by John F.D. Taff
The needle touched skin, vibrated with the small hum of a person in deep concentration.
A smell, electrical, full of ozone with metallic undertones, crackled from everything in the cramped little backroom of the tattoo parlor.
There was a brief moment of contact, full of excitement and anticipation.
Jesse grasped my hand, squeezed it tightly.
Then, the needle broke the skin, punched through.
A dot of color, a bright, iridescent green, lay side by side with a perfectly circular dot of blood that had been coaxed to the surface by the tattooist’s instrument.
Jesse’s skin flinched, relaxed.
The needle approached again, penetrated.
About the Author
John F.D. Taff is a Bram Stoker Award®-Nominated author with more than 30 years experience, 90+ short stories and five novels in print. His first fiction collection, Little Deaths, was named the best horror collection of 2012 by HorrorTalk. Jack Ketchum called his novella collection, The End in All Beginnings, “one of the best novella collections I’ve read.” His new fiction collection, Little Black Spots, will be available from Grey Matter Press in the Spring of 2018. Look for more of his work in anthologies such as Cutting Block Book’s Single Slices, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, The Beauty of Death, Shadows Over Main Street 2 and Behold: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders. Taff lives in the wilds of Illinois with three pugs, two cats and one long-suffering wife.
About the Narrator
Kris “KJ” Johnson is a husband, father, podcaster, gamer, wannabe writer, cat owner and geek dilettante.