Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bizwhack's Tattoo Parlor

Ysani found an earring in Serpentshrine Caverns a week ago and she just could not get it out of her head... or her hand. Ayren never let her get her ears pierced growing up, and it was such a pretty, cunning little loop. Questioning the nearest tattooed freak, she got the name of one of the more respected goblins in the business. This is how she ended up in the desert, waiting.


Three gold ringlets twirled endlessly around the tip of her forefinger, spun by a thumb full of nervous tension. Ysani sat in a small goblin shop in Gadgetzan, watching the aging penguin-dotted paper peel off the walls. It's so dirty in here. This can't be sanitary, can it? No, no. Everything in Tanaris looks dirty. It's all the... dirt. Yeah. I'm sure it's fine. Ooo. What a pretty tattoo. A display of drawings caught her eye, colorful renditions of animals, weapons, flowers, and dark, monochrome tribal patterns lined up on the heavy paper. She had a few seconds to contemplate where she would put a tattoo of a muffin before the dark-skinned, scrawny proprieter came back from his lunch.

The goblin had to look up at her even though she sat on one of the diminutive stools in the room. His ears and face positively bristled with studs, rings and barbells. A particularly cruel-looking, tooled titanium ring sunk into the bridge of his enormous, hawkish nose caught the desert sunlight and reflected it in her eye. She squinted. He issued a dry, barking cough of a laugh and pulled a pipe out of his vest. What she had thought to be exceptionally dark goblin skin was actually a series of close-packed tribal designs in deep green ink. Up close, the patterns were more visible, swirling up, down and around each small, sinewy arm and over his exposed belly and chest. He grinned at her curious gaze and gave her a little wink as he lit his pipe. "Yar, sweet'un. They do go all the way down. I can show yer if y'want."

"N-no thanks, sir. I just uh..." She dropped the gold rings into her palm and held them out to the goblin, too flustered to articulate what she wanted. He scooped them delicately out of her hand. His skin was dry.

"Yer loss, sweet'un. That's all right then. Just a few holes for yer today, lemme guess. One each in those pretty titties," --these he eyed unabashed-- "and one fer yer--"

Alarmed, she cut him off. "No sir! Ears, please."

Was that a pout? "Yar. Wastin' m'talents here, sweets. Can I talk yer into a little extry bit a'somethin' shiny fer a discount?" He flicked a surprisingly well-shaped green finger at one of her nipples and she kicked him in the shin, her entire face gone red as watermelon. He winced and barked another one of those strange, smoke-ruined laughs. "A'right, no titties then. Yer breakin' m'heart. Go on and sit in that chair."

A large mirror opposite the cracked leather seat reflected the paladin and the goblin perched on a stack of crates behind her. He was all business now. "Where yer wantin' 'em?" He used his slim, dry fingers to plot out suitable points along her long, slender ears. She pinched her earlobes dubiously, and he shook his head at her in the mirror. "Yer gonna like 'em better up here, doll. Looks good and yer not gonna be hidin' 'em under all that hair." He batted at a crimson lock and smiled at her.

She opened her mouth to protest, then shut it. He's the expert. And he's right, nobody could see them there. He chuckled at her silent nod and pulled a felt-tipped marker out of his pocket.

"Three, eh? All on one side or split?"

"Two on the left, close together. And the other on the right." One for Mother, one for Father, one for Keilos. She smiled to herself, swallowing the lump in her throat. He patted her shoulder and dotted her ears with three swift, graceful flicks of the wrist. He gestured for her to approve of his placement. She nodded. "That looks good."

Ysani was more than a little surprised when he healed the freshly-pierced holes, cupping his clever hands around the tips of her ears and their slim golden rings to mutter a rust-throated prayer. "You're a priest?"

"Yer could say that. Do what yer love, and do what makes a livin'. Sometimes yer lucky and y'can do both, eh?" He patted the top of her head. "All done. That's thirty." She counted out her coins, and he grinned broadly as he pocketed her generous tip and waved her out the door. "Now don't forget what I said, yer good fer a discount on that pretty busum anytime yer change y'mind."

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