The Tattoo

Natalia Corres
5 min readApr 21
Ink from the 
darkest nightmare,
tumbling across
skin in swirls,
from a parchment of
living tissue
a story
born of some
strange dream and
personal meaning.

Dark lines and
colors under
a layer
of blood
and each small
a tribute,
a tithe,
paid forward by
an art piece who
wields a needle.

Alice woke up one fine morning with a tattoo on her stomach. This would have been unremarkable except that when she went to bed the previous night, she had been tattoo free. And she was not prone to sleep walking nor was she anywhere near a tattoo parlor. What’s more, the tattoo looked remarkably like a crow — which, if she had chosen a tattoo at all, it would not have been a bird of any kind. Birds made her nervous.

She had not felt any discomfort on waking, and she had only noticed the tattoo when she took off her nightgown and was stepping into the shower. She thought at first that her eyes were playing tricks on her. She stepped out of the shower again, dripping wet and stared at herself in the mirror.

She definitely had the outline of a crow in black ink on her stomach. Back into the shower she went, scrubbing the lines with a soapy loofa, but it made no difference. After toweling off, she still had the outline of a crow on her stomach.

She dressed, had coffee, and went to work. At break time, she called her doctor’s office to make an appointment. By the afternoon, a miracle occurred and her Doctor’s office called to say they’d had a cancellation and she could come in at 4 pm that very day. She, of course, said yes!

Alice cleared it with her boss, and arrived at the Doctor’s office a few minutes early. She noticed that there was one other person in the waiting room with her, and otherwise the office was blissfully empty.

Her stomach fluttered and she put it down to nerves, she was always nervous at the Doctor’s office. Alice couldn’t help but watch the other patient waiting with her in the room. The woman sat hunched and had a slight bulge in her middle that seemed to move sometimes.

Alice thought the woman might be pregnant, but she’d never seen that sharp a movement on the torso of a pregnant woman before. She was curious, but otherwise more concerned with how she got a tattoo and how she was going to get rid of it.

Natalia Corres

Artist, Writer, Poet, Editor