Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Beginning

I need to get my creative juices flowing again. What better way than to write a whole novel in the month of November. Only 49,597 words to go.

Working Title -- Fanny's Tattoo

Fanny paused in front of the tattoo parlor. The tinted window reflected the image of a worn-out, middle-aged woman devouring the last of her Almond Joy bar. She was savoring the next to the last bite when the door opened.

“Come on in. No waiting.” Fanny found herself face to face with a woman about her age. Her face was almost hidden by a mass of untamed, fiery red hair that matched her lipstick and her nails.

Fanny held up the last of her candy bar and gestured to her mouth that was still busy chewing.

“It’s okay, honey. You can bring your candy bar in here. You don’t see any signs that say you can’t eat in my shop, do you?”

The woman opened the door wider and Fanny followed her into the shop. She had never been in a tattoo parlor before and she hadn’t planned to be in one that day. She certainly had no intention of getting a tattoo – then or ever. Still she was drawn to the colorful images that decorated the walls, the soft music and the candles. It certainly wasn’t how Fanny expected a tattoo parlor to look. Not that she’d ever given much thought to tattoo parlors. But if she had she would have imagined loud, heavy metal music, flashing lights and pictures of scantily clad women. She certainly wouldn’t have expected to be greeted by the kind faced if unkempt woman who was now offering her a cup of tea.

“Thought you might like something to wash down that chocolate bar. I love chocolate myself but I can’t tolerate it. Sugar diabetes. Runs in my family.”

Fanny took the cup. “Thank you. That’s very kind. But I’m at little embarrassed. You see, I’m not going to get a tattoo. I was just…”

“..looking? Well you look around all you want. You can see I’m not busy. Why don’t you sit down and enjoy your tea. My name’s Lilly.”

“Nice to meet you, Lilly.” Fanny carried her tea over to a damask covered sofa and sat down. She was tired. It would be nice to sit for a while. It was nice in the shop. The tea was warm and sweet. Lulled by the music, the flickering candles and the tea, Fanny allowed herself to close her eyes. It felt good to sit. She’d been walking around for hours. She was tired. She needed to rest.

When Fanny woke up the shop was empty. On the floor next to her lay a broken teacup surrounded by a dark stain. The streetlights provided the only light. She looked at her watch. It was after 11:00 PM. She estimated that she had been asleep for almost eight hours. She stood up too quickly and had to clutch the arm of the sofa to keep her from falling. Slowly and carefully she inched her way to the door. After fumbling with the stubborn lock for a few minutes, she successfully she opened the door and stumbled out into the cool night air.

“Home!” she thought. “I must get home.” But then she realized with a start that she didn’t know where she was and worse, she had no idea where “home” was.



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