Sunday, March 2, 2014

Prompt: Exposing the Mandala Tattoo, Part 2

Thanks to Daemon Rowanchilde for permission to display his exquisite tattoo mandala!

Without speaking, the woman stepped back and waved her hand toward the interior, clearly inviting Shannon inside. Shannon entered, gazing around – and turning so the Janus mask would follow her gaze – open-mouthed at the exquisite traditional Buddhist temple. She followed her guide through rice paper halls to a small room with a modern massage table and familiar accessories. The young woman gestured to her clothes and a chair by the door, then backed out, bowing.

“How well she communicates without a word,” Shannon mused softly, taking off the scarf and folding it with the mask inside. She didn’t plan on baring herself any more than necessary. Pete was ready to blur her onscreen for modesty’s – and the regulators’ – sake, but he would still see her in the altogether. Small comfort that he wouldn’t be interested – she knew he was still going to tease her mercilessly.

Undressed, she draped the scarf on the door’s hook, and finally uncovered the mask. “Well, I’m ready for my massage. Will I come out of it with a tattoo? Stay tuned to find out.”

Shannon turned and climbed onto the table, under the silky red sheet. She fingered it as she lay down, forcing herself to relax. No, it was real silk. Wouldn’t that stain?

Before she could think about it further, there was a soft knock and the door opened. Shannon looked up to see another Tibetan nun bowing with her hands to her forehead. Shannon smiled and nodded in greeting, then lay her head back on the table. Her massage began.

She felt the woman’s hands flat on the small of her back. She slowed her breathing and realized the woman was allowing their breathing to come together. Finally, her hands moved in slow stokes, up and down her back, like smoothing paper. Then she lifted them and began to trace lines, swirls, swoops, and circles all over Shannon’s back. Shannon felt her eyelids grow heavy with relaxation. She tried to focus on the movements, to feel the patterns, but she couldn’t keep it in her head. She felt warmth spreading across her back, under the woman’s fingers and lingering as she moved over and over. Shannon tried to open her heavy eyelids, and she saw a white glow in the room behind her, before sleep claimed her at last.

She heard a bell chime and her eyes snapped open. Alone in the room, she looked around before swinging up, pulling the silk sheet around her as she sat up. She shook her head, feeling like she should be groggy, and realizing she felt crystal clear and fully energized. She jumped off the table and walked to the door, looking directly at the Janus mask.

“Well, how about it folks? Do I have a mandala tattoo?” She turned and dropped the sheet down her back…

Dogs in House

Peter Gabriel station on Pandora

Time writing
~1 hour, split

March word count


  1. Writing report:
    Novel editing, Ch22, Ch24

    Time: ~25 min

  2. Does she? Does she?

    Great continued description and building of tension. Interesting character interactions with Shannan and Pete, although it is a bit overwhelmed at this point by the storyline. I want to know where the tattoos come from!