Sara worked for awhile at a place that made cookies. She would secretly touch the cookies all over when the owners and customers weren’t looking. She told herself she did this to broadcast her particular set of microbes as widely as possible. Sara hated the idea that she might be someone that a person might have to get used to, even on a chemical level. Her boss knew about this, though he never let on. He secretly wanted to see Sara’s germs spread widely through the populace like a terrifying prayer. This is how he loved her.
Sara woke up this morning with tattoos she hadn’t seen before. They were splayed across her chest, three symbols she didn’t know. She touched them and they were smooth and old like they had been there longer than she had. Sara’s dog came over to say hi and she said do you know what these are? The dog didn’t know. The tattoos stayed around. They weren’t dream-tattoos, just regular tattoos. Sara didn’t know how to find their meaning. She hid them at first but then became more open about wearing things that let parts of the symbols peek out. They made her more adventurous. She began to be a more courageous person because of the tattoos. She sometimes wondered if the symbols meant something like that, like courage.
Russ Woods lives in Chicago. He co-runs Red Lightbulbs magazine and Love Symbol Press and has been published in Pank, TRNSFR, HTMLgiant and Spork. You can download his echapbook, Pictures of Salukis Looking Majestic, from his website: http://solarflareshavebeenknowntocauseheartache.com