Isaac stands at the stern, hands braced on the rail against the pitch and roll of the Channel’s current; England fades to a rolling line, then slips away under the gray sea like Atlantis. He wonders if it is lost to him now, and his daughter with it. The crew is watchful, but not active, as dawn breaks. He and his Captain are the only passengers on this ship.
“Dr. Lowe? Isaac?” her low voice and her touch on his arm are simultaneous.
He answers without turning.
“I didn’t know you knew my name. We never discussed it… before.”
“I saw it sewn into your satchel when you were brought aboard the Siren,” she explains, joining him. “I thought it best we maintained some distance at the time.”
Her careworn hands alongside his on the rail kindle a fire under his skin that the sea air does nothing to cool.
“If I am to be Isaac,” he asks, “who are you to be?”
Motion in the lines and rigging tugs at the ship. The crew calls. Isaac watches her body shift with the vessel’s heaving even as his overcompensates.
“Rose O’Leary Marquez de Navarra.” Her eyes meet his, gray and steady. “You may call me Rose.”
“Rose, then.” He falls silent, watching her watch the water. Across the back of her neck a cluster of small stars are tattooed onto her skin just below her now close-cropped hair.
“It’s true, then,” he muses, “all pirates are tattooed like the Painted Prince.”
Her hand flies up to cover the constellation.
“It is the Pleiades. The—“
“The Seven Sisters,” he finishes. “I know the story.”
“One for each of us, and I the only one not gone to Heaven, nor likely to go. And our brother now years gone, as well.”
This week, we’d like you to write a piece in which a tattoo figures prominently. Fiction or creative non-fiction. There is a lot to think about: why someone would get one, what they chose, when they got it, what message does the tattoo(s) send? You will have 300 words with which to play.