fourth Tattoo

This is an early story of mine. I wouldn't bring it to you if I didn't think it was a good story. Purely meant to relate. This story is artistic while still real. Sorry I don't have time to finish a summary. My friends need me to regulate a fight. With our luck we'll probably get jumped. But I'll get a few in. Find Peace in times of Anarchy. That's what my tat says.

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Hey, hey man. You need some? It takes seconds for someone with reasonable intelligence to understand the odds. What you talkin' about? You need some, uhh? Some what? The possibility of this being a good idea is just another testament to your character. Some weed, pills, whatever! The quaint surprised look was contrived due to being satisfied with the question. What you think I am? Stupid or desperate. Honestly? The bemused look he had was perfect." So how long for you? Hmm, two, three months U.C? I'm not a cop! His voice isn't typical. It's as if an older individual with a Keanu Reeves voice from the eighties, is trying to sell me up the river. So I stopped walking, turned and said, Listen, I'm telling you right now; if you value your life, find a new profession. Because one day your not going to be as lucky. One day your going to try the wrong person and get yourself killed! No joke, I knew you were a cop from down the street. How? He asked without implication. Like I said before. What do you think I am? Stupid or desperate. And just like that his welcome, the size of a mat, disappeared. Out of sight and out of his mind.

There was absolutely no way he was going to miss it. After running three blocks, Del arrived just in time to catch his bus. The number four. Just having received his tax returns, two weeks late for doing them wrong; he saw an opportunity to finally get a tattoo that he created a long time ago. Too long to its just mention. It was time it belonged on more than just paper. As a young man, Del Nileppez, only having two tattoo's of his own, one not even finished (not only on his skin, but in his mind), proclaimed this a necessity. Similar to listening to his music, he doesn't have a choice. Its like his mind has blackened out to the size of a peephole. Revealing only the sight of a design, crisp and ever rotating.

When he was on the bus, like several times before, Del would close his eyes. Which made the artwork look larger, and intensely vivid. It would change colors when the sun rolled over his eyes. Later reminding him of a kaleidoscope. Which caught him off guard one time, making him squint. In which it expanded and contorted into several different images, and during his many long and uneventful bus rides, he would have something else to do besides read the shredded remains of past passengers newspapers, as they were found on the floor or stashed in the corners regularly. As he kept to himself, like everyone else who knew what stares meant.

He found it sometimes even more exhausting to take the bus, than to just make the walk. The constant gyrations inspired several calm faces, which all shared a common, and eventually necessary question. What are these bus drivers on? Thirty miles over the speed limit, with the brazen arrogance of the city always in their face. Never questioning the need to go faster. Some older buses give off a signature smell that could be defined as a low grade diesel mixed with back and ass sweat. Mmmmmm... Intoxicating. A single pump on the brakes could propel any man or woman to at least be sunken into whatever was instantly parallel to them. Whether that be the metal divider or just a very cold and worn pole. Or maybe just the thick-ass bullet proof glass you unsuspectingly ram you head into. Your grip becomes undeniable, as your forced to help with the slow paced dismemberment of the cities so called furniture. Which no one could honestly say, trusted it. Roaring into fourth gear, it sounded like an unsophisticated missile or warhead raising for departure.

His internal clock is sharp. Knowing where and what time it was without even caring. ~Click~ He turned off the projector when he realizes there's a block to go before his exit. He pulls the cord without hesitation. Gets off and goes right, kicking the remains of a can off a step from the bus. He barely noticed how hot it was. It was always hot. Sticky and humid. F'in always, anytime, day or night! Something he said to himself and others constantly. Looking made easy by Conan Glasses, his oversized granny specs was his only bright idea. Swiping them from an old lady he accidentally ran into one day. No purpose initially intended. Unlike most things he steals: newspapers, groceries, electricity, water, cable, and oh yeah toilet paper (usually from laundry mats); There was a purpose behind it. This one really didn't at the time. To further the confusion, he's had these cheap ugly things for two years, wearing them as he walked alone or in trusted company. (Because they were that ridiculous.)

He could see a mirage as he walked on. It would repeatedly appear as a scene of bustling colors on top with a black hole surging immense power below. An explosion of oil replayed over and over again, without the reemergence of a star. It was with him always to say the least. Also bringing about a creative front for him, as he would find himself lounging when loitering in the area's many stores. Making quick stares at the horizon whenever a thought was needed.

Where is this place? He demanded in frustration. He thought to himself. Wait-Wait! Isn't it off this road? Wait--- This isn't my stop! It was the wrong street, but it wasn't too far off, only about three or four blocks.

