The one thing every tattoo studio has in common, is the guy who thinks he can hack a days session...


His natural golden skin has sunken in tone to something so lifeless it scares me just to look at him. His eyes close and he sucks himself into a deeper place to cope. Sweat pooled on his brow, his upperlip, the nape of his neck, his breath dragged in and out like razor blades against a chalkboard and his face returns to the white of the ink...

The low buzz of the tattoo gun echoes around the room and finally, Arken ceased the noise and all that could be heard was his clients breath. "I've got a fainter." Arkens husky, tainted-Texan accent bellowed across the parlour. Another man, as covered in tattoo's as Arken was himself, came from the back room with a can of pepsi, a chocolate bar and a cold flannel "How much did you get done?" the man asked with a smirk lilting his lips "20 minutes, this guys paid for the entire day..." Arken replied with a chuckle.

Popping his equiptment down, he took the drink and the chocolate from the other and placed the cold flannel on the comatose males forehead. When the client came round, Arken soothed him with the Pepsi and chocolate and grinned "Want to carry on?" The Initia teased. The client on the other hand stood and left promptly.

"Well thats my day suddenly free..." The intia responded with a sigh, sitting back in his seat.

He only hoped he'd get a walk in soon...

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Arken’s initial bland design inspired her professional artistic vision, Priscilla imagined the detail she could add within the crisp lines of the art before her. The young artist was shy with her words, but when given the chance to shine in her element. Priscilla over-achieved goals most starting out tattoo artists wish they could have accomplished. Her knowledge was far more advanced for an intern who was just starting out. Priscilla knew her timid demeanor made it seem like she wasn’t as advanced as she truly was. 

With a couple adjustments and creative thoughts; Priscilla turned around with a lively anchor design. The sketch lines were as crisp as a printed version, the adjustments were perfect and every little newly added detail fit perfectly with what he’d already had inked onto his flesh. Priscilla realized she had intrigued her new mentor. “Perfect!” She chirped, as she took the piece of transfer paper and cut it to the size of the crook of his elbow. P’ cut the excess paper from the design before she settled the design onto his flesh. 

Priscilla slipped her delicate palms into a pair of black surgical gloves, the snapping of the ends of the gloves echoing through the parlor. While he settled into the bed, she sat on the shortened wheelie stool.  The Nephilim was in her element and felt more at home than she had ever felt in months of her classes she’d been taking. Her nerves were roaring silently though as this was her first time tattooing on a living, breathing, and bleeding individual. 

Hearing him rattling off about where the supplies were, wheeling around to the perfectly organized drawers. Delicately her fingertips riddled through the supplies as she gathered all the sterilized items P’ would need. Grabbing a cotton swab, Priscilla dabbed a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto the swab. She began rubbing the area with the swab, before she unpackaged the razor. 

Glancing towards Arken as she discarded the swab into the trash, not far from the dolly. “Hopes and dreams? This is my dream..” She said with a simple shrug of her shoulders, as she began running the razor over his flesh. Removing the hairs that littered his skin where her beautiful design was going to be forever inked on his flesh.

­­­­­­­­­The design she transferred onto his arm was beautiful. Intricate and clean and he wished, hoped and prayed she inked it just like that. He had faith, from his spot on the bed he could examine her inked arms more closely. He could tell where one artists stroke finished and anothers began...The lines were crisp where she could reach, better even than the ones above.
As she slipped on her gloves, he gestured to her "Those should be on before you do anything, even the transfer. You will meet OCD clients that wont want skin-on-skin." He smiled then and shrugged. "I don't mind though."

He let her go about her business and cocked his head to the side. "Shave first, then clean, then transfer." He said simply. As she said this was her dream, he chuckled again and nodded. "Good answer P' Good answer."

A sigh left his lips and he gestured around him. "I'd love to buy this place, revamp it, put my name over the door...Thats my dream." Arken rest back against the seat and glanced at her next steps. "Dont worry about short lines with me, Just do it all in one. Short lines are just for those on their first tattoo."

Once the design was transferred beautifully onto his flesh with crisp transfer lines. Priscilla could sense that he was praying and hoping that she permanently inked his flesh the way she free-drew her own intricate design to integrate into his already partial sleeve.  Her confidence was lacking some as she moved into beginning to ink his flesh. 

