Blood and Ink: Love Can Be Cold
By Bradley Poage
This is a new series from the same author as Bedtime Tales of Horror. You remember, those short stories in three book collections that I loved so much? Yes, THAT author. I’m telling you this guy has some skills.
This is the tale of a unique tattoo shop with an artist that has a very special talent. One that can definitely make or break a tattoo for the client.
In this story, our client is an insistent and anxious young lady, who is just dying to get a tattoo b this man. A friend of hers got one from this artist and well, Jenna just fell in love with it. So, she wants her own ink piece done by Michael.
But Michael does things differently than most tattoo artists. He doesn’t use a stencil or a ThermoFax machine. He doesn’t apply a line drawing of the image to the skin first to use as a guide. He draws every design freestyle, by hand, straight from his mind to tattoo gun to human flesh. To him, he’s finding the story of their skin. But he’s not searching for just their particular story, he’s looking for their particular fate.
I felt this short story was a fantastic read. It read so quickly it was as if the words were jumping off the page at me, grabbing my attention with practically every syllable. In addition to a quick and fluid pace, there is an immediate sense of impending doom and intense anxiousness that, at the beginning, you just can’t quite put your finger on. But you know it’s there.
And I mean this tattoo artist is no joke. He even gives a different disclaimer than regular tattoo artists, telling them he doesn’t do custom designs or custom art. Then he tells her something like let’s see what your skin has to tell. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Total red flag girlie, but noooo. She wants a tattoo. Friend did it. She should do it. (The stupidity of youthful logic.) And still, the artist gives her a calm and stiff warning that Jenna fails to heed. Soon her lack of recognition of her animal instincts will prove to her just exactly why they are there in the first place.
I found this short story to be incredibly and eerily entertaining. An awesome story with an intensity throughout that tugs at your nerves and pries at your curiosity. Capturing the reader from the start, a spectacular delivery building up to a superb ending, ensures the readers complete and total satisfaction. With smooth transitions and well timed dark levity, horror lovers are sure to become engrossed within the first few moments. And void of any awkward breaks or structure issues i the material, the author allows the story to build up naturally in the imagination of the reader. Utilizing some classic tidbits with bold new twists, transforming the text into fresh and creative material. Poage is an excellent author with a very vivid imagination and a true talent for transferring that creativity from his brain to his manuscript. A definite must read for ALL horror lovers!
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