So he turned around and began walking in the correct direction. He was annoyed by these elements and hated getting caught up in it, especially as it was, at 12:34. There was no escape from this heat. Perspiring within two minutes in the shade. (Which by the way, if documented, is nowhere near the record.) But he was used to it. To a degree, pulling out his ocular humidifiers. And as he thought of questions to ask, he counted the amount of steps he could get between each crack. A drunken walking game from way back. One- two--one-two--one-two--three-one-two-three. But the pattern eventually switched to a single octagon stile, signifying the end of the game.

Del looked up just in time to spot three gorgeous women, in bikinis, strolling toward the motel pool. There scantily clad attire left few things to question, as his angle of them went from acute to obtuse. Then back to acute as he walked backwards, until they turned the corner. The sight was burned into his memory for an hour. Continuing down the street, obviously motivated on his current task. He happened to notice a folded up piece of paper on top of some mulch, under a bush. He opened it carefully, noticing it had been out in the rain. It was frail and slightly faded. Dated and with the time posted, it read like this.

Sunday, December 31, 2006 6:37pm.

Its that time again. When some are galloping in Times Square in New York City, wearing their party hats, getting all shit faced drunk; others shooting and watching fireworks go off. Those things don't excite me to be frankly open and honest. The coming of the New Year 2007 brings a bit of a bittersweet array of emotions. The taste of the sweet feels great, but the bitterness of 2006 replays a monotonous, monotone ballad of a year passing, the review of the year is eminent in the following paragraph.

About this time last year, I cannot even recall where I was, whom I was dating, where I was living. It all seems so blank. All I know is that sometime after that I was blessed to have celebrated my nineteenth birthday, all in my lonesome. I learned something days later that the love of your parents, no matter how strained the relationship, can save your life. Needless to say, I found myself voluntarily admitting myself to a mental health crisis center, hoping to stabilize myself at one of my annual lows. I found myself not receiving any help there on a professional level, but I met a guy there. Edward Curran. The romance lasted a short while.

The troubled best friend of mine, Joseph, was quick to be devoted and came to my rescue. At times his intentions are pure, no hidden agenda. He offered me a job on another one of his bright ideas, mobile detailing. It started out great. Here I was the general manager of a company. A baby. I groomed it and started to build my future on it.

Like a dumb ass I moved out of my mother's house to move into a brand new condo with Joseph and his new boyfriend Kevin.

Of course after a short time that dream came tumbling down, shot down like a bird out of the sky. I returned my things to my mother's backyard and took to the streets, homeless with no place to.

And it ends like that. Taken back to his own childhood and adolescence, he can't help but commiserate with her current situation. No imposter to hard times and sheltered innocence turned at a right angle, he began to wonder where she might be at? When he heard a growl of thunder in the distance. Instinctively he folds and stuffs it inside his pocket. Out of sight and out of reach of the rain.

Looking up for the first time in two and a half blocks is kind of strange for Del; and if I'm right it's the same for most of our stoned youth and young adults. (Not only in the united states but also throughout the WORLD.) His eyes dipped above and below what is registered at 3/4th of a tank full of gas. Off kilt and buzzed till it was killed by closing his eyes. And reopening them with a block to go, and inspiration on track seven, he sees a sign that brings on more than the appearance of his destination. It was the proverbreal Scorpions dart in Del's chest, followed by the famed Get over Here! He was in there before his blood hit the ground.

In his mind.

Getting up to the lot, I was like coool. Signing my name on a clipboard I was like, coool. Waiting Was all right. No this is all right. Cool-just getting finished on dude, my turn next!

As he waited he read two magazines. Getting annored often and quick. He'd advert his attention to the other pictures of tattoo's that covered each wall, the stunning memory of the heartbreakers, and of course the mesmerizing horizon. So what do you think? the artist asked. Perfect. You-are awesome. Didn't take too long I hope? Naw. Hell no! I don't care about how long it'd taken. Just that it's on there. They got up, took care of business, and shook hands, saying All right and Good deal, and then to me on the way out, He's good. All right! A newcomer, what's your name? He takes a quick look. Del- well Del, you smoke? While tossing the clipboard down. Yeah. Cool, you feel like smokin' one? Uhh. Yeah, sure. Good So I don't feel so bad for kicking you out for a moment.

