Rosie glided into the tattoo shop. A mountain of mismatched fashion. She still had a lot to learn about dressing herself but she was doing well for a late starter. Scooping her blonde hair out of her fur collared coat, she smiled at the tattoo artist. Rosie studied the girl, sitting cross-legged in her leather skirt, delicately circling the floral mandala that was inked on her caramel shoulder, the shops’ antiseptic perfume contradicting her exoticness.

“Hi Rosie, excited for today? I’ve got your transfer all drawn up in the back”. The words puffed from her coral pout. Rosie wondered if that shade would suit her too.

“I’m ready for the pain. Let’s do this”, said Rosie.

Guided to the back room, Rosie unwrapped herself from her coat, preciously hanging it up and placed her nude, knock off Prada handbag underneath. She shuffled nervously, not knowing how to arrange herself. A turquoise maxi dress wasn’t the most practical item of clothing to wear.

Sensing Rosie’s discomfort, the tattooist smiled kindly and handed her a large knitted blanket and two plasters.

Rosie rolled her maxi dress down to her waist and stuck the plasters to her nipples. She sank into the wrinkled leather recliner, covered her legs with the blanket and lay back.

“Just breathe. You’re in safe hands.”

Her old tattoo seemed to burst and beat against her skin like a pus filled boil.

“Fuck bitches, get money”, scratched ferociously in Gangsta font across her chest. A teenage boys attempt at hanging onto his masculinity. It would have been much easier if the inside had matched the outside.

The tattooist placed the transfer on Rosie’s porcelain skin and tenderly peeled the paper back. Rosie gandered at the topsy-turvy jungle of ink doodled on her body. She shut her kohl framed eyes and reminded herself to stay calm.

“This is the biggest cover-up I’ve ever done” said the tattooist.

She continued to etch the profanity, intermittently wiping and examining the slowly growing flowers that began to adorn Rosie’s chest.

“Your original tattoo was so dark that I didn’t want to do the cover”

“Then why did you agree to help me?” Rosie said.

The artist smiled and paused.

“Well darling. I had to see the butterfly emerge from the cocoon, didn’t I?”

I am a stay at home parent to a beautiful little girl. I am also an aspiring writer. I am currently working on a few projects; a novel that is set in Guernsey, post WWII and a children's book set in Ireland. I write two blogs; www.irenehalpinlong.com and www.hervoicefromthekitchenwindow.com. I also love to play the piano and flute (badly!) :) And I love, love, love to read, watch reality tv shows and do easy level Sudoku.

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