Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the one hundred and forty-sixth piece in this series. This week’s is a 436-worder by Christopher Farley.
Colours frozen in time
The tattoo was the first thing I noticed; it was beautiful. She sat opposite her friend drinking Belgian beer from a huge glass and I saw it as I walked past, making my way to the men’s room.
Her thin, white arms poked out from her even whiter t-shirt, then a waterfall of colour burst from the sleeves of the t-shirt. Three lotus flowers, red, green and pink, one on top of the other. But oh, the arm. How could something so pale and delicate suffer so much pain? I returned to the bar and pretended to look at the game on the big screen. Her friend rose from the table and headed for the toilet.
“Sorry, I couldn’t help noticing your tattoo.” My God, how cliché is that, I thought. “It really is a piece of art; my compliments.”
She smiled; she’d probably heard it a hundred times before. Maybe it distracted people from looking at her; her hair, long and parted in the middle, surrounding her plain face with no make-up and devoid of colour except her azure-ice eyes. The air fell silent between us. The ladies’ toilet door swung open.
“Good choice of beer,” I nodded at her now-empty glass. “Like another?”
Her eyes flickered to her friend, who was hanging back, pretending to like football or the retro Guinness signs beside the TV set.
“My friend’s about to leave so I’ll see her out. I don’t have to leave so… yes, please.”