He kicked open the door while grabbing at a cig. Saying, My names Kyle. Taking the part of the glass that had his name written on it, he began to lean and light at the same time. We shook but his ended with a snap, that was completely invisible to the eye. Then he asked, So what are you here for? Del was slow to start but he belted out the basics, then the meaning, and then the additional work needed that wasn't in his sketch. Is that all? Well I could use a drink. Shit, the stores that a' way. He pointed like a gun, shooting at the corner across the street. Naw. I'm good. They finished smoking, and went inside.

So let me see your sketch. Del went through his pockets, accidentally pulling out the piece of paper he found on the street. He shoved it back in, as he located and presented the sketch. Yeah. That's pretty much what I was thinking; and you want the middle to swirl like a black hole of sorts. Is that correct? Yep. All right. I'll get some stencils up so- Del interrupted saying, What! You can't do it free hand? Kyle had a look of phuck you, as Nileppez started to laugh and say sorry when Kyle rebutted stating, Hey! This is a weird f--king tattoo. It needs to be groomed and prepped, not ushered into existence Plus I can't draw a circle free hand. They both laughed for a moment. A few seconds later, Del decides, Hey, I'm goin' to the store. You need anything? Yeah, I could use a drink. He shook his head laughing, No, I'm all right. You don't want to watch this? Naw, I trust yeh.

As Del walked on, he could feel a breeze that wasn't there before. The storm was closer but not yet had reached him. There were still white clouds overhead as he crossed the street. A.lso k.nown a.s a, bo-de-ga, or my favorite, ghetto stores. Each has an individual niche within the neighborhood. Beyond the normal reasons of mentioning.

In his mind

Seriously, I've seen kids born here, I've seen kids die here, kids get arrested, get mail, get drugs, tattoo's, or just a simple ass kicking. Doesn't matter what year it is. People are always going to be crazy. The strange thing is I always end up seeing it. I don't know why! And I don't know if I should feel fortunate or cursed. Maybe human. Either way my shoulders will shrug the same way until I die. It's pretty much the current equivalent of any well-earned trade route in the eastern part of ancient times. Visited by a gust of personalities, controlled by priorities, that were approved by no one, always. Fought over and frolicked. Everything locals or APB's (All Persons Bored) need to appropriately kill time."

Without thinking, he was in and out in minutes. Now across the street, he could see the shop from where he was standing. He was in perfect view of everything, as he walked down the sidewalk, now a little more patiently. He was somewhere between fifty and sixty feet away upon noticing a very large, powder gray truck; make a quiet turn into the parlor's premises. The sound of the tires gave away its intention. Del detected a hesitation in his approach. Slow and considerate. Lights were beaming. A constant color of energy described in verve. No way to explain it in a way that's familiar. Something just didn't feel right.

It's extended crew cab took up over half of the bed, and seemed to have thick glass as its doors flung open; exposing the truth behind the tragedy that was going to take place. This is not the first time for Del, being from a place, he'd like to call home. The storm Is here!

Three armed gunmen make no vacillation, but neither does Del, moving step for step in unison with them. When they entered the lot, Del's alacrity and responsiveness led him to the nearest side of the vehicle. His suspicions were unfortunately corroborated. In his mind.

These guys are professionals. Well, mine as well not make it any easier for them. Del reached up inside the truck and removed the police scanner that sat on top of the dash. His first thought was to take the keys. But I guess they've been through this before. Trying to stay low, he looked in on Kyle's unfortunate take over. All three insurgents were standing or pacing slowly as their voices and guns were raised. Kyle was still in his seat with his arms slightly held up, obviously not a stranger to threats.

Well Del started cutting. He popped almost every tire on that side of the truck. Both rows. Until of course his knife and hand became wedged toward the last axel. He was stuck. Dead and deflated with two tires left. But eventually, after enough rain had fallen, and with enough centimeters retrieved, Del was free. Though it cost a good knife, and a few arm hairs, he figured its better than his arm or his life. With the patience of a plant, he looked inside the shop. It was empty. Curious to figure out his next move, he kept his eyes zoomed in and stance low to retreat. He hadn't heard anything. Just the sound of far off traffic and the pitter-patter of rain as it echo's off the truck, making a custom distortion that ringed solicitude in his ears.

In his thoughts.

It was two minutes in; if their not killing him or robbing him, then they must be torturing him. For reasons I'd rather not know.

So he took off. Sprinting as fast as he could, down the street. And as the echo's faded, they were digested by his mind. He ran into the ghetto store, gasping for air, but managed to relay the situation. The sympathizing Middle Eastern man, know as Rakuel said, Okay, I'll make the call.

