Imprint: Jody & Leo

EXT. STREET – NIGHT
Shadows wander down a desolate city street. The wind howls, a streetlamp flickers awake. Pieces of day old newspaper sail off rooftops, and into the moonlight. The corner strip is dark apart from one shop, a tattoo parlour.
The moniker above the door reads: “LEO’S HAVEN”.
CUT TO:
INT. TATTOO PARLOUR
A tiny bell rings as the door swings open. JODY (17) enters slowly, measures every step.  The shop is small, the walls are covered with art, graffiti; a sculpture of Buddha sits in a corner. In the centre of the parlour sits a lounge chair sheathed in white light from an overhead florescent lamp. LEO (mid 30’s) stands patiently waiting at a small welcome desk. Something catches her eye.
JODY
I’ll have that one.
LEO
Alright, one triquetra symbol comin’ up.
They’re now at the chair. Jody lies, face down, shoulder exposed. Leo sits above her.
JODY
(Uncomfortably)
So, how long have you been doing this?
LEO
What, impaling people repeatedly with a sharp needle?
JODY
– Decorating the bodies of confused individuals.
LEO
Twenty years Ms…
(cleans the area)
JODY
Jody, I go by Jody.
LEO
Okay Jody.
Leo begins to apply the needle.
JODY
This isn’t for me though.
(Winces)
It’s for someone else.
(Beat)
They’re into witches.
LEO
Witches? Like the Salem hook nosed, wart – faced, defying gravity type women?
She nods.
LEO
And you like these kinds of creatures?
JODY
No, not really. But,
(winces)
I don’t know, it just makes sense. Haven’t you ever gotten inked for someone; gesture of devotion,
(winces)
a ridden impulse, unrequited lust?
LEO
Sure.
JODY
Did any of them work out?
LEO
Some.
JODY
And the others?
LEO
They invented laser for a reason.
JODY
That sounds painful.
LEO
Not in comparison. But this… person, are they clean?
JODY
From what I can see, just plain bare skin.
LEO
Not even a birthmark?
JODY
Not even a Bloody birthmark.
LEO
Hmmm.
JODY
Yeah, strange. Although, I never thought I’d find myself in this chair, be one of those people. Covering their skin with coloured ink until there’s nothing left.
Leo glances at his ink sleeved forearm.
JODY
I always thought, people like that, they don’t really know what they want…THEY become part of a culture, their tats, a crux for chauvinists, a painful regret. But that’s easier than figuring it out for themselves. Then there are others, others who walk with prowess, confidence, their inked sleeves heightened by their defiance. People like that, I find interesting, I guess.
LEO
Which one are you?
JODY
I don’t like labels.
LEO
– But if you had to choose.
LEO
(Reluctant)
when I was kid, I loved art. I loved to draw, paint, colour, anything that would get my hands wet. My dad, well, he was an artist, a modern day Picasso, at least to my twelve year old self. At thirteen, I got my first tattoo. It was a sort of, bar mitzvah gift, or so I’d like to think. After that, everything became a littler simpler. At thirteen, I knew what I wanted, where I wanted to spend the rest of my life.
JODY
– Sitting all day in a dingy tattoo parlour? – No offense.
LEO
 – None taken, but, it was never a choice. For me, it was nothing I could get rid of. There’s not one part of me left uncovered and, I’m okay with that.
(Adds finishing touches)
alright, c’est fini.
She stands saunters slowly over to the standing mirror, surveys herself.
JODY
That looks…
(Turns to him)
thank you.
LEO
You’re welcome.
She reaches into her pocket, hands him a couple bills, turns to leave.
LEO
Do you know? Which one you are?
She stops in her tracks — her sore back stares him dead in the eye.
JODY
(Over shoulder, shrugs)
I don’t…
(turns)
but I doubt I’ll ever get to choose.
She disappears into the night. He watches her leave —  sits quietly — cleans his equipment.
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