I was sitting in this slightly dingy all night café playing idly with my phone, when a girl slid into the seat of the booth opposite mine and I caught a flash of ink on her thigh through the slit that went all the way up her long leopard print skirt. I tried really hard not to stare but my eyes kept straying back to her legs. I was just curious, that’s all. About the tattoo, I mean. I wasn’t checking her out. Not that she wasn’t beautiful,but…just…you know. When she caught me looking I guess I should have been more embarrassed, but she wasn’t so why should I be? I took the opportunity to ask her about it.
“I caught a glimpse of a tattoo on your thigh, I was just trying to get a better look at it.”
“Is that some kind of chat up line? You haven’t even asked me for my name” She laughed and tucked her skirt round her leg, covering the tattoo completely.
“Oh, yeah, sorry. My name’s Jake, what’s yours?”
“Ceri. With a C and an I and only one R.”
“Hi Ceri with a C and an I and only one R, I couldn’t help noticing your tattoo. What is it?” She laughed again and was about to reply when the waitress interrupted us to ask if we would like to order any drinks. After ordering a couple of cokes, I turned back to Ceri and waited expectantly.
“It’s flowers. They circle my thigh.”
“Can I see?”
“You really are very forward aren’t you. Do you ask many random girls you have just met if you can see their thighs?”
“Okay, when you say it like that it sounds bad.”
“Ya think?” She rolled her eyes at me and looked up as the waitress approached with our drinks. I waited for the waitress to leave, and looked at Ceri. She had dark hair piled high on her head in a messy knot and these soft warm brown eyes that I don’t think could ever look stern. She was dressed simply in that leopard print skirt with the slit all the way up, a fitted black t-shirt and this black jacket with a leopard print lining to match the skirt.
“So where did you get it done? I have a few tattoos myself. I tend to use ‘Inked Up’ on Sunnydale Boulevard. The girl there is particularly good with the needle”
“Uh, this guy I sort of know did it for me. He doesn’t have a shop or anything, he’s really exclusive. Referrals only, that sort of thing.”
“Is he really that good?” I couldn’t help sounding sceptical. It must take one hell of a long time to build up a reputation that good.
“He’s better. There’s something special about a Magus tattoo. I can’t tell you what, but trust me, there is.”
“A what tattoo?”
“Magus. That’s his name, or at least, that’s what everyone calls him.”
“I’ve never heard of him. And I know pretty much all the tattooists in town.”
“Well, like I said,he doesn’t have a shop or anything. Look I better get going. I was meant to be meeting someone but it doesn’t look like he is going to show. It was nice meeting you Jake.”
“You too Ceri. Here,take my number. If you ever feel like talking tattoos or something,give me a buzz.” She took the napkin I had hastily scribbled my number on and shuffled to the edge of the booth. As she did so, the slit of her skirt fell open and I could clearly see her tattoo. It was indeed flowers that circled her thigh. It was really nice work too, but that wasn’t what made me gasp.
The tattoo was moving. The petals were opening and closing in some kind of dance of nature and the leaves fluttered as if by a breeze. I stared, open mouthed,totally speechless. She glanced down at her leg.
“Well, I guess now you know why Magus tattoos are so special.” She winked at me and stood up, straightening her skirt to cover her tattoo. She chuckled quietly as she blew me a kiss and walked out of the diner. By the time I thought to get up and follow her, she was nowhere to be seen.