The man with the tattoo

Danielle sat in her Chemistry class, just barely paying attention to the teacher’s lecture. She doodled spirals in the margins of her notebook. Her eyes gazed around the room, her head not moving so the teacher wouldn’t notice.

A figure caught in her peripheral vision. She focused her eyes and saw it was a man, standing just outside the fence that surrounded the high school. He was staring right at her. He seemed to realize she’d notice him and he quickly turned and walked away.

When the bell rang a moment later, she jumped out of her seat. The teacher looked at her curiously, but then he merely turned his attention to a student who had approached his desk. She grabbed her backpack and hurried out to the slowly crowding hallways. She glanced around, but the man was nowhere to be seen.

She headed towards her last class of the day – English.

As she neared the classroom door, she noticed the man again. This time, he was leaning against row of lockers. Casually. She noticed now that he wasn’t quite as old as he’d seemed from a distance. Upon closer inspection, he appeared to be just a few years older than her. He certainly didn’t look out of place in the halls of a high school.

Once again, as soon as he noticed her looking at him, he turned and hurried away.

As she watched him disappear into the crowded hallway, she noticed something on the back of his neck that sent a chill racing down her spine.

A tattoo of a barcode.

She slipped into the classroom and slid into her desk. She opened her notebook, pulled her homework out and set it in the corner of her desk.


This week’s Red Writing Hood prompt from the Write on Edge team is: to write a piece in which a tattoo figures prominently. Fiction or creative non-fiction. There is a lot to think about: why someone would get one, what they chose, when they got it, what message does the tattoo(s) send? You will have 300 words with which to play. Make sure you edit and adhere to the limit. Then come back Friday and link up! 

My word count is 291. For more on Danielle’s story, visit my Fiction page.

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