After Hours Tat
All Rights Reserved.
The midnight blue from the neon sign was like a reflective beacon of the sky above, its fluorescent letters illuminating the stairwell of a small shop on an otherwise darkened street.
AFTER HOURS TAT
For a business that was below street level it managed to do just fine in the wee hours of the night, patrons as diverse as those roaming the world during daylight hours finding their way to the nocturnal tattoo shop.
Inside sat Lou- the owner, the lone artist, a dead ringer for the classically creepy actor Vincent Price- preparing his tools of the trade and the special concoction of ink that would flow from them, so as to ready them for creating the desires of those looking to get marked.
The little bell above Lou’s front entrance door rang, a podgy fellow with a rim of hair encircling a bare scalp carrying his stocky frame on over to the front counter before placing atop it a small ice chest, right next to an empty one already waiting for him.
“Evenin’ Lou, gettin’ ready for the night owls, I see.”
“Indeed I am, George. How’s the carnivore business treating you?”
“Can’t complain. Keepin’ my blades sharp, that’s for sure! Same number of goat juice for next week?” George asked as he took hold of the empty chest.
“Let’s go ahead and make it a dozen pints this time,” Lou replied, “if you have enough billies, that is.”
“Oh, I got plenty. The barrio I live in? They love themselves some goat head tacos.”
“Great. By the way, how’s Marissa doing? Are things starting to get serious?”
“Well, let’s just say next time I come in here, could be lookin’ to have you put her name across my heart.”
“Is that so, George? Congratulations. You decide on doing it, it’s on the shop. And if the little lady decides to come in and match you, she doesn’t pay either.”
“You’re one-of-a-kind, Lou.” George complimented as he headed for the door. “A classy breed they just don’t make anymore.”
A triad of forbidden sexy were the first customers to walk through Lou’s door that night, their Catholic schoolgirl uniforms modified for after hours fun while secretly away from their divine dormitory.
“What can I do for you ladies,” Lou asked from behind the counter.
Shy but excited the three looked to one another, the bravest of them then stepping forward.
“Um- We’re starting a sisterhood of sorts, and like, well…”
Pulling away a little of the blouse that covered some of her tantalizing cleavage, the girl retrieved a piece of paper nestled in her bra, unfolding it before handing it over to Lou.
“We wanna get this…”
He took a moment to look at the hand drawn image.
“Is this where I think it is? Is this where you want it?”
“Mmm, hmm.” The girl responded. He looked to the other two. With wide-open eyes they nodded as well.
“Ok then, come on back.”
An hour later and Lou finished his last vibrating stroke on the last of the three girls, one more wipe clean before coming up from between her legs.
“Alright, all done,” he said as he switched off his machine, giving the girl with tears in her eyes the space she needed to bring her knees back together and put back on her silk red panties. They were the kind you’d find in a Victoria Secret catalog, not the dresser drawer of a sweet little angel. All three had them, and now all three had colorful wings to their hidden butterflies.
When the clock struck midnight three execs stumbled into the shop, more intoxicated on success than the few drinks they had in ‘em. The most obnoxious was naturally the one to speak up first.
“My good man, my good man, we’re lookin’ to celebrate, and if you’re as good as I think you are, you’ll be gettin’ one of the biggest tips of your life by the time we walk out of here.”
“Sounds like a deal, gentlemen,” Lou replied. “What can I do you for?”
The second suit was next to speak up, going for one of Lou’s business cards as he did so. “Well you see, my colleague here, the guy we like to call the-deal-closer, just made us a cool mill tonight.”
“Not bad for a couple hours work, huh good man?!” blared out Mr. Obnoxious.
Looking up from the card, suit two said, “Actually, our good man here is named Lou. Short for anything?”
“Lucifer,” Lou answered, following it up with a clever smile.
They all laughed. “Good one!”
Ironically, the third guy, the deal-closer, was the most tame of the three, “We’re not quite sure what we’re looking for. Something to serve as a remembrance.”
Lou came from behind the counter and walked them over to one of his walls of tattoos, all of them looking over the many displays. “Let’s see… Given the occasion, what do you gents say to this one?”
It was a skull wearing a top hat emblazoned with a dollar sign, a whirlwind of hundred dollar bills swirling all around him.
“I like to call him the Typhoon Tycoon.”
“Fuck waitin’ till we walk out of here,” Mr. Obnoxious declared, “my good man Lou is gettin’ his three Benjamins right now!”
And with that he pulled out a thick wad of cash held together by a gold plated dollar sign money clip.
A flash of red with a different hue of blue mixed with the midnight neon as it passed through the shop’s windows. With no warning the glass door shot open, Lou’s little bell ringing hard and fast as a gangbanger flew in.
Once it was clear that the cops had passed the thug took a deep breath.
“Busy night?” Lou asked.
“What can I do for you?”
The shady stranger had a black bandanna tied around his head, moustache and goatee like a pitchfork to his hardened face.
Stepping up to the counter he fished through his coat pockets.
“I need a tat.”
Both pockets produced a handful of items, in one a cellphone, a switchblade and a pair of silk red panties, while the other had a pack of gum, a bus schedule, and a thick wad of cash held together by a gold plated money clip smudged in blood red.
The banger took out a hundred and slapped it down on the counter top.
Lou looked back up to his hardened face, tattooed tear drops dripping from his right eye and extending down over his cheek and jugular, the deadly stream disappearing underneath his coat.
“Let me guess, six more drops…”
“You’re a fortune teller too, pops?”
“You could say that.
“Come on back.
“Where would you like these latest additions?”
The banger took off his coat and tossed it to a nearby chair, his shirt the next to go.
“Just add to the storm.”
Turning around, his trail of tear drops led to his back, where they expanded into pouring rain, a fallen angel drenched and down on his knees looking up, arms extended out to his sides, wings so soaked they could barely outstretch.
Lou fired up his machine.