Del caught his breathe for a second. Placing the scanner on the counter, as he stared out the door. Convinced by his conscious, and really nervous now, Nileppez inquires, Do you have a gun? Rakuel, now on hold, takes a deep look within Del's eyes. Then, seconds later, reaches and pulls out what is referred to as a forty-four. Del, knowing its power, held it with respect as he spun the magazine. Rakuel mentioned, Not your first gun, huh? Not exactly. Del stated as he walked out the door.

It was raining harder now as Del trekked through a few cars that were on the street at the time. He traveled in a somewhat straight line to the truck, keeping low and moving at a strategic pace, making his way across the fore front. The owner of the Color Me Happy a few lots down, stood, gawking for a few seconds at the sight of Del. Eventually snapping out of shell-shocking perplexity, then frenetically gravitated toward the phone.

Del now up to the truck, scopes out the area. Still nothing. There was still no one visible inside. It's eerily quiet. Almost as if what happened was completely fictional. He gets bold, or anxious for Kyle's sake, when he decides to make a move. Standing at an angle, out of store view, he took aim and shot out the glass on both sides of the door. Then grabbed the wall so hard he became a part of its design. His hands vibrated with this constant recoil that didn't leave his nervous system alone. His heart was working multiple shifts as his blood circulated faster than the speed of light. Easily doubling the speed of Hot for teacher by Van Halen. But he was sure of what he was doing. Nothing has changed. His consciousness is never clean.

That's when he heard a voice from inside say, What the hell? Hey, come check this out. Another voice spoke, All right, time to leave!

Del did what many wouldn't in this situation. Knowing that at least one cop would show up, he felt like he would be indebted forever if he did absolutely nothing. So he wielded the hand-cannon with the tactical precision of a seasoned foot soldier. With feet planted and shoulders square and tight, he leaned in. Only showing the gun and his eyes, Del shot the first person he saw. Taking his arm off as the projectile tunneled through his shoulder. One of the other hit man yelled, Take cover!

With thoughts accelerated, Del took a deep breath, and then ran behind the truck. Thought about it for a second, then jumped into the bed. Peering over the top just in time to see the muzzle of another mans machinery whip around the corner, and fire fifteen rounds into the corner where Del was. Leaving artificial clouds of cement in the air.

Del quickly took aim and popped a round off in his leg. Damaging the femoral artery. Blood sprayed into the sky like a Kool-Aid commercial. Except there was only one kid running around, and no big smiled, Oh! Yeah! Just a muffled Oh! Shit!

Shaken up by that one a little, he backs off a bit. Leaping out of the tank, slowly pacing backwards. Trying to stay out of view, he crouched behind a newspaper stand. The same one he stole from almost everyday. Turning around the corner was a familiar sight of a cop, trailed by a K-9 unit. They noticed Del almost immediately from the 9-1-1 report, and knew that he was armed and presumably dangerous. Unaware that he was also an armed and presumably dangerous civilian turned vigilante.

The cops then announced via intercom to, Throw down your weapon, and with your arms raised walk to us. Del thought to himself, Oh hell no! f--k that! Ain't happening! He moved around the side of the stand when the gips announced, If you do not surrender your weapon, we will be forced to send in the dogs! And that's when the last gunman opened fire. The cops, who were already in their cars, got lower as their confusion of my unwillingness was explained by the seventy-five rounds that were expelled in the five to seven seconds of unparalleled firepower. The smoothness in which each round was spent, didn't at all match the damage that was done. It was silent as the last perp got in and started it up.

The lead car was hit pretty badly, and probably housed the corpse of another man just doing his job. The now driver of this hearse- mobile put it in reverse, taking off slowly in the opposite direction of the potentially exterminated cops.

Del sprung out of his foxhole and took aim. He was planning to shoot at the wheels, hoping they'd detach themselves from the axel. But instead, what happened was he hit the gas tank. Causing a gigantic explosion, that was noted to make a ripple in the cheeks of Rakuel; who was standing in the doorway of his shop. Phone in hand. Del stood there as the oil in the horizon caught fire. A single image that permeated in his mind until it was put out, where it was then singed for a lifetime.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    guitard00d13
    hm, not really sure what to make of it... interesting writing style, quite confusing though.. i enjoyed the end, but some of the structure needs work, otherwise it was pretty good.
    the_perdestrian
    read the first paragraph. I'm not gonna finish reading the story, sorry but its true. the paragraph needs to be broken up, having two people talking and an internal monolouge all mashed into a brick like that is very disorienting.