“So what’s your story?” Rich, the ink master, asked me as he snapped on a second rubber glove and swiveled his leather stool around to face my right foot, which was resting on a low table.“I fell in love.” My heart skipped a beat.“Ahh…love,” he sighed dramatically, “the ultimate muse.” He pulled a pair of goggles over his black spiky hair to cover his eyes. “It’ll make you do crazy things.” He dabbed a needle in a small container of black ink and draped his arm over my calf where the jeans had been rolled up. “This will be the first of many.” He hovered the needle above the skin below my last three toes. “Who’s the lucky guy?”“Girl actually,” I corrected him with a blush“I see.” He grinned. “Lesbian lovesick?” The needle touched my skin, causing me to flinch.“Very,” I chuckled, “and this is my second crazy thing.” I felt the heat rush to my cheeks as I remembered the day’s events. I pushed the blonde bangs away from my forehead in a poor attempt to cool down.“More tattoos?” He asked over the light buzzing of his instrument.“No, but this morning, love gave me wings…..”“Ready for this!?” My instructor shouted over the howling wind. I was harnessed to his front, so I leaned my head back.

His beard tickled my forehead as I nodded enthusiastically. “Let’s do it!”
He grinned, wrapping his arms around me. On three, we leaped from the plane’s cabin, flipping and twirling through the clouds. We leveled and faced the green earth, so much like her emerald pools, rushing up at us. I felt the familiar sensations of my stomach somersaulting and my heart thundering. Freefall was ecstasy, paradise, cloud #9, 8, 7, 6 — He released the chute…we touched down.

“Skydiving!?” Rich laughed.“Yep,” I giggled, “but not even that overload of emotions could compare with what I feel around her.”He placed his instrument to the side, stood, and faced me with a satisfied smile. “Well?” He gestured to my foot.I looked down and spotted a beautiful, black heart with structured, detailed wings nestled just below my last three toes.“I love it,” I beamed and secured a bandage over it. I unrolled my jean leg, slipped my foot into a navy flip-flop, and followed him to the front. “How much do I owe you?”“Fifty.”

I dug in my pockets for the bill and pulled it out with a triumphant grin.
“Hang on to your girl. Sounds likeya found the real thing.” He took the bill just as a jingle rang throughout the shop, signaling a customer.
“Ready baby?” An angelic voice called.
I turned and came face to face with my goddess; her emerald eyes sparkling, white teeth glistening, and brown hair shining.
“Yeah.” My pulse raced. She laced our fingers and pulled me out the door. I threw Rich a wink over my shoulder. This was better than freefall…this was euphoria.


Allison Fletcher

Wise, United States

  • Artist


short story

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