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The Girl with the Tattooed Eyebrows

“Look, Paulie, St. John’s taking the shortcut home all by himself. Where’s Little Miss Perfect?”

“Hey, Cody’s talking to you. Ain’t your mamma ever taught you no manners?”

“You afraid to look at me, St. John?”

“Maybe we ought a join him. He looks lonely.”

“I’ll bet you hate these rainy days, don’t you, St. John? When Little Miss Perfect gets a ride home with her boyfriend.”

“What’s that? Don’t mumble.”

“He’s n-n-not her boyfriend.”

“Riiiiiiiight. And I’m not going to stomp in this here mud puddle and get your pretty-boy jeans all dirty. . .”


“I’ll bet your glad Miss Perfect ain’t here now, to see you looking like a river rat.”

“You think Miss Perfect would bother with him now, Cody?”

“Not a chance. Only reason she puts up with him at all is she feels sorry for him with that pathetic st-st-stutter.”

“I ain’t never seen anyone as perfect as her. That face. Ooooeeee.”

“It’s all drawn on, even her eyebrows. My brother delivered the paper over there one time while she was swimming in the pool. Swears she looked freaky as hell with her eyebrows all washed off.”

“That’s n-n-not true.”

“Quiet now, Paulie, St. John has something to say. Speak up, John.”

“Y-y-you don’t know her.”

“Stop chewing on your cheek, I can’t hear you.”

“I s-s-said, you don’t kn-know her.”

“And you do? Tell us what do you know about little Miss Perfect?”

“Clamming up already? You’re pathetic. You think we’re that stupid? Like we’re really gonna believe she talks to you just ‘cause you take the same shortcut home.”

“Sh-sh-she’s not who you th-th-think she is.”

“Tell us then, who is Perfect Tina Michaelson?”

“She’s r-r-real.”


“Y-y-y-yeah. She’s not just about the m-m-makeup. She’s not just a p-p-pretty face.”

“You’ve got that right. She’s a whole lot more than a pretty face.”

“It’s not t-t-true, what y-y-your brother says about h-h-her. He never saw her w-w-w-without eyebrows.”

“You callin’ my brother a liar?”

“They’re t-t-tattooed.”


“Her eyebrows, they’re t-t-tattooed. L-l-laugh all you want, I shouldn’t have s-s-said anything.”

“That’s the freakiest think I ever heard.”

“Even if you’re right, they’re the only tattoos you’ll ever see on that gorgeous body. Having a girl like that, I’ll tell ya, it’s pure bliss. What are you staring at, St. John? Quit eyeballin’ me. You got no chance of ever being with a girl like that. The only taste you’ll ever have of bliss is your mamma’s potato salad.”

“Sh-sh-she talks to me.”

“Ooooo, I’m so jealous. She talks to you.”

“Y-y-yeah, she tells me th-th-things.”

“What are you gettin’ at? What kind of things?”

“Hey Cody, no way. No way he knows anything.”

“Shut up, Paulie. I said what kind of things, St. John? Hey, slow down. What’s your hurry, now? I’m still talking to you. You ain’t gonna run off on us now.”

“L-l-let go of me.”

“What did she tell you?”


“Shit, Cody, you don’t think-“

“He’s heading for the old Lancaster barn. Get him, Paulie.”

“Damnit. I told you she was gonna talk.”

“Get off m-m-me.”

“What do you know, St. John?”


“That oughta loosen your tongue.”


“Don’t play with me.”

“Hey, Cody. I hear something. A car idling up by the road.  Cripes, lay off him. He don’t know anything or he woulda spilled by now.

“Can’t be too sure.”


“Hah. Look at that. Now they’re a matched set. St. John, here with my boot tread stamped on his face and Tina Michaelson with her tattooed eyebrows. Hey, when you’re crawlin’ home to mamma try to stay clear of the poison ivy. Don’t want no rash messin up that pretty mark I gave ya.”

“I’ll t-t-t-tell you s-s-s-something.”

“You don’t know when to shut up, you idiot. You’re just asking for it now.”

“I’ll tell you why T-T-Tina walks home w-w-with me. And it ain’t cause I’m p-p-p-pathetic. It’s cause she knows I won’t h-h-hurt her. She knows I won’t  p-p-pull her behind the old cy-cy-cypress and run my hand up her sh-shirt while sh-she’s pushing you off and P-P-Paulie, y-you with your h-hand over her mouth the wh-whole time. Only a couple of s-s-sorry excuses for a man would-“

“Why you little shi-“

“Cripes, Paulie, he’s got a knife. Back off.”

“What the hell you doin with a knife, St. John?”

“A-n-n-nother thing she knows about m-m-m-me: I’ll n-n-never let it happen to her again.”

“Paulie, over by the barn. Shit. Who’s that?”

“It’s Miss Perfect and her boyfriend.”

“Now what are we gonna do?”

“I-I-I told you he’s n-n-not her boyfriend. That’s her big b-b-b-brother, back in town to take care of business.”

“What’s that he’s carryin?”

“L-l-looks like he found an old pitchfork in the old Lancaster b-b-barn. Now th-th-that’ll leave a m-m-mark.”


Ruth Schiffmann shares the trials and triumphs of freelance writing with her husband and their two daughters. More than a hundred of her stories, articles, and poems have appeared in publications both in print and online. To read more of her work, visit


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