Marlowe’s journey had been nothing short of bewildering. From golden footprints to magnetic attractions, and now, a Destiny Tattoo that constantly shifted its course with every decision he made. It was as if fate had conspired to take him on the wildest rollercoaster ride without an exit sign.
As he trudged down Brisbane’s bustling lanes, he recalled the smirking face of Inky Isabelle. “Why had she lied?” he mused aloud. “Why did she tell me that I had gotten the tattoo from her?” He decided to pay her another visit, hoping she could shed light on this ever-deepening enigma.
But when he reached the location of the familiar tattoo shop close to Brisbane, he was met with a baffling sight. Where once stood a vibrant parlour adorned with vivid patterns and an animated bell, now lay a quaint bakery selling gluten-free scones. No trace of ink, needles or the whiff of antiseptic. Just scones.
Stunned, Marlowe approached the bakery counter. “Excuse me,” he hesitated, “wasn’t there a tattoo shop here?”
The baker, a portly man with flour-streaked cheeks, looked up quizzically. “Tattoo shop? Oh, you mean Inky Isabelle’s? Moved overnight, she did. Said something about a lease and wanderlust. Gave me a fantastic deal on this spot! Want a scone?”
Flummoxed and slightly peckish, Marlowe bought a scone and sat down, nibbling as he pondered over this new twist. It then struck him that, perhaps, the entire episode was a cosmic joke. The real essence of the ‘Destiny Tattoo’ wasn’t in deciphering its mysterious paths or chasing its origins, but in embracing the journey and its unpredictable turns.
After finishing his treat and tipping the baker generously for the unexpected revelation, Marlowe made one last stop. He had been so consumed with the shifting lines on his back that he forgot the initial allure of Brisbane: the promise of tattoo removal in the Brisbane CBD. But as he approached the establishment, Marlowe had a change of heart. Instead of erasing the map, he decided to get a small compass tattooed beside it — a nod to life’s adventures and the importance of finding one’s own way.
And as he stepped out into the bright Brisbane sun, Marlowe Mismatch, the perpetual traveller with mismatched socks and an ever-changing map on his back, smiled. Ready for whatever absurdity life had in store next.