#wpw the mysterious tattoo

I don’t think this one ended up great, but I did it in a hurry. I almost didn’t want to post it, but maybe this will be the “before” of a “before and after” piece.

It came from- http://dragonwritingprompts.blogspot.com/

Your character awakes to find a tattoo she or he doesn’t remember getting. What’s the story behind the tattoo and how does your character react?

The stubborn unicorn, the one without magic, the visible one, kicked Branta awake.
“Not again, you hell-beast,” Branta groaned, turning onto his belly. “I always thought that if I had a unicorn I’d be a respected gentleman, or maybe a warlord.”
The horse nudged him again with a hoof.
“At least I thought that it’d be like a horse, but better.”
The unicorn snorted.
“Well, come on, Money Maker,” Branta said. “Another day, another town, another group of unfortunates willing to pay their gold fillings for a glance at a real live unicorn.” He chuckled.
From inside the cart, Melaneres screamed.
Brantas ran to the cart and threw the sheet aside.
“What did you do?” Melaneres shrieked.
“What are you blaming me for now, girl? It isn’t bad enough I feed ya, and clothe ya, and give up my bed to ya. You have to blame me for everything that goes on in the night?”
Melaneres turned her bare shoulder to him so he could see the curling black lines tattoed on her shoulder.
“Well, girly, I never knowed you had a tattoo like that,” Branta said.
“I don’t!” Melaneres shrieked. “I mean I didn’t! What did you do, Branta?”
“Look, here, girly. I had nothing to do with it. What you and the tattoo man do doesn’t concern me and I’m sure not taking the blame for it!”
“Oh, my skin. What would my parents think?” She sobbed.
Branta went to the stream for a drink. On the way, he tripped on a rock and split the leg of his pants. He cursed them and tried to hold the edges together, but something wasn’t quite right. Tattoos, intricate scrollwork, enveloped his leg.
“Hey, girly!” He called. “Maybe I’ve got something to do with it after all. Whatever got you got to me too!”
“What?” Melaneres asked, running toward him. “What do you mean?”
“I mean we’ve both got new tattoos,” he said, showing her.
“What happened to us, Branta? What could have done this? What does it mean?”
“If there’s a meaning, we’ll find it out,” he said. “But we don’t have time to worry on it just now. We’ve got to get Money Maker into his tent if we expect to eat this month.”
Branta,” Melaneres asked softly. “Do you think I should charge people to see it?”
“See what, Girly?”
“The tattoo. It has a great story, and I’d bet most of these people haven’t ever seen a tattooed lady before.”
“Oh, Girly, I’ve taught you right, I have. Go get some paint and create a sign. Magical, mystical, something along those lines. Put up a room for yourself…. oh, well, in the coochie tent I guess. I’ll run Money Maker with Rashid”
Melaneres ran off to get the paint and clips to curtain off a room for herself, and her friend Coby to take the money outside of it.
The day went on and she smiled and coyly flirted and showed justenough tattooed skin and made up all manner of tales about the meaning of the marks.
Close to closing time, a man came in who was dressed for cold weather, even though it was hot, and he looked at her differently than the others had. He looked at the lines and curves of her tattoos with cool interest until Coby ran in with fists clenched.
“Melaneres, get away from him!”
She startled and started to back away, pulling her robe close. “Why?”
“He didn’t pay. His damned money turned to sand!” Coby flung a handful of sand to the ground.
“What are you?” Melaneres asked the stranger.
He exploded into inky smoke and swirled around her, his voice saying, “I am part of you now, Melaneres. We are one in the same. I am your guide, your power, and your weakness. I am your other half. I am you.”
The ink swirled around her, clung to her face, slid into her mouth, choking her, coloring her, changing her, until everything went black.


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