Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Beginning and End (04/16/09)
TITLE: THE TATTOO
By Kenneth Heath
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Alison breathed a sigh of relief as she sat down in the Tattoo artist’s chair.
“So, is this the final design that you want me to do?” asked the tattoo artist sitting down beside her.
“Definitely.” She said.
The decision had been a long time coming. As a young girl growing up in her parents’ home, life had been good. Mom and Dad took care of her every need and she lacked for nothing but somehow she always felt empty inside. Perhaps it was that hunger for something more that had driven her to rebel against her life style. Recalling the heart break that she had put her parents through brought tears to her eyes, how could she have been so blind? Drugs, sex and rock and roll was the anthem of her youth, and she tried everything there was in her quest to satisfy her insatiable inner hunger.
“It’s beautiful in its simplicity,” he said as he began to prep her left arm with surgical spirits and lay out the transfer on her upper bicep. “Take a look in the mirror. Is that where you want it?”
“It’s perfect” she said as she drifted back into her inner world.
Noisily, he began to prepare the inks and test his machine. “Please don’t move, it’s going to sting a bit, but it’s not as painful as child birth,” he joked as he turned his full attention to his work.
Her arm began to burn as the machine started to infuse the ink into her skin, but she was already retreating back into her thought world.
Along came Gavin, her knight in shining armour, whisking her away on his shiny Harley to far and distant places. Oh the life, desert sunsets and far off motel rooms, booze and more booze, and yet she had felt so empty. Falling pregnant didn’t help, as he left her in a one-horse town as soon as he found out. It took a lot to call mom and dad and ask for help but they came, took her in and loved her in spite of everything.
The buzzing of the machine interrupted her thoughts. Oh the peace she felt within. Where had it been when she needed it? What had taken her so long to find it?
The birth of her precious daughter did not fill the void inside of her, but being a single mother distracted her enough for the years to fly bye. Adam had come into their lives and life had changed for the better. That was until a mammogram revealed that she had a growth in her right breast. Remembering the icy chill that had permeated her very soul, she shivered, recalling the specialist very words informing her that she had breast cancer and a radical mastectomy along with aggressive treatment would be required if she was to have a chance of surviving.
“Would you like a cup of coffee? It’s going just fine, but I don’t want to rush it, I know you want it to be just perfect, he said changing the needle and the colour. Are you OK? Not too painful?”
Pain! What did he know of pain she thought? Childbirth, mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation treatment and reconstructive surgery she had had it all.
“Buddy I have been through the mill, this is nothing compared with what I have been through.” She said as she sipped her coffee.
“What made you choose this rose?” he asked, as he began to fill in the outline with a beautiful deep red colour.
“I chose it because I am a cancer survivor and since I chose to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of my life last Sunday, I wanted a visual reminder of the new life that he has given me. The rose represents the end of my past life and the beginning of my new life. It also represents the beauty of a new life in Christ and it reminds me to live one day at a time and not take life for granted anymore.”
“I need to get me one,” he said.
“But you have so many tattoo’s,” she said.
“Not a tattoo, I need a new life,” he said with tears in his eyes, “my whole life I have felt empty and nothing I have tried has ever filled it.”
“Let me introduce you to Jesus,” she said. “He will give you new beginning and be with you till the very end.”
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