Priscilla noticed him gesture towards her. “Oh..” Her voice cut off as she felt as if already she messed up her internship. “I am so sorry, I am so used to using fake skin in college.. I mean yes we were taught to use gloves, but of course at home I don’t.” She shook her head and made a mental note about making sure to remember to put gloves on before transferring any images onto the skin. Her brain was becoming a jumbled mess as it came closer and closer to her tattooing on him professionally.  Her heart was rapidly beating as a bead of sweat was quivering on her brow.

Inhaling deeply as she made an attempt to calm herself before she began tattooing him. With her brain being scattered in the moment she’d totally forgotten the golden rules, S.C.T in which he referred to. “Damn it.” She cursed under her breath.  Failing was something she felt that she was doing and this wasn’t the moment where she wanted to fail. As they began a little bit of a small talk. “Thank you!” She 

A smile brightened her features as he gestured around him to the parlor. “If you keep me I could definitely help make that happen for ya.” She said with a wink;  her tone was a little more flirtatious than in the beginning. “Are ya able to handle the pain?” She said wiggling her brows in his direction in a playful way. P’ was opening herself up a little bit more as she got into her comfort zone. The awkward first conversation always gave her anxiety and caused her to completely shut down emotionally and mentally. 

Her next step was to begin putting the tattooing gun together and setting up the ink. After wrapping sterile plastic around the base of the tattoo gun; P’ ripped open the sterile needle packaging; inserting the needle into the gun. Tossing away the excess garbage into the little trash which was nearby. “Here we go!” She said brightly, as she turned on the machine which powered the gun. Her ink was open and she already had dipped the needle and dotted off the excess ink. 

Arken could sense the panic on her face as she registered that as a mistake. "Hey, Its okay..." He purred and tried to catch her paniced eyeline with his. "I did my first tattoo without gloves on. The entire thing, My mentor was in stitches at me because I had been so arrogant before hand." He smiled a little and ran scratched at the back of his neck a little "So you're doing better than I did, right now."

Her nerves were slightly endearing just then and he smiled a little. "Im here to bestow my wisdom." He teased, sitting back a little. A laugh bubbled from his lips as she asked if he could handle the pain and he shrugged. "I tried to cover the sole of my foot once." Ark' admitted and shook his head a little "That was pain, this? This is nothing."

As she said here we go, he couldn't help but laugh at her. She'd done everything right from there. When the needle hit his arm, he watched intently on her technique, nodding as a way of reassurance as she inked her first line. The gun was loud, they always were, but they were so much louder when it was your own skin. The cat scratch of the needle hitting again and again, etching a thin line onto the flesh. The feeling was addictive, that usually why people never stopped at one.
"Good job." He said softly and smiled. "Your art work is fantastic."

Arken sat back in the seat again, resting his head back and looking around the shop. "I want a place like this. I can imagine graffiting the walls with art, monochrome. Black and white. With framed colour work dotted all over." He laughed at himself a little and pointed with his free arm towards the door. "A massive gold couch near the door with some vintage accent chairs. Crushed velvet." Arken got lost in his vision, glancing back to her. "Tell me when you get bored. Please...I will talk your ear off about this."

Tattoo gun vibrating her fingertips, but her lines were still so crisp and precise with the transfer lines. Priscilla attentively watched as the gun edged around his flesh, leaving the dark lines, lifting for a moment she took a clean cloth and wiped the excess ink left on the line. Smearing what excess was left onto the cloth; Priscilla bowed back down, dipping the tip of the needle into the ink, dabbing off the extra as she then went back to tattooing the design onto his flesh.  For months she’d been tattooing fake skin that the college had given her for her graded projects, being able to tattoo someone other than herself and fake skin; caused a grin to cover her features as she enjoyed the progress she was making.  Peeking out of the corner of her eye to see if he’d been watching the precise lines she was leaving on him. He then spoke which caused her to beam more. 

“I’ve definitely had practice of making the lines perfect.” She said over the sound of the tattoo gun. 

After asking him what his dream was; she heard him begin rambling about his dream shop. ‘Cilla couldn’t help, but smile while she kept chugging along on the tattoo. Squinting some as she got into some smaller detailed areas. “No, please keep going, honestly hearing you talk makes me less nervous.” She said with a laugh resonating from her.  She repeated the same steps of breaking for a moment to wipe the extra ink from the lines inked onto his flesh. She enjoyed how Arken was calm and seeming to enjoy being tattooed. Priscilla knew not all customers were like this and she would have her work cut out for her. 

“I’ve thought about my own tattoo parlor, but I would need someone else to help me run it.” She said, while the tattoo gun continued to dot into his flesh.  Priscilla was nearly finished with the tattoo as it had only taken an hour or so to finish. 

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