The convict’s eyes flick towards the door, then back to his hands, then finally to the mirror where they rest for several long seconds, examining the tattoo on his throat. Man does that thing itch like crazy.
He can still feel the needle repeatedly stabbing his skin, the little pinpricks of pain spreading up to his chin and wrapping around the back of his neck. It has been two days since his initiation.
The door in front of him opens, creaking loudly, and a detective enters. He wears a loose fitting black suit with no tie. His sleeves are rolled up to his elbow, revealing a scripture tattoo on the inside of his left arm. His hair, short and black, is neatly combed away from his face. Around his neck hangs a gold-plated cross.
“Luis Grey.” he says upon entering, flashing a wide, white smile that does not reach his blue eyes.
“I go by A-Abraham.” Luis blurts out, scratching his neck in a quick, twitchy manner. His fingers tap on the table.
“Ah, our father in faith.” says the detective, watching Luis’s eyes grow wide before he looks away, covering his face with his hand as he scratches his scalp. When he looks back up, his facial expression is neutral. “Well, Abraham,” the detective continues with another forced smile, “I’m Detective Abbott.” He reaches out his left hand to shake the convict’s, carefully revealing the scripture tattooed across his skin.
Luis regards the man’s hand for a moment before tentatively shaking it. His own hand shakes from the large dose of adrenaline still pumping through his veins.
“How long have you had that tattoo?” Abbott asks, casually sipping his mug of coffee. “And can I get you anything to drink? Some coffee? Water? Tea?”
“N-No, th-thank you.” Luis pauses, tapping his fingers on the desk again. He looks up at the mirror again, scratching his throat. “T-T-Two d-days.” he answers, wincing as his nails scraped against a blister on the outline.
“Still fresh huh?” Abbott says with a smile. “I’ve had mine for two years.” he continues, placing his arm on the table, palm up. He looks at the cursive words. “Still throbs sometimes.” He pauses, pretending to examine the message.
He sees Luis lean forward ever so slightly, trying to get a better look at the words.
“It’s Latin.” the convict points out, squinting.
“That’s right.” Abbott pauses, leaning forward and catching Luis’s eyes. The convict sits back in his chair and clears his throat, regretting the momentary lapse in neutrality. “Samech recede a malo et fac bonum et habita in sempiterno.” Abbott reads, still smiling. “Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.”
Silence settles in the room. The clock ticks loudly. Abbott withdraws his hand, slowly sliding it back across the table.
He sits back in his chair, watching Luis. Several seconds pass. The convict taps on the table. His legs shakes, making the entire floor vibrate at an unsteady rhythm. He clears his throat again, refusing to make eye contact with Abbott.
Abbott glances at the two way mirror, unknowingly exchanging glances with his superior.