EPISODES OF THE STRANGE

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Episode V

The Tattoo

For Cade T., the thoughts of being rich and having everything his heart and greed desires is on his mind, rolling around most of the time. He spends most of his time stealing from old people and buying lottery tickets. It was Friday, and time to see what his lucky stars hold for him, so Cade heads for the local Gas Mart to buy some tickets.

“Give me some tickets, tickets, tickets…today is my lucky day,” Cade said as he handed the cashier some cash.

“Good luck Mister, nobody ever wins with those lottery tickets,” The cashier said while pulling out several cards.

“Well we will just see about that,” Cade said as he pulled out a penny and started scratching. “Come on…big daddy has to win.”

“Match three like numbers…” The cashier started to say.

“Yeah, I know, shut up so I can win,” Cade snapped back. “$2,000…$2,000…$2,000, HOLY! AHHH…Big Daddy hit the motherlode. Whew $2,000, now pay up stumpy.”

“Congratulations sir, you are the big winner for today,” The cashier said while handing over the prize money.

“Come to papa, beautiful green,” Cade said as he snatched the money, smelled it and ran out the door. Cade jumped on his bicycle and headed home to his parent’s basement to pack.

“Road trip time, a destination to somewhere,” Cade said to himself as he was packing. “Whoo-hoo, someplace other than here, and here I come.”

Cade arrived in New Lexington about three days later and found himself a little rinky-dinky motel to stay in. “Party-Time!” He said as he tossed his stuff onto the bed. Oh boy…new town, new faces, new money, ladies galore, and all the fun stuff that life can give him is what he is hoping for anyway.

Cade changed into his party clothes, which happen to be jeans and a tank top. He headed out to the streets of New Lexington with a smile and a money man strut.

“Ooh Dean’s Jeans,” Cade said. “I could use a pair or two.” Cade strutted into the store and looked around. His gaze drifted around the room and landed on a cute girl behind the counter.

“Welcome to Dean’s Jeans,” The cute girl said with a smile. ’I’m Katie.”

“Hey… thank you,” Cade said with a crooked smile and a wink.

“If there is anything you need just let me know,” Katie said.

“You got it, babe,” Cade said as he started walking toward the back of the store. Cade found him some jeans and laid them on the counter in front of Katie.

“Your phone digits would be awesome too,” Cade said while pulling out his wallet. Katie giggled as she rang up his items. Cade grabbed his bag of jeans and went out of the door. He stood in place for a few minutes looking around at some of the eye-catching sights. “Uh-huh, what else can I find. Three pairs for the price of two. Thank you, Dean, what a deal,” Cade said to himself as he strutted on down the sidewalk passing stores such as Dillon’s Sports, Cheyenne’s Scooter Shop, Fortune’s by Shawnee, and Kyle’s Karate School that was on the corner. He saw on the other corner a small mom and pop store and headed there. “Cigs…I need some cigs,” Cade said as he walked in and bought a few packs, and of course, he did not leave without a five-finger discount or two. As he walked out of the store, he saw a lady standing at the bus stop waiting for the next bus.

“Hey, baby girl, what is up? You know, I won the lottery,” Cade said to a lady like she was going to be all happy and excited and want to run away with him or something. That was not going to be likely, considering the look she had on her face which was pure disgust.

“Oh really,” She said while looking straight ahead. “Well, isn’t that nice.”

“Yeah it sure is, of course, I only got two thousand but hey it feels like a million,” Cade said while smiling and trying to impress the lady. The lady remained silent as the bus stopped and she got on in a hurry. Cade smiled as he turned and started walking down the sidewalk. “Hmm, I think she liked me.” He said with a huge grin.

After a few pickpockets along the way, Cade saw a tattoo shop on the corner. “Hmm, Doctor Kevin’s Tattoo. Oh yeah,” Cade said as he walked inside. He saw all kinds of different artwork on the walls and an art book laying on the counter. As Cade flipped through the book, buzzing could be heard coming from the back. The buzzing stopped, and Cade looked up and saw a man wearing a green t-shirt with a frisbee disk on the front, jean shorts, and gloves come through the strings of red beads that hung up in a small doorway.

“Can I help you?” The man asked.

“Yeah, I am thinking of a tattoo,” Cade said.

“Ok, what kind?” The man asked.

“Well, a cool tattoo and right here on my forearm would be cool too,” Cade said as he pointed to his arm.

“Ok, what kind of tattoo?” The man asked again with a blank stare.

“Uh ok, well a Rottweiler. The head and face with snarling lips and its teeth showing,” Cade said smiling.

“So, you want an angry Rottweiler on your forearm. Am I right?” The man said.

“Hey, are you Doctor Kevin?” Cade asked. “Yes, I want an angry Rottweiler.”

