By Grace Charles
Simon walks into the bar after a long night of striking out with the ladies, and all he wants is a drink. He’s done with the chase for tonight, figuring he might as well get use to the idea of letting one off tonight all by his lonesome.
He takes a seat at the bar, and examines it before calling the elderly bartender over. It’s not a glamorous place, and looks like it hasn’t seen a decent makeover in over fifty years. But it’s quiet, away from the Saturday night sexcapades, and that’s all Simon wants. That, and a stiff drink to call it a night.
He calls for the bartender, and the old man shuffles over with the same glass Simon saw him wiping down when he first walked in.
"How can I help you, friend?" asks the aged bartender.
"A rum and Coke, and heavy on the rum," orders Simon, waving a bill in between his fingers. "There’s an extra ten in it for you if I feel the burn."
The geezer smiles, and turns to the top shelf. "I know just what you’re saying."
Simon hopes so, and goes back to examining the establishment. And that’s when he sees her, glowing, gorgeous, and alone. Her skin radiates the dim yellowish hue of the bar’s lights, while her long red hair tumbles all around her shoulders. Then there’s the face, the face of an angel.
She’s more than beautiful, Simon decides that word doesn’t do her justice. She’s more like a masterpiece, a porcelain sculpture shaped by the hands of the very universe itself.
Simon simply has to talk to her.
He waits until the bartender hands him his drink, he hands over the money, and then he makes his way over to the captivating female sitting all alone.
He’s not so intrusive as to sit beside her, but he is thankful that she chose to sit so close to the edge of the bar. With only the bend between them, it’s all the opening Simon needs.
"Okay," he starts off to get her attention. "I’m not gonna come over here, and bore you with the same pickup line I’m sure you hear from every guy you meet."
She’s paying attention to him with a subtle smile, a good sign that Simon has a chance.
"You know the lines. What’s your sign? Why is such a beautiful woman like yourself here alone?" he continues. "Are those space pants you’re wearing?"
"Space pants?" Simon is pleased to hear her repeat with a slight giggle.
"Yeah. You know? 'Cause your ass looks outta the world?" he informs.
The woman laughs, but dismisses the punchline as one of the worst.
"So instead, I’m gonna ask you what your GPA was back in school?" Simon goes ahead with his advance.
Again, the woman laughs at the question, but it’s not one bashing his creativity. It’s her accepting him to win his way into her bed, in point of fact. Simon’s seen it a dozen times, that moment when a woman decides she’s going to sleep with him.
Only he can dash his hopes with stupid, boring, or crude remarks at this point. But Simon’s too smooth for that, and simply buys his time through listening to her when she begins talking.
She says her name is Antoinette, but that her friends call her Netty. Netty then answers Simon’s question, stating that she held a proud 4.0 average, and was even Valedictorian of her class. She then goes on about college, a boyfriend who broke her heart, her best friend Maggie, something about a dog that she and another boyfriend named Craig had, but Craig took when they broke up, and finally how her meeting with good ol' Craig went south tonight, up until her landing in this dive bar.
Simon listens to everything, and even comments when necessary. But he’s so hooked, that he can’t remember anything he says after he says it. His answers are for the here and now, because his thoughts are already back at his place and tearing off that God awful long sleeve dress Netty has on. Simon simply accredits it to Netty having bad taste, which in no way makes her less attractive, but the dress does have to go.
"Oh, that’s nice," says Netty catching a glimpse of a tattoo poking from beneath the sleeve huggingSimon’s right bicep.
Simon has no qualms about hiking up the sleeve, fully exposing the black lion’s head he has inked, at the same time flexing his muscles for Netty.
"It’s the Black Lion of Fang Ru," he has no problem bragging. "It’s said to let a man’s inner beast free from within."
"Sounds scary," says Netty with a naughty laugh.
"You have no idea," says Simon with a devious beam of his own.
In actuality, the truth behind the tattoo is far less sinister. The lion was in commemoration to his ex girlfriend’s zodiac sign, and the black came from him trying to ink it out instead of having it removed after they broke up. But whatever the case, Netty likes him, and he’s as good as gold.
"Do you have any tats?" asks Simon lowering his sleeve.
"Actually, I have two," answers Netty. "This one," she says revealing the small cartoonish skull at the base of her right thumb. " And the other one, well, I’d have to get naked in order for you to see that one."
Simon doesn’t miss a beat.
"I can’t wait," he says with a smile.
Netty smiles too.
And as if on cue, the elderly bartender makes his way over. "I’m afraid it’s closing time, kids," he makes aware.
"Damn," Simon exclaims. "And I was hoping the night wouldn’t come to an end."
"It doesn’t have to," says Netty with a shy grin.
Before either of them know it, they’re at Netty’s tiny apartment, kissing, and trying to get Simon’s clothes off of him as fast as possible.
They grunt, they moan, they tongue, and they touch each other. Netty is then slammed against a wall, but it only braces her so that she can wrap her legs around Simon’s waist. Then his shirt comes off, and then his belt gets undone. The back of Netty’s dress is unzipped as well, but that’s when she pushes Simon away.
Frozen, dumbfounded, and standing at full attention, a speechless Simon can only watch as Netty slowly saunters to her bedroom a few feet away. The once hidden tattoo piece on her back is finally seeing light, and it beckons him to follow.
Walking into her bedroom, Simon is ready to pounce.
"Shut the door," says Netty standing with her back to him.
Simon doesn’t hesitate following the command, then returns his undivided attention on the perfect female standing but a steps away from him.
"You sure you’re ready to see my tattoo?" asks Netty, seductively glancing over her shoulder. "It’ll steal your breath away if you do."
"Steal it, baby," huffs Simon.
The way the dress then slips off Netty almost resembles a cascading waterfall, exposing her entire nude backside, one fully decorated by a single ingenious art piece.
It’s the perfect fabrication of the frontal female form, down to the two arms which match Netty’s down to her wrists, two full breasts across her back, a navel on her lower waist, the hips, vagina, and all the way down to the back of her knees, two legs facing forward. It’s Netty’s flowing red hair that obscures the extent of the art, but at the same time adds to it by giving the form the appearance of having her head down.
Simon finds himself again entranced by utter perfection, and looks over the lifelike depiction as if trying to find a flaw. But there are none, it’s all just one perfect masterpiece.
"You have stolen my breath away," he finds enoughcontrol to admit.
"Not yet," replies Netty looking away. "But she will."
"She?" questions Simon.
As if the question awakes a sleeper, Simon can’t believe his eyes when he begins seeing the tattoo animate to life.
It happens without a sound, but first the arms grow from out of Netty, then the breast, then the navel, then everything else. A corruption of reality itself, the tattoo on Netty’s back takes on a life of its own, and rapidly frees itself from its master, becoming anentirely separate, grotesque entity, lacking both hands and legs past its knee.
A face finally appears, slowly but surely erupting from the back of Netty’s head, freeing itself from the red curls and locks of hair. A bald creature with coals for eyes, snarling and slobbering, it sees Simon and wants him.
The abomination plops to the floor, and a once stunned Simon now tries fleeing the bedroom. His thrashing, his feeble attempts to force open the door, his panic driven screams, none of them halt the advancing monstrosity rapidly crawling across the floor towards him.
"NO!!!" screams Simon before loosing his composure and crumbling before the door.
Netty never says a word, not even when the nude atrocity overpowers Simon, and begins sucking the life from his lungs by wrapping its lips over his. Netty never says a word and motionlessly awaits her tattoo, with her naked back turned towards the horror of Simon’s end.
© 2016 by Grace Charles