Saturday, March 1, 2014

Prompt: Exposing the Mandala Tattoo, Part 1

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

“Tonight on WKXC, Shannon Thomas goes inside the mysterious Mandala Lotus Center to experience the mandala massage that has so many people talking. Will she come out with one of the mandala tattoos that have captured the attention of celebrities, sports figures, and even royalty? Join us live at nine to find out.”

Shannon held still with practiced patience while Pete fed the fiber optic feed through the thick weave of her scarf. He pinned the Art Deco Janus mask above her collar bone and stepped back, watching the feed display on his iPad.

“Okay, darling. Just remember to hang the scarf so we’ll be able to see where you’ll be. I expect a front row view.” He grinned and waggled his eyebrows. Shannon laughed, knowing Pete’s flirting was as natural as breathing to him, and completely harmless, since he was happily married to Lucas.

“I hope this pays off. Live feed of me getting a massage isn’t going to do much for our ratings.”

“Don’t sell yourself short, honey. People watch a lot of those videos on YouTube,” Pete chuckled as he neatly wrapped optic cables and packed his gear. “Okay, time for you to get going.” He opened the back of the panel van and climbed down, reaching up to help her navigate the rear bumper in her high heels. “Go get yourself a mandala, baby,” Pete encouraged her as he leaned down for a quick peck on the cheek and one last straightening of the Janus mask. “And keep the mask clear, for cryin out loud!”

Shannon laughed as she walked away, heels clicking against the damp pavement. She turned the corner and walked down the half block to the plain red door that almost faded into the brick façade. How many people passed by every day without noticing? Time to get that story…

“You might walk right past this door if you weren’t looking for it,” she began in her journalist’s narrative voice. “Tonight we’re going inside the Mandala Lotus Center, and hopefully with me, you’ll see the infamous mandala tattoo. No one can explain these tattoos that started appearing when the center opened two years ago. They don’t seem to be made with any ink, they cause no sensitivity, and so far they appear to be permanent. But the greater mystery is that the people getting these tattoos claim to have no memory of it. All they remember is the massage, then the tattoo is just…there.”

Shannon reached the door and looked for a buzzer. On the side was a small brass bell, with a red stick on a leather tie. She picked up the stick and hit the bell once, twice. The quiet notes seemed to echo behind the red door, taking on a melody of their own. Before Shannon could comment on that, the door opened, revealing a petite Asian woman dressed in the familiar red tunic and pants of a Tibetan nun. She bowed, palms together, and Shannon bowed in return.

Dogs in House

Peter Gabriel station on Pandora

Time writing
~1 hour, split

March word count


  1. Writing report:
    Novel editing, Ch24

    Time: ~20 min

  2. Oo! I want to know more! Glad to see it will be continued :)

    Excellent scene-setting, and the journalistic angle gets in background naturally. I was invested in the story quite early.