Her tattoo was expanding.
The girl watched her arm raptly, index finger tracing its minutely changing lines as it inked slowly across her skin in heavy strokes and light lines, sending spidery tendrils upwards.
This was it, finally, her purpose was to be revealed to her, and after all these years of waiting, hiding her bare skin from the judging eyes of the world, she felt light headed with excitement.
In a society where Fate decided your destiny, and your body worked against you to decide your future, she had always been an outcast, the one with no Fate Marks, nothing to work from, nothing to validate her existence: worthless.
And yet, here they were at last, and she held her breath in breathless anticipation. What was her purpose? What has eluded her all these years, made her the laughingstock of society?
The marks were strange, unlike any she had ever seen, and as they spread across her chest, curling from her now covered arm, anticipation soured, a feeling of disquiet soaking it like ice water.
She would never be accepted, would she? Her wild opprobrium had haunted her for so long, a bad taste that never left her mouth, she suddenly felt certain this Mark would be the death knell for her, and her fate as social pariah would be sealed.
Footsteps echoed outside the bathroom door she leaned upon and she held her breath, her heart slamming against her ribcage like a trapped bird against glass, and her throat tightened cruelly as she felt the knock that battered the outside.
“Hello?” A low voice inquired hesitantly , and she rose from her seat wringing her hands.
“Yes,” she hiccuped, voice thick. “I’m in here.”
There was silence for a long moment, and the girl held her breath.
“Margo?” The voice finally asked, and the girl rested her forehead against the smooth wood grain of the door.
“Please,” she answered, her voice breaking. “Please, Tara, just leave me be.”
There was another silence. “What is going on?” The other girl asked, concern lending an edge to her low voice.
Margo was disgusted by the tiny sob that hiccuped in her throat.
“Margo, let me in,” Tara demanded, desperate. “I can help you. If it’s a Criminal Mark, or something, I can pull some strings, I can-”
Margo slammed the door open. “Pull some strings?” She jerked the edge of her shirt down, revealing her now heavily tattooed chest. “How can you fix this?” Her fear was palpable, her hands shaking violently, and tears tracking wetly down her cheeks.
Tara’s eyes traced the tattoo gently.
“You know I am a graduated Officer who can recognize all current Fate Marks. And I know what you have.”
This was it, Margo knew it. The moment had come, and Tara would know. She would know how worthless Margo really was, and she would despise her.
“It’s the Mark of a Healer,” Tara told her softly. “One of the rarest Marks we have ever recorded. It looks different because…well, because you’re different. Special.
“You’re a Healer Margo.”
Her tattoo was expanding.