The Bald Tattooist of Maskerville

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Epilogue: A Promise Fulfilled

Light filtered through the dense forest trees. Shiny leathery leaves in tangled masses flanked the trail, and brightly colored berries lay forgotten on the moss covered soil.

Squirrels were scampering about collecting scattered nuts on the forest floor, while jays lie in wait to raid the squirrel’s store.

Ink carefully tiptoed around the racoons who have taken an interest in his work. On top of a large flat boulder lay a pixie that had an abnormally large head the size of his fist. It was too big and heavy for its slender body to carry that it sprawled on the rough surface. He was reminded of the lollipop Rebecca had given him from Sulare.

The pixie was the same creature that had asked him for a tattoo session. Seeing as they were not able to do it because of the arrival of the Brotherhood of Light Bearers, he figured he should honor his word now that he had a chance.

He tried to make the flowery pattern on its small head at first, but it was proven difficult. Ink was afraid he might end up squashing its head with his hands. Hence, the pixie performed a little magic to enlarge its head.

Ink lifted his hand away and examined his masterpiece. He nodded his head satisfied with the outcome. The pixie rolled over before its head exploded into a thousand pixie dusts, returning it to its normal size.

Its wings fluttered as it twirled in the air, the tattoo freshly inked on its scar. It stopped in front of Ink’s mask and smiled tenderly before making a heart shaped pattern in the air with pixie dust.

Yes, Ink have his own mask now, courtesy of Demelov who had given him one at a discounted prize, not that he still couldn’t afford it. He had his own money from the purse prize they received after winning the Behemoth Wars after all.

The evergreen bushes was lively with pixies fluttering to and fro tending to their homes. There were different variants of the shrub nestled inside the dangling vines of the huge tree that shielded them from the rest of the forest. He pretty much figured out that different kinds of pixies live in every shrub, though all of them looked the same to him. There were Daphne plants that had incredibly fragrant flowers; Mahonia plants that had bright yellow flowers and spiny leaves; Aucubas with their bright red berries and speckled yellow leaves; Blue Star juniper with its silvery-blue foliage; and of course, Lavenders with their appealing flowers that are highly attractive to little bees and butterflies.

Just outside of the dangling vines were Yews with their red arils and greenish needles. It served as protection for the pixies because every part of this plant was poisonous.

Ink hadn’t paid attention to how beautiful the place was before and now, he was glad to be back and fully immersed himself in the view.

The little pixie danced in the way and asked him to remove his mask once more.

Ink chuckled, “I told you already, didn’t I? I’m every creatures worst nightmare without the mask.”

The pixie shook its head and pleaded once more.

He sighed, “Alright. Don’t blame me if you get nightmares every time you sleep.” He slowly pulled the string at the back and took the mask off.

The pixie flew closer, its eyes filled with wonder. It crept towards Ink’s forehead and touched the tattoo. The pixie copied the design and let the glowing pattern fly in the air before the gentle wind blew the pixie dust away. It smiled and dashed back to the dangling vines, leaving Ink stunned as it watch the creature fly away.

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