For #WickedWednesday, and the prompt of ‘tattoo’, I have done something I don’t normally do on my blog. The following story is embryonic, and began life inspired by the tattooed ladies of the Victorian era; it is a short, compact version (and maybe even alternative) of a dark story that I am sure has much more to offer as a longer, more involved piece of work. I’ll be interested to see what you think.
I’ve watched her arrive and leave with the circus every year for six years. I know every curve of her body, every flicker of her eyes, every false smile she offers each customer as they run their fingers over the winding vine. Every time she visits, there are more inked ivy leaves; the vine seems longer. I want to bash the pennies out of the hands of each and every one who stands in line to play with the curiosity. Cut off their fingers. But she has to eat. They all do. I understand that.
She sees me, still watching, even when the field is nothing but a ghost town, and only the chattering of the performers mingles with the grumble of a circling, caged tiger. The Big Top is already dismantled.
Without a sound, she comes to me. Takes my hand.
“Why don’t you touch? Everyone else does.
I detect the confusion in her eyes as I pull away. “Because you’re not a curio, a novelty. Not to me. You’re so much more than that.”
My thumb follows the curve of her cheekbone as she stands naked before me, the vine of ivy imprinted wherever I hold her.
“Did he start here?” Her head falls back as my lips trace the vine that starts just in front of her ear. She flinches, but she doesn’t push me away.
“Yes. A knife. He didn’t stop.”
I pull her to me, hold her with enveloping, tender hands. “I don’t have one. I promise.”
“No. You hold me like a butterfly. That’s how I know.”
I feel her quiver. “That I can trust you. With my body.”
The vine bulges beneath my tongue; each kiss takes me on a journey down her body. Tattoos fall over her breast, and I stroke each in turn, drawing her nipple between my lips, evoking her arousal, tiny and peaked as I suck. Whimpers accompany the roaming hands that pull my shirt over my head, push my trousers away so she can feel my hardness in her palm.
“Why? Why do you ink yourself?”
“People need to see the freak. It’s better if they see the woman who grows ivy on her vine body. Better than seeing the girl who was sliced up by a drunken uncle.”
“Do they touch you? Those bastards who gawp?”
She smells of roses. Her back arches in my hands as she pulls me down to her little makeshift bed. Kneeling at her side, I make love to her ribs, her tummy, her hips with my mouth and my fingertips, following the passage of her pain.
“Why are you kissing it? It’s poison, ivy. I’m poison. No good.”
“I’ll kiss every single leaf. Because they’re a part of you. And I want to know every…little…bit…” My cock is so hard against the outside of her thigh. The need to mark her is all-encompassing. But I can wait. I’ll wait as long as she needs. “You are not your scars.”
“But the ivy’s not scars.”
“Are you sure about that?” I catch her eyes, aflame with something I don’t recognise, as she opens her thighs to me. Every movement I make, every motion to ease her further, is in response to hers.
Her pussy lays open to my gaze. I watch it, pink and pulsing, glistening. I want to put my lips to it so badly. Explore her, unfurl her.
“What’s wrong? What’s wrong with me?”
“There’s nothing wrong with you. I — I suppose I expected a tattoo there.” My fingertip dips to the flesh surrounding her beautiful little clit. Like a tiny unfurling bud. With a tentative fingertip, I touch, and she whimpers.
“I won’t let anyone touch. Haven’t done. Before.” Her lips turn up in the corners. Her eyes hold no reflection of her efforts. “Those scars you talk of? Some have no need to be inked on my skin. I feel them every day.”
A tear slips from her lashes and trickles down the side of her face. It’s salty, bitter on my tongue. I kiss her eyelid; whisper, “Let them fall. Let me gather them. Give all your tears to me. Then they won’t make you sad anymore.”
Her fingers grip me, desperate, urgent. “Will you come back? Next year, when the circus comes to town?”
“Does anyone ever come back?”
“Only to stare. And they bring their friends.”
“I don’t want…oh, I wish I could make you fly away from all of them.” I sink my mouth onto her mound; I am surrounded by ivy as her thighs clasp my head. My words are guttural, and I mean every one: “I want to come back for you.”
“I want you to come. Next time I’m here. I want you…to come…now. So you never forget.”
She pulls me in, my finger sliding inside her, her wetness growing, gathering, until I’m sure she can take me. I ease myself into her, and she grasps me, thrusts against me, her legs entwined around my back, her moans driving my orgasm until I can’t resist the glorious feeling of her around me any longer. My desire, my love, my everything explodes into her.
I lay still, afterwards, her ivy wrapping around me. And, in that moment, I know I’ll crumble in the morning, and every day until her return. I feel her, buried in my soul.
I watch the men, shirtless, erecting the tents. The others are milling all over the field. I have no need to seek her out; I feel her presence. She is the circus for me.
A squidgy little woman, like my granny but with a snake, eyes me. Shakes her head.
“She’s gone.” Fat fingers wrap around my wrist. Sad little eyes, wet, pink, stare at me. “She got an infection. Doc says it got into her blood. Nothing any one of us could do. I looked after her. I did all I could.”
A cold, ghostly tendril threads its way around my skin, with every move evoking a memory: the flesh that smelled like roses; the satin beneath my lips, warm, arching as I brushed my mouth against her; the echo of her soft moans as my tongue took her scars and I slid inside her, in the hope that I could erase every trace of her pain.
“She told me, she did. When we come back here, I’m to give you this.”
All I can do is stare, as the edges of the cream envelope become blurred, and the scalding sting streams down my face. The salt hits my lips. All I know is how she felt in my arms as I took her tears away, and she opened her body up to me. “How do you know it’s for me?”
She gives me a small smile. “Because you’d be waiting. She said you would. Hell of a job keeping this from prying eyes. But it’s yours now.”
Away she goes, leaving me with my missive. A trembling finger flicks open the envelope and removes a photograph. Ivy, on a blanket covered in images of roses, smiles back at me. Her thighs lay wide open and there, covering every intimate part of her, is a rainbow-coloured butterfly. Her beautiful little clit forms its head, her depths mark its body.
I flip it, hoping to see she signed her name. Hoping for — something.
Your love gives me the gift of life. You let my soul fly. It flutters for you now.
Until we meet again.
Ivy: Its tendril roots search, find a place to enter, winding, until they overwhelm their host entirely. It penetrates the very essence of the one it becomes attached to. Kill it, and the roots have already done what they do best. Sometimes it’s poison, sometimes it covers the horrors beneath. But don’t we all have ivy tattooed on our hearts, somewhere?