The wind whipped her hair, blood-red waves tumbling over and around her bare shoulders, the ink-black tops of her angel wing tattoos visible above the back of her vest top which was a deep forest green colour, bringing out the similar forest green tone in the irises of her eyes. Her eyes weren’t always that exact shade of green; they changed with her mood, or the light, or what she was wearing. Sometimes they were every shade of green – emerald, grass, pine, moss, olive – all at once. People assumed that her hair was dyed, because that exact colour of red just couldn’t be natural; but her eyes always amazed people. Some guessed that she had a range of different coloured contacts that she switched between on a daily basis, but the truth of the matter was that both her hair and eye colours were natural; she had never dyed her hair or worn contact lenses even once in her entire life. Not that she could remember anyway; her hair grew out of her head that fantastic crimson colour. With her strange hair and eyes, and perfect, pale complexion, she was beautiful. She was tall and athletic; even when she didn’t work hard at maintaining her figure she was toned and lithe, like a dancer.
Her hair, she let simply grow out in long, soft waves that cascaded down her back almost to her waist. She wore little make up – just a small amount of eyeliner to define her almond-shaped eyes – so the only real alterations she made to her appearance were her tattoos and piercings. Aside from her angel wing tattoos she had five other tattoos; five thick black bands, one around each wrist and ankle and one around her neck. She couldn’t remember even getting them and had no idea what they signified. Her foster parents told her that she had had them when she came to them when she was just fifteen; they didn’t know what the bands meant either and she had no recollection of anything before then, so she supposed she would never know. She hated them though; she didn’t know why but she despised the sight of them on her skin and often thought about getting them removed. Her piercings, however, she could remember getting done and she loved them all. She had several studs in each ear, a ring through her nose and a bar through her tongue. People said that her piercings and tattoos made her look formidable, but to anyone who knew her, they were just an extension of her; part of her personality. She wasn’t Asha without them.
She had another mark on her body, one which wasn’t man-made like her tattoos or piercings; a birthmark in the shape of the letter ‘E’. It was elaborate, almost like a design or a fancy type-face, and many thought it was just another tattoo, but according to several dermatologists it was her natural skin pigmentation, meaning that it was a birthmark. The birthmark was just another interesting and strange aspect of her natural appearance, like her hair and her eyes. The birthmark was on her chest, just above her left breast; over her heart. It was a dark bronze colour, almost like that of a henna tattoo, and so it stood out against the near-white of her skin. The extreme paleness of her skin created a stark contrast with her deep, red hair but, no matter how long she spent out in the sun, she never got any darker; nor did she burn, she just remained pale. The final permanent aspect of her appearance was around her neck, just beneath the line of the black band tattoo. There lay a thin chain that held a blue-tinted, clouded-glass vial, with a silver cap, through which the chain was threaded. The vial didn’t appear to contain anything, and she had never been able to open it, but her foster parents said that it was only possession she had had when she was given to them, and so she refused to remove this one solid link to her forgotten past; though it appeared to have no purpose and she had no idea if it was even significant.
She may not have been completely happy with her appearance but everyone said that she was stunning, beautiful, and she hated to complain, so she accepted the way she looked and even tried to make the most of it, wearing colours that would emphasise the red of her hair or highlight a specific tone of green in her eyes. Though she always seemed to get a lot of attention from guys, she was never really that interested in them in return. She never really thought about relationships; she was too busy day-dreaming, thinking up stories. She had a wild, fantastical imagination and was always creating new worlds inside her head, filled with all manner of weird and wonderful beings. She had always loved to read and write and her mind teemed with ideas for novels. Most of her friends thought she was wasted on a ‘boring’ English Literature degree and that she should just stick to writing books herself, but she found reading gave her a kind of escape from the realms of her own imagination, into those of another’s.