Author: Deborah Coy

Clarise thumbed through the thick album on her lap. Her mother, sitting next to her, pointed to a rampant unicorn just like the one glowing a proud blue on her wrist.
“Wouldn’t it be awesome if we had legacy tats?”
Clarise didn’t answer but quickly turned the page and paused over, “The Evil Eye”.
“No,” she thought, “a cliche.” Probably three students in her homeroom had that one.
“My little baby is growing up,” her mother prattled. “How about this heart? When I was a kid, everyone was getting hearts.”
Clarise refused to acknowledge her mother but noticed that her mother’s tattoo was turning a sickly maroon. Clarise knew she should pretend to listen.
The door of the clinic opened. Someone from Clarise’s school walked out. She couldn’t remember her name. A new tattoo, a bright red book with the word “truth” written on it.
“Just like a nerd to have a book. What was that snail reader trying to communicate?” Clarise thought. The girl glowered at her and everyone in the waiting room, her tattoo pulsing redder by the moment.
“Why do I have to do this?” Clarise whined.
“When I was your age, everyone wanted a mood tattoo.”
“Now, everyone has one. Thanks to that ridiculous law. It isn’t so crazy now, is it?”
Clarise looked down and saw the tattoo she wanted. She put her finger in the book to hold her place and closed it. She put a fake smile on her face, the last she would ever be able to pull off.
Suddenly Clarise heard her name called. “Let’s get this over with,” she sighed.
Clarise walked back into the waiting room. Her mother, whose tattoo was an anxious lavender, rushed to see Clarise’s choice.
Clarise held out her right wrist. A red pair of dice rested there like doom. Snake eyes!
Out of habit her mother asked, “Aren’t you happy to finally be grown up?”
Clarise answered, “Sure.”
The new tattoo turned liar yellow.