The tattoos, they caught on incredibly fast. I mean, it only took about half a year after the Death-caster came out. That's what the press called it, the Death-caster. Anyway, about 6 months after the first televised prediction, these tattoos starting showing up everywhere. It went from fad to craze to routine. Everybody did it. You would get some blood drawn. The machine would quiver a bit and hum. You'd get your paper and you'd go straight to the tattoo shop. Pretty much everyone has their cause of death, their C.O.D., tattooed these days. The accepted place to get it became the top of your left arm. Every time you go to check your watch, there it is in simple letters with a line underneath: Fire, Gunshot, Car Accident, Suicide.
Walking down the street you can see it all. Plane Crash and Brain Tumor are holding hands, window shopping. Prison Riot pauses to let his dog urinate on the curbsi