My tattoo from the sketch I drew this afternoon and the one planned for me were the same. Exactly the same. The Orion Constellation. Inspired by Orion and Rigel, my dear pet cranes. Now, I knew they were more than just pets. They were really angels in the form of long-legged, long-necked birds, sent from heaven to prepare me for this role. So many years of joy on that pier, feeding those cranes! When I was on that dock with those birds, I felt a sense of well being. Mama Kate always told me to be kind. there are angels among us.
As I lay face down on the table, Z began to fill my skin with the most magical ink. The pain had never felt so right. I know it is only a symbol of what is happening to me right now. But with it, I am strengthened and empowered. If not for Orion and Rigel, I might not have been chosen.
I was on that table for only two hours. I raised from the table and was given a mirror to admire the divinely inspired artwork. It was absolutely flawless. Upon leaving, Z told me I would affect many lives with that tattoo. Mulling around in my head was the magnitude of it all. Would I be able to handle being used by God for a specific purpose? Would I know what to do? These answers would come to me. And I was ready for the call.
Driving home, I realized there was no mention of money. I had not paid or been asked to pay. Oh well, I would go back tomorrow and talk to Z. I wanted to pick his brain as well. There had to be a reason he knew about the Orion Constellation. But now, I need to sleep.
Waking up to birds chirping, and sun radiating through my window. I dressed, grabbed a couple of oatmeal cookies, a cup of coffee, and headed out to Z’s. When I arrived, I parked in the same spot as the night before. As I headed down the alley, it seemed different somehow. When I got to the door, there was no sign saying, “Zhau Llu’s Ink”. In fact, there was no trace whatsoever of a tattoo parlor. Nothing! It disappeared without a trace! This was falling into place. Rather than being alarmed. I just knew. I was going to be alright. Peace was with me. Knowledge was being sent. I’ve never been more ready for this. Life had a purpose.
Wondering if I would be used right away, or if I had more to learn was answered almost immediately. Pulling into the main street, I noticed two young boys being followed by an older boy. I pulled into a parking spot. As they walked past me, A sensation came over me. I felt fear, the fear I had when the Thacker boys were after me. I was channeling the fear felt by the boys walking in front of my parking spot. Then as the bigger boy walked past, I felt a feeling of sadness, mixed with darkness. A feeling I had never felt before. I knew at once the younger boys were scared of the older boy.
Getting out of my car, I called out to the older boy. Sensing I knew what he had planned, he turned and ran across the street. Barely missing being hit by a truck. I yelled out again and the boy turned to look at me. “Hey fella, I just want to talk.” He turned and started walking toward me. Relieved I didn’t have to chase him down, I motioned for him to sit on the bench beside me. I was going to get his story. I would make sure he never bullied anyone.
As he sat next to me, I said, “Hey buddy, why did you run from me?” He just shrugged his shoulders. I asked him if he knew the boys walking ahead of him. He, again, just shrugged his shoulders. What he didn’t know, was that I knew. I knew what he was going to do to those boys. It was much worse than anything that the Thackers had ever done to me. His evil vibrations were easy to read. If someone’s character was a color wheel, with bright colors depicting good, and dull drab colors depicting evil, his color wheel would be predominantly dull and drab.
What’s your name, boy? I said. He started to shrug his shoulders but met my stare. Hoping he could tell I was reading his soul, I leaned forward. He stuttered, “My nah nah nah name is Juh Juh Justin Weh Weh Weh Wells.” “So, Justin Wells, what would you say if I told you I knew what you have been doing to those boys, and others?’ I asked. He stared at me, eyes wide. “Justin, you have a story, I’m sure. Is your home life bad? Are you being mistreated?” I asked. He looked down, then said, “My dad ye ye yells and beats mmm mmm me. um, uh uh uh li li li live with mmm mmm my mom.”
At that point, I was seeing more light from his color wheel. He was a victim turned bully. Maybe he could be saved. I told him I was going to be watching. He was visibly shaken by our encounter. Probably divine intervention. He got up and walked away as I sat there wondering if I had passed the first test.
When I got home, I saw Auggie’s car in the drive. This time he had pulled into his normal parking spot. As I came in the door, I smelled chicken, when I rounded the corner, I saw Auggie sitting at the table with a big bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. The one thing Mama Kate never had to beg me to eat. He said, “Dig in, my boy.”
We talked about Mama Kate, his dog Reb, the weather, and how dang good that chicken tasted. Then I got up, took my shirt off. Turned to display the magical tat, against my reddened skin. I couldn’t see his expression, but there was a barely audible gasp. Then he said, “My boy, when did you get that?”
We went out on the porch where I told Auggie the whole story. If I could trust anyone with all this, it was Auggie. Afterward, he didn’t say much. We stood, as he was about to leave. He stepped toward me, to give one of his characteristic bear hugs, and I stepped back. “The tattoo!” I said. Then shook his hand. He grinned and turned to go.
Thinking about something Mama Kate always said after the Thacker boys pushed me around, “Makes me angry, Pehr, but anger isn’t Godly either. Jesus would say turn the other cheek. But those boys get right up under my skin!”
It was time for me to meditate on my newfound fate. God, the universal sovereign, would make it clear.