[National Magazine Awards Finalist] [Fiction] A tattoo artist meets a middle-aged mom:

The woman stood in the doorway, twisting her head at odd angles like a goddamn owl to see our designs on the walls, before walking up to the counter.

‘Sure you’re in the right place?,’ I asked. ‘This ain’t no nail salon.’

‘Is Nate here?’

‘Yeah,’ I said, ‘what’s up?’

‘Marion,’ she said, reaching her hand over the counter. I took it and shook. ‘You came highly recommended by my niece, Janice. You tattooed a rose on her hip.’

She looked at me like she expected me to remember. Shit, if I could remember every rose I tattooed on some girl’s hip, I’d be in the Guinness World Records for the best fuckin’ memory.

“Scars.” — Sarah Turcotte, The Atlantic

See more ASME finalists

Friends: We Need Your Help to Fund More Stories

We want to dramatically increase our story fund this year, but we can't do it without your support. Every dollar you contribute goes to writers and publishers who spend hours, weeks, and months reporting and writing outstanding stories. Now is the time to join us.
Become a Member