Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 1, Part 2.1

Posted by harmony0stars on June 15, 2008

“The fact remains that we can’t find your sister. We can’t confirm your story beyond your story that you were at a bar earlier in the night, before we can establish that the fire began. You don‘t have an alibi.” The fat cop beleaguered the obvious, his fleshy jowls shaking whenever he raised his voice, which was often. Glory sank back into her chair as much from his foul, cigarette-smelling breath as from the fatigue and depression she felt. His greasy hair glistened against his pallid scalp, unmoved by the ceiling fan that did nothing to relieve the oppressive atmosphere of the room.

“What do you want me to say? Do you think I tried to strangle myself?” she demanded, gesturing to her throat. The bruises on her neck stood out a livid purple against her pale skin. “I told you! I don’t know where my sister is, but I’m sure she had something to do with the intruder. I wouldn’t keep coming back here on my own, if I wasn’t as determined to find her as you are! How many times do I have to repeat myself?”

“Fine. Have it your way. Here.” The officer tossed a plain brown bag onto the table. Black dust puffed out as it landed.

“What’s this?”

“Your mother’s ashes, or what we could recover of them. We kept what bones we could find, and the skull. You might be interested to know that someone decapitated her. You wouldn’t know anything about that? Huh?” Glory remained silent as she clutched the bag in her hands and fought back tears. “You’re staying with this Aaron Adonai guy, right? Boyfriend? Relative?”

“Friend,” she choked out, still reeling from shock.

“That’s interesting considering your boss says you wouldn’t have anything to do with him before the fire.” the cop sneered accusingly.

“I.. was wrong about him. He’s been very kind. If he hadn’t come back to apologize after our argument, I’d probably be dead now too.”

“Yeah… you argued at the bar, but you don’t remember what it was about…” She knew he was fishing for more information, but she looked down at the bag clutched in her hands instead. “Yeah, well, don’t leave town or anything. We may need to question you further.”

*               *              *

Glory was sitting on the sofa when Aaron came home. She’d been there since returning from the police station. Since the fire, she hadn’t felt motivated to do more than sit and think. She ate when Aaron told her to eat. He hadn’t told her to bath yet, but she knew she was starting to smell a little ripe. It didn’t motivate her to bathe, though part of her felt guilty about abusing his hospitality.

“Glory? You okay?” He leaned on the back of the sofa. “What’ve you got there?”

“I went to the police station again…” she mumbled, rubbing her fingers over the grimy bag.

“I told you not to go out! I don’t think your sister knows where I live, but that won’t stop her from setting more demons on your trail.”

She shrugged, holding the bag closer. Aaron frowned as she absently wiped away a tear. “What’s in the bag?”

“The detective… he gave me my mother’s ashes… th-the bits they didn’t need for the investigation.”

Aaron frowned in disgust, snatching the bag from her hands and tossing it on the coffee table. “Listen. It was just a tactic to startle you into saying something incriminating. These probably aren’t even her ashes. That fat slob probably just emptied his ashtray into a bag.”

“It… it doesn’t matter if they’re her ashes or not. I’m still responsible.” Glory curled in on herself as she began to sob. Aaron settled onto the sofa beside her, wrapping her in his arms. Before the fire, she’d have freaked out over such intimacy. Now, she was barely aware of it, thinking instead of all the myriad theories she’d jotted down in her book and what her sister might do with them.

“It’s not your fault.” He kissed her cheek and drew her closer. “You’re not your sister’s keeper.”

“But I…” his kisses stopped any further arguments. For a moment, Glory let herself be distracted. When she’d still been a teenager, she’d always wondered what her first kiss might be like, before reality set in and she’d come to realize there was no one out there who’d ever want to kiss her with Lori around. Lori poisoned everything. Now here she was, being kissed by someone who was handsome and kind… and it was all wrong. So horribly wrong.

She pushed him away and stumbled to her feet. “I-I’m s-sorry. I c-can’t. I’m sorry.” He caught her wrist gently as she tried to walk past him. “Don’t touch me!” she cried, angry as much with herself as with him. He released her instantly, and they stared at each other uncomfortably. “I should… go. I’ve been here too long, and it’s… not right for me to impose upon you. If my sister was going to try something, she would have by now. I don’t think she’d have a problem finding me if she really wanted to. I’m sorry if I made you think…”

“No,” he sighed. “I’m sorry. I was just trying to comfort you. I shouldn’t have kissed you like that, I was… that was inappropriate. You don’t have to leave. Where would you go? You don’t even have a job any more.”

She cringed at that. If she’d had to choose anyone to turn to, to ask for help, it would have been Mrs McIntyre. But it seemed Mrs McIntyre was more apt to jump to conclusions than Glory had thought. She’d seen how Glory’s family treated her over the years, and she had decided that Glory was a murderer. Just like that. Aaron insisted it was senility, but Glory didn’t care. She deserved to be cut off from everyone… it was better that way. No one should be put in danger because of her actions.

“I can’t stay here. I don’t even know you. You saved me, but you won’t tell me how…” He’d outright refused to explain the sword to her. She was left to speculate on the meaning of its existence. And there were other oddities. When he’d brought her to his apartment, there wasn’t any food in the house. Not even salt and pepper. He went out at all hours, but she didn’t think he had a job. It was just weird. “I can’t trust you. The only reason I’m here now is that you feel guilty for the part you played in my sister’s scheme.”


“No… just leave me alone.” She snatched up the bag from the table.

“You don’t have anywhere to go!” he protested even as she flung the door shut behind her.

to Book 1, Part 2, page 2


6 Responses to “Tattoo Book 1, Part 2.1”

  1. Emily said

    Ooh, that cop is unlikeable. Good job! The characterizations should seem cliche, but they don’t. I forget – how did she lose her job? Thanks for bringing up the sword. Can’t wait until next week 🙂

  2. Alderin said

    So much for explanations. And although it was explained, it was a little fuzzy what happened to her job, maybe a little too glossed over. Perhaps a phone call conversation with a “I do not work with murderers” phrase of some sort? I only mention it because I’m pretty sure it is both not very plot related and not supposed to be mysterious.

    The other stuff, no food in the apartment, phantasmal sword, beautiful evil sister out to get her for yet-to-be-known reason(s)… no complaints except I can’t keep reading to find out more. 🙂

    Bag of ashes as an interrogation tactic? That’s low.

    Can’t wait for more!


  3. Miladysa said

    Your earlier description of Paige & Glory’s relationship doesn’t seem to fit in with the way Paige reactions in this chapter.

    Enjoyable chapter nonetheless!

    • harmony0stars said

      Actually, the way Paige is initially described is all from Glory’s perspective. It is what she believes of her boss, that they have a special bond. Paige is a very old lady though (not to stereotype old folks!) and beyond how Glory could have misconstrued their relationship, it’s doubtful Paige would have appreciated being taken to the police station or interrogated by the detective on Glory’s case (you’ll read more about him later). I modeled her partially on my grandmother in that she doesn’t like surprises and tends to lash out when she’s pushed off center. I used Paige’s reaction to the news of the death of Glory’s family to further alienate Glory from the people around her. After all, Paige was the only person Glory thought she could go to for help, so I used the confrontation as her breaking point… she pretty much had to go with Aaron because there was no where else for her to go.

      I hope you like the rest of the story! Chapter five should start up after New Years.

  4. Miladysa said

    Oops that should read ‘reacts’!

  5. Miladysa said

    As you know, the next part explains does explain Paige’s reaction in more detail so this was probably just me jumping the gun 😀

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