by Ella Sherry
“When I went to bed last night, I had no tattoos. This morning, I have 25—and I have no idea where they came from,” I snapped. The frail doctor with wisps of white hair on the top of his balding head looked frightened. He let go of my arm, walking over to a cupboard.
“If you want to get rid of them,” he began, “I can give you—”
“We both know I can’t get rid of them completely. You’ve heard the rumors about this.” I glared at him.
“About what?” the doctor asked innocently.
“These tattoos that appear on people. The Rich are doing this, I know they are,” I spat.
The doctor frowned, pulling a small bottle and towel from a drawer. He wrote something down on his clipboard, too small for me to read, and then walked back over to me.
“Take these. Squeeze three drops of this solution onto the towel, and then dab it on the tattoos,” he said, handing the towel and bottle to me. “The divide between the Rich and Poor has never been greater, but you should not blame the Rich for this. It’s happened countless times, but there has been absolutely no proof that the Rich are—”
“You’ve seen behind the Wall. They’re preparing to destroy us. Are we really that big of a threat? They have power over us. They control the land. What more do they want?” I demanded, staring at the doctor’s icy blue eyes.
He shrugged. “I do not know what they want. You’re right; they have the power, simply because they have the money. But they don’t have the numbers or, quite frankly, the spirit the Poor have. The Rich have bonded for a sole purpose, just like the Poor. But their intentions are different. For the Rich, it’s to take over the Poor, and control. For the Poor, it’s winning their freedom from the Rich. But you have to remember that both the Rich and the Poor have good people on both sides. They don’t have to be so divided.”
“So can you explain this?” I asked, gesturing to my arm with its army of black stains. “Did the Rich do this?”
“There are many questions that cannot be answered. I fear that these tattoos are one of those many queries.”
“Questions,” I muttered. “That’s all life is now. Questions, questions, and more questions. Are any of them ever going to be answered?”
“Most likely not,” the old man smiled. “But you can still search for the answers, and strive for the truth.”
“That’s what the Rich hate,” I realized. “Questions. Of course! When the Poor started asking questions, they panicked. They don’t want the truth to be revealed. What are they hiding?”
“Questions are the start of everything; war, science, stories, history, anything.” He smiled sadly, the edges of his eyes crinkling. “But be wary. Questions can lead to answers, but knowing answers to questions that don’t want to be answered can lead to death.”