“Yes, I am Doctor Kevin and it will be one hundred dollars cash when the job is done,” He said.

“Uh, what if you mess the tat up?” Cade asked with a look of uncertainty.

“My tattoos are never wrong. I haven’t had any complaints yet,” Doctor Kevin said with a smile that never reached his light blue eyes.

“Yeah, I want that,” Cade said while trying to have a serious look.

“Right this way then,” Doctor Kevin said, as he leads Cade through the strings of beads to the back room. “Sit in the last chair.”

Another tattoo artist took over the client that Doctor Kevin was attending to so that he could personally work on Cade. The buzzing starts, and Cade shifts in his seat a little bit.

“The needle is a bit uncomfortable,” Cade said.

“I have not even touched you yet, so be still,” Doctor Kevin said as he looked up from Cade arm with a serious look.

“Sorry man, I am trying,” Cade said while trying not to concentrate on the buzzing sound.

“You know, you have a lot of greed inside you,” Doctor Kevin said as he continued with the tattoo.

“Why do you say that?” Cade asked.

“You have a lot of vibes coming from you and I could sense the vibes as soon as you walked through the door,” Doctor Kevin said.

“Vibes huh…” Cade said with a tone as if the doc was crazy.

“Yeah vibes. Some people give off good ones and some bad. You…well you just need to not cross the wrong people,” Doctor Kevin said while finishing up the tattoo. “Well, there you go. How do you like it?”

Cade looked at his forearm and saw his angry Rottweiler tattoo with a shiny substance and clear plastic wrap on it.

“Wow, that is cool. Thank you.” Cade said with a smile. While Doctor Kevin said that he would be right back with a bill of sale, Cade started thinking of ways to get out of paying. Cade jumped up from the chair and headed for the door. “STOP!” One of the tattoo artists yelled out as Doctor Kevin came running toward the front door then stopped. He opened the door and walked out, looking in all directions to see if he could see Cade anywhere.

Cade was laughing when he got about two blocks away, thinking that he got away with a free tattoo. Doctor Kevin stood outside of the tattoo shop fuming because Cade had run out. He raised his hands in the air and started mumbling under his breath, “May you have everything you want, from the power of your greed that lies deep within you. A tattoo with life shall consume you in the end.” The sound of thunder rolled through the air and lightning cracked across the sky. Doctor Kevin smiled a crooked smile and went back to business.

Cade wondered around town feeling proud that he got away with a free tattoo. He looked at his tattoo to admire the nicely done work when it started to tingle. He lightly touched the clear plastic feeling the pain of a freshly done tattoo. The tingling sensation was like it was breathing or something. Cade stood at the edge of an alleyway when he saw an older model car. As he looked at the car a younger man came out of the coffee shop from across the street.

“Man, I would love to have a cool car like that,” Cade said to himself as the young man started to get into the car. Just then the tingling on his arm started tingling even more and his skin started to bulge, twist and move outward.

“What the…?” Cade said in a frightened tone. His breath became short and quick as his eyes grew larger. He watched the tattoo bulge out more and stretch his skin. Fear ran through his body as he heard growling sounds coming from the tattoo. Cade watched as the Rottweiler started growing and detaching itself from his forearm.

“Oh man, this is messed up…dude!” He said loudly. He stuck out his arm and the Rottweiler’s head completely stuck out. It growled and snarled its lips back, all while wiggling to free itself. Cade just stares in disbelief as to what is happening. When he blinks his eyes and opens them again, he sees the Rottweiler standing on all fours in front of him ready to leap into action without a second’s notice.

“HOLY CRAP!” Cade said as he looked at the dog. “What the…?” Cade takes a couple of steps back and looks at his arm, then the dog. His mouth fell open, but he’s right there in front of him looking at the guy that came from the coffee shop. As the guy gets closer to the car, the dog looks back at Cade growling, then looks at the guy.

“Whoa…wait, what?” Cade said as he watched the dog take off as fast as he could. He jumped high in the air and tackled the guy before he even knew what was happening. Cade could not move as he watched the Rottweiler maul the guy at his car. Cade was in shock and not believing what he just saw. He looked down as the dog came to him with the guy’s car keys in his mouth. When Cade took the car keys, he felt his arm tingling again. When he looked at his arm the Rottweiler was back on his arm as a harmless tattoo.

Freaked out and confused by what happened, Cade jumped into the car as he heard a woman screaming and took off. As he rounded the corner a few police cars flew passed him with sirens flashing and screaming. Cade went on back to his motel room to not only count what he had pickpocketed for the day but due to it being a crazy day, he had enough. Tired and worn out, he showered and went to bed. The next morning, he got up and grabbed him some coffee.

