About 1,800 words. Written in March 2007. Rated MA.
Of course it was a hopeless mission, and he knew it. But hey, 'hopeless' hadn't stopped people from trying before, and it sure wasn't going to stop him, either.
At least things were made a lot easier by the fashions his Mum was always huffing and puffing about. So silly-looking, she'd say when looking at the girls in their too short tops and low-riding jeans and miniskirts, and so stupid, too -- risking kidney failure and whatnot by traipsing around with a wide strip of your belly and back visible even in colder weather. Not to mention indecent, she'd add, giving a pointed glare at the strings peeking out. Just who has decided to call that the 'waistline' of those pants is beyond me, would be her conclusion, accompanied by a snort that let everyone know exactly what she thought of the clothes modern girls chose to wear.
Yeah, Mum, he'd murmur, shuffling after her around the supermarket and not even listening properly, because he was too busy scanning what could be seen between those not-really-waistlines and shrunken-looking tops. He was looking for something in particular, something elusive that just wouldn't leave him alone.
To be quite honest, sometimes he wondered if he wasn't after all chasing a mirage. It'd been a hell of a night, that one, and no matter how many times he'd tried to remember what exactly they'd been up to, it was no use. Big chunks of the evening and night and following morning were simply missing. No amount of digging into his memory brought back more than fleeting moments, sounds, smells. And no wonder, really. Even for such a big party as theyd been, the amount of booze and other stuff had still been pretty staggering, and he'd lost count of his drinks and smokes already pretty early on.
He didn't really like to think about it too much, 'cause the huge black holes in his memory scared him. That'd been the first time anything like that had happened to him, and he swore to himself it was going to be the last. Having hazy memories was one thing, having none at all made him no end uncomfortable. Clawing around the edges of his mind brought back nothing, and then there'd be these goddamn flashes that came from nowhere just like that and for a moment he could almost remember, almost but not quite.
Maddening, that, and even more damnable that he should remember so vividly some things. Like the stunning explosion of ecstasy in his groin. Or that song they'd danced to in a club, though he'd no idea what club it could've been. Or that goddamn tattoo.
A tribal-style pattern, that's what he'd found out after a search in the Net: stark black and sort of triangular in shape, tattooed on the small of the back, with the blunt tip of the triangle pointing down towards the buttcrack. He'd woken up or something and there it'd been, right in front of his eyes when he opened them. It'd been semi-dark and a slice of pale light had cut through the room straight onto his face, and unfortunately he'd just crawled deeper into a blanket and fallen asleep again. When he'd finally been conscious enough to get out of bed, he'd found himself all alone in a shabby motel room, too mortified to do anything else but cough up the payment and slink away.
On many mornings he dreamed, just before sleep drifted away, that it'd be there again if only he wished hard enough, though of course that was just the dream talking. He didn't believe in stupid stuff like that.
But there were other kind of mind games he didn't mind playing. Too bad he couldn't remember anything about the chick with the tattoo because she sure must've been a hot one indeed -- why else would the sight of a similar tattoo give him such a hell of a boner every damn time? He'd printed out a few patterns that resembled closely enough the image hovering before his eyes, and pinned them on the wall next to his bed. There he could see them well enough even in the dim light of evening that trickled through the blinds, well enough to slit his eyes and try to picture the girl around the pattern while he jerked off, biting his tongue to stay quiet.
Olive skin. The tattoo. That was all his conscious mind would remember.
His dick seemed to have some other memories, but it wouldn't tell him.
If only he could've asked someone, but even that had come into nothing. They'd all been equally stoned, so it seemed, and at some point the party had split up into smaller groups that had further dwindled until no one knew anymore who they'd been with. No one had commented on his conquest, and that could only mean that by that time none of his friends had been around. Just his luck.
Of course it could also mean that the tattoo, and the girl, had only ever existed in his head, except that they both somehow felt so real. Anyway, by now he'd resigned to his fate: there was no one he could ask for help, he just needed to hope that he'd run into her someday. He wasn't sure what he'd do if and when that happened, but that wasn't the point. First he needed to find the tattoo and its owner, then he'd figure out what it all meant.
