By W. R. Jones
I was at the beach looking for a motif to paint when I saw this woman sitting alone, back to the water, holding a brown paper bag. I thought to myself this was going to be candy from a baby. The bag could only hold one of two things, a crack pipe or a bottle. Either way she would be in need of money.
So I offered her $5 if she would take off her clothes and pose nude for me. She quickly agreed as I knew she would. This is going to sound like I’m on the pipe myself but I swear as she was disrobing I saw fish scales and a tail instead of legs. I blinked hard a couple of times and when I looked again she had normal limbs. Really, I’ve got to get off the cactus juice for breakfast.
As I was progressing on the painting this sailboat came into view. She reached into the bag, hidden from view behind her legs, and pulled out a conch shell. Pressing the shell to her lips, she started to blow and a haunting melody filled the air. I was instantly mesmerized and froze with my brush just off the canvas. I don’t know how long I stood like that but when the music stopped the paint had dried and ruined my brush.
She had lured those sailors onto the rocks where they all perished. I probably should have called the lifeguards to look for survivors but I only had a limited time to finish the painting.
I was, however, indignant about her apparent lack of remorse (which, by the way, I think I captured here quite well). I made up my mind to punish her by not paying the $5. In retrospect, this was not a good idea (as so many of my other ideas). As I was driving away I heard this haunting melody and my hands froze on the wheel. I drove into the side of a police car.
Riding in the back of the patrol car I looked back and she was gone. All that was left on the beach was an empty paper bag blown by the wind. There was a ripple in the surf as a red ribbon slowly disappeared in the deeper water. As luck would have it, I’m being allowed to post from my cell.