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It was dark, there wasn’t a single star up above the sky nor the moon was visible anywhere. He thought it could be cloudy and considering the high humidity it could rain any moment.
He was feeling a warm breath on his chest , it was from a girl and she was laughing with no apparent reason. That girl was Jenny his girlfriend and she was drunk, they both were drunk and that’s why it took a while for him to realize Jenny was tapping on his hand placed on her shoulder.
“Hey Mark… look! free tattoos!” she slurred while smiling and pointing a finger toward a shop with a Chinese sign. The two red lanterns were the only light of the whole alley.
While they were weaving toward the door he noticed the usual welcoming cat statue in the shop window. Oriental merchants generally placed them in front of the shop. While many thought it was a Chinese thing its real origin are from Japan where it is called “Maneki Neko” the “Beckoning Cat”. This ceramic sculpture is meant to bring luck to the owner and in one lucid of his clouded thoughts he was thinking they really need luck: this place was creepy.
When he moved the curtain something started clinking. He peeked inside, the place was lit only by candle lights. There was nobody on the front desk, he hesitated for a second but then he stepped in.
The wooden floor was squeaking under their footsteps. His girlfriend’s high heeled white boots were thumping both on the surface and in his head like an hammer.
“Anybody in?” he called after clearing his voice. Jenny looked at him and grinned.
After a few seconds they heard someone advancing shuffling. “Coming” an old feeble voice announced.
He was a very old hunchbacked Chinese man that he estimated was no taller than Jenny. She was just five feet tall, dark red straight hair falling over her shoulders and a cute feminine face with red full lips. She was always nice to him and he didn’t care if she was flat chested and with a bit of extra pounds on her belly: he loved her, she didn’t have to be his ideal woman.
“You want tattoo fo’ her, ok?” the old man said bringing him back from his drifting thoughts.
“Yes I want a tattoo on me, ok!” he replied while miming where he wanted it.
Meanwhile Jenny was shuffling the shopping goods until she found something like an Indian necklace she wore immediately.
“Look Mark” she turned toward him “does it look cute on me?”
He thought that everything looks cute on her and he nodded “yes it surely does”.
“Good choice girl, good empowering necklace, very good” pointed out the elderly Chinese merchant, “come with me” he added heading toward the shop lab.
Then all started to become foggy to him, “very special ink” he remembered to hear from the old geezer.
When they left the shop thousands of stars and a shining moon was above them, they were lucky the clouds just passed by and no storm was out there waiting for them. He noticed the welcoming cat again and he said “thanks” feeling a bit silly by doing so.
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