She met the tattooed lady’s eyes, looked to the tattoo on the back of her hand, and back to her eyes. “I asked for help.” The tattooed lady held her gaze. “I made you up,” Jodi whispered. “You weren’t really at the fair.” “I was as real then as I am now,” she answered softly.
“That wasn’t the first time she said that about me being too smart,” Jodi whispered. She kept her eyes on Seymour. He was a skinny old tom cat, all pointy bones and sharp angles. She could feel each vertebrae in stark relief along his orange and cream striped back. The tattooed lady lay down another
Her face was kind, and at the same time, Jodi knew that the tattooed lady across from her would see through any lies. There wasn’t room in this cozy little cottage for anything but the truth. The tattooed lady lay another card on the table. As before, pictures formed in Jodi’s mind. Fragments of memories
Jodi watched the tattooed lady place a card on the table. As the first ornately illustrated card touched the tablecloth, a story—like a silent movie—began playing in her mind’s eye. The street fair. People. Everywhere. Stacy buying cotton candy. Mom leaving them by the snack cart. The second card went down. Mom. Walking quickly to
“You’ve been so full of nightmares and questions there hasn’t been room for much else. Has there?” The question came so tenderly, it was as if the tattooed lady were reading her heart. Jodi’s hands fell from her face. She wiped away tears and looked across the table as the cat jumped onto her lap.