Whenever he went out, he kept scanning and hoping. There was no need to be too surreptitious about it either, 'cause there was nothing strange about a young guy looking at the bare skin girls chose to show. Only when he was out helping his Mum with the grocery shopping or other stuff did he try to look like he wasn't looking. She didn't like him ogling girls, no doubt afraid that he'd find a someone and want to move out.
He didn't think that'd happen any time soon. His job didn't pay all that well, and besides, he couldn't very well leave his Mum to cope alone with her cranky leg and bad back and everything. But he could always hope that he'd find the girl with the tattoo, and she'd be pretty and leggy and sexy and nice so that Mum would've nothing against it even if she moved in with them. He could ask Mum if they could swap beds 'cause she still slept in the same double bed even though it was nearly ten years since his father died and she'd ditched the latest man at least a couple years ago. Maybe they could even swap rooms 'cause the bigger bed wouldn't very well fit in his room.
But, yeah, first he needed to find the girl, and that was proving tricky. Sure there were tattoos walking about all around him, even tattoos roughly in the right places, but none of them had just the right interwoven splices and tendrils that curled around each other. A few times his heart had already skipped a beat or two when he'd spotted a promising-looking tattoo on a shoulder, once on the back of the neck even, and had had to get sly in order to see better. False alarms, each one of them. One of the tribal-tattooed girls had sported another one in the right place but to his immense disappointment it'd been completely wrong. That'd been a real downer.
Yeah, it'd been months and months, and he was growing tired of solitary handjobs with nothing but the printouts of tattoo patterns for company, but the damned thing was that these days that seemed to be the only way he really got his rocks off. Sure he'd heard of people with all kinds of fetishes -- stiletto heels, leather, latex, beehive hairdos, you name it -- but this fixation of his was getting frankly annoying. Why couldn't it be just tattoos? Or tribal tattoos anywhere on the body? Or just any inkwork in the right place?
He talked sense to himself and kept trying, with none too stellar results. He dated girls, had sex with them, was frustrated, walked away. Something was always missing and he damn well knew what it was even though he tried to prove to himself that it was just a thing in his head and in no way necessary for good sex. His brain, or dick, or both, were in some sort of conspiracy and kept telling him that yeah, just you try, but if you want to have really good sex, you'd better make sure you find that tattoo, alright?
So it was a hell of a jolt when he one day actually saw it. Just like that, one night when he'd gone with some friends to hang out and have a few drinks and maybe pick up some girls, slap bang it was there right in front of him. Click his brain made the first connection, hmmmm his dick followed suit, and he could just stop and swallow and stare at the black triangle. He couldn't see all of it because its blunt tip was hidden by cloth, but what he saw was enough. It was that tattoo all right.
A tribal pattern. On the small of the back. Olive skin around it, a stripe of slim waist visible between a torn T-shirt and a broad belt that held up sagging jeans.
Its owner was just tugging himself back behind the zipper and glancing over a shoulder. Bleached stripes in scruffy hair, dark eyes, high cheekbones, a small soul patch decorating the chin. Broad shoulders, narrow waist, narrow hips.
All he could do was to stand and stare and try to get himself move, in any direction really, because he was standing at the door of the men's bathroom staring at a guy's backside. His legs wouldn't listen, though, and even though he told his brain that there'd been some gigantic mistake, it wouldn't listen either.
Then the guy turned fully around and looked him up and down, and the corners of those eyes creased with a smile that turned into a grin. It was a far too knowing grin and made him swallow uneasily, but before he could think of what to do, a firm hand was cupping his hard-on through the jeans. The arm that pressed against him felt scorching hot.
A wink, then the guy brushed past him. The music from the other side went louder and quiet again, the door closed with a quiet thump and he was once more alone with nothing but the memory of the tattoo hovering before his eyes.
And still he couldn't figure out what he was going to do when he finally found it.