“Hey, I’m still on a vacation so to speak, so what shall I do today,” He said as he got dressed and checked his tattoo. The Rottweiler was where it is supposed to be and to his surprise, it was completely healed. “Man, that was the fastest healing tattoo I have ever seen. Ha-ha, maybe it is magic.” He said while laughing as he grabbed the motel room key. As Cade headed out of his motel room, he felt like things were going to happen today, and so he strutted off to the car he got yesterday. He smiled as he drove slowly through town. He pulled over near an ATM, stopped the car and watched a lady pull money from the machine. “Hmm, wonder how much she has?” Cade said to himself as he watched her closely. He got out of the car and started to approach the ATM when he said, “Man, I wish I could have that money.” Cade watched from the corner of a nearby building as the tattoo on his arm began to bulge out and grow like before. The Rottweiler was off and sprinting for the lady before he knew it. “AHHH,” The lady screamed, as the dog attacked her and grabbed the money from her hands. The dog stood there watching the lady lay on the ground and with the satisfaction of its deed, it returned to Cade.

Cade stood there as the dog came back to him with bloody money in his mouth. The dog sat down in front of Cade, waiting for him to take the money. As soon as Cade did, the Rottweiler was soon back on his arm as a harmless tattoo. Cade shoved the money into his pocket, acted like nothing happened and made his way back to the car. As he could hear the sound of sirens coming that way he quickly took off. Feeling amazed by how he can get things, his wheels are now turning for bigger and higher valued things.

Only a few days left of the money and so the game is on, to see how much he can get into his pockets. Items after items Cade collected and the more, he collected, the higher his confidence level went. Cade stopped by the coffee shop and sat out in the outside dining area.

“Well, what do you know, the guy that likes to skip out on paying for tattoos,” A voice said as Cade took a sip of his coffee. Cade looked up and his eyes got big.

“Doctor Kevin, uh…hey,” Cade said as he put his coffee cup down and lit a cigarette. “Uh… you know I am going to pay you.”

“Hey buddy, well how is life treating you?” Doctor Kevin asked with a smile.

“Pretty good I must say. Won the lottery again and got me a cool car to drive. Maybe I’ll work on getting myself a house next, you never know,” Cade said with confidence as he took another sip of his coffee.

“Oh well, that is nice and uh, do not worry about the money you owe me,” Doctor Kevin said as he turned to walk away.

“Really? You mean it,” Cade said.

“Sure, I know you will get everything you want and then some. I’m sure Rocky there will take good care of you,” Doctor Kevin said as he walked off with a huge smile, for he knows what the outcome will be like for Cade. Cade sat for a minute trying to process the look on Doctor Kevin’s face.

“Hey, wait, how did you know I was going to name my tattoo Rocky?” Cade said while sitting there, wondering how Doctor Kevin knew. Once Cade finished his coffee he strolled off to his car. He stopped once he got to the car, thinking of about how much he has collected just from Rocky helping him out. “Wow, been around a few hundred bucks,” Cade said as he got quiet when he spotted money, a big pile of money, just lying on the ground next to an alleyway that led to an area behind the coffee shop. “Well, well, well,” Cade said as he cautiously walked toward it. “I need all that, heck I want all of that.” As he walked up to the money, he looked around to be sure no one was looking. He kneeled to get the money and as he reached for it, he heard angry growling. As he looked up, a Rottweiler was standing in front of him with its lips pulled back and teeth showing. “Nice dog,” Cade said as slobber dripped from its mouth. Cade looked down and saw that the Rottweiler tattoo was gone. He looked up quickly with a gasp and his eyes grew wide. “Rocky?” He said as the dog began its attack. As Cade held onto the money, the dog pulled him deep into the alley and proceeded its attack, tearing the flesh from Cade’s arms and hands as he tried to defend himself. “AHHH, HELP MEEEE!” Cade yelled as the dog advanced with more bites. There was no stopping the dog from its mission to kill.

When it was all said and done Cades bloody, torn up lifeless body laid in the alleyway next to a small bag of trash from the coffee shop. Cade’s body was discovered by a coffee shop employee and when the police arrived on the scene, they were slightly baffled as too how Cade died. They sent his body to the Coroner’s office for an autopsy and the Coroner’s report states that Cade T. was apparently attacked by some animal. Other than the teeth marks made by an animal in question and Cade’s defensive wounds, there are no marks or tattoos on his body anywhere. The news got around town about Cade’s death. When the news got to Doctor Kevin, he stopped what he was doing and listened to the details. He turned, looked and his other tattoo artist and they both laughed. “Greed will indeed consume you,” Doctor Kevin said as the other tattoo artist shook his head and smiled.

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