AN: For those who haven't read the book, a brief description of Poison Ink, written by Christopher Golden, spoilers of book: five best friends in their junior year of high school decide to get a tattoo to remind them of their friendship but the tattoo starts to change them, control them, except Sammi, who backed out. Dante was the guy who gave them their tattoo, in the form of a circle with five waves coming from it. In the end they are in Sammi's cousin's girlfriend's tattoo shop and Dante has control over the girls except Sammi who get in a fight trying to kill the others. Caryn, one of the girls, does die by the hand of Letty, another of the girls, but under Dante's control. Sammi's parents get a divorce and the friends that remain eventually fall apart. Basically, I really really did not like the ending of the book and this is how I imagined the ending. In my opinion, it wasn't my favorite book, not one I'd necessarily reccomend, but well written, and an excellent deterent for anyone thinking about getting a tattoo.

Disclaimer: I do not own Poison Ink or any of its characters.

Retaliation

It was not one of those days where the sun seemed to mock the dead, or where good weather seemed to be a sign from the beloved deceased that the one who had died, our kind friend and talented artist Caryn, was okay. No, this day had a sinister, ominous, and gloomy feel to it, like everything certainly was not alright, like this was a day for endings. We all watched, Katsuko, T.Q., and myself holding each other in hand tightly, Caryn's mother and father embraced, attempting to give comfort to the other where comfort could not be found, and many in tears, some silent, some not. As we watched the casket containing our friend's, Caryn's, body descend into the Earth, Katsuko, T.Q., and myself knew the truth of what had happened, what each of us had done, and what had been left unfinished and that still must be done-Dante. The prospect of facing him again was terrifying, almost suicidal, but for our sake and Caryn's and the safety of all underage kids we had to find him, and stop him for good. Obviously, that could not be done immediately, and it could not be done alone. We would have to have the support of the police and Letty and all of our wounds, physically and emotionally would have to be healed, perhaps on the emotional side, just shy of healed. As we watched Caryn descend into the earth, I made a pact this would be done. Dante would not get away with this. At the moment, Letty blamed herself for Caryn's death, but she will have to see, we will help her, that there was nothing she could have done. She was completely under Dante's control, Dante had killed Caryn, almost killed all of us, and Letty was the victim, not the murderer. The best we could do now for Caryn was stick together and finish what we started, what always will be. Our tattoos had indeed bonded us together, but never in the way they were intended, now they would be a dark reminder of our decision that night and its catastrophic consequences, but that what always will be, because for as much as Dante was twisted and as much as he had gotten wrong, his original thought was right: we were five strong friends, always was, always will be, this would not tear us apart, a storm was beautiful and powerful and unstoppable in its own way. No, this would bind us together stronger than ever, as something we would overcome and accept.

The casket was in the earth and the ground was being filled in. Our goodbyes and respects to Caryn had been said, now it was time to heal, and then to finish what never should have been started. Katsuko and T.Q. and I looked up at each other, tears in our eyes but with a grim determination in the set of our mouths and minds. Tightly and determined, we promised to call by the morning. We knew things were going to be tense and hard for a time at home, and perhaps with each other, each for our own reasons, but we would pull through, we knew that now. I still had my parents' divorce to face and Adam's text to decide on. Adam would have to wait, I was still mad at him for not trusting and listening to me, and there were more important things right now than a cute boy. When things settled, though, I would call him and we would see if we, too, could get back to how things were, or at least close to how they were, because no doubt, everything was different now, every second of our lives would impact us, it always had, it was just now we realized it.

It was a quiet ride home. My mother, I believed, knew I needed to be left to myself for now, and I knew she was there to talk when, if, I was ready, but I already missed my father. He had left the funeral in a different car and I wasn't sure when I would see him again. He had failed me, and as far as I was concerned, my mother as well. I had always counted on him, on them, but now I could only count on my friends and myself, these were the only things that were certain, but time certainly was not. I kissed my mother when we got home, but headed quietly to my room where I sat on my bed and then immediately, gently, keeping my broken bones in mind, fell to the back of my bed and shut my eyes to think, to gain some safe spot of, what?, not peace, but, of quiet, yes, quiet, where I could be left to my thoughts.

For a little while I had it, that numb quietness I desired, eventually I started thinking back on everything before that cursed tattoo, the happier times, when I could believe in my parents, when I saw hope in a boy who I could call Cute Adam, when the five of us were tight as ever and nothing would ever change that. How naïve we had been to believe that, that everything would always be perfect and safe and okay. I took a few minutes thinking about Caryn, all her designs and the times all of us had spent with her. It wasn't as sad as it could have been, it gave me some acceptance, but eventually, I couldn't avoid thinking of what had happened, that had cost us a friend, a life, an artist, but almost our friendship as well. I found myself seeing Dante's cold, glassy, light blue, engaged, dangerous eyes, and then Rachael's tattoo shop and all the blood and screams and Caryn. I shut my eyes tighter and took a deep breath. I should stop here, but I couldn't quite. I thought of Letty, who had been so wild under Dante's cursed spell, and how bright Caryn's eyes had been, before, and even then, but with fear there, then nothing at all, glassy, rolling back into her head, and Letty, oh Letty. Tears were starting to roll down my face, chilling on my neck and rolling onto my bed. I stopped there. I didn't blame Letty in the least for Caryn's death; it wasn't her fault and not her choice at all. Under her own power, she never would have even had the thought. Under her own power…at least Caryn had died free, free of the curse from Dante and the tattoo. She would have wanted that, no matter how terrible, I could be almost certain she had wanted to know, to realize the truth, instead of dying believing it was her own fault. At least she knew. I had to stop. The five of us were individuals, one would never come back, but she would always be with us, and that made us strong, five always working together, in our own way, no matter what. I opened my eyes and looked at my clock. It glared 7:45 PM in red, back to me, cold, unforgiving, the color of blood. Enough. Enough. I couldn't stay here by myself tonight, with things left like this, with Zak and Letty in the hospital, and apologies to Zak and Rachael to be made. I jumped out of bed, left my hair how it was, messy, frizzed, and down. I didn't care, it fit my mood. My mother was quiet on the sofa, she looked up and I gave her a glance back, but she didn't ask questions when I walked out the door. Maybe she was wallowing in guilt about my father; I hoped so, but not my problem.


AN: Thanks to everyone who is reading at least this far! I know the story is long and somewhat, if not very, depressing at the moment, but I promise it gets better, more hopeful near the end. It's kind of like the old cliche: It has to get worse before it can get better. Well the girls are so impacted by what happened they have to deal with it and face it, but slowly and it easn't easy. What they've experienced is super and unnatural and they made a terrible mistake that cost them the life of a friend and the saftey of two others and their peace of mind. That's not easy to overcome and it takes time, so just stick with it, skip several chapters if you want, but I'd love it if you gave it a chance to get better. I promise it does eventually look up and ends on a hopeful note. That's why I wrote this, not to be depressing, the book did an excellent job of that, but to have things turn out okay, and with time, they do.