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.

This entry was posted in Humor, Painting, Plein Air, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Siren

  1. lbtowers says:

    I like this painting Bill, and better yet the yarn that goes with it, but I will say it gave me a start when I first glanced at it as I was sure blood was trickling from her ear. I thought WHAT HAS BILL DONE NOW!!!

  2. gypsy-heart says:

    I really like the composition of this!

    I wondered where in the world you plein air painted it?? hee, hee

    Then I read your account, and I have to ask you…did your wife believe your “story”??? :)

  3. Carol says:

    Hmmmm, sounds like someone has kissed the Blarney Stone!

  4. wrjones says:

    My sister was watching as I painted the ribbon and remarked it looked like I shot the model.

    My wife was upset but the bail bonds man was smiling.

    I can not tell a lie (a singleton that is).

  5. Anna Surface says:

    Very interesting tall tale… Hmmm…

    The painting to me is Mother Earth and the Sea. I really like it… it captivates. Reminds me of… let me think… a modern Odyssey. :)

  6. 100swallows says:

    What does a mermaid like that eat, I wonder.

  7. wrjones says:

    Anna – it is not a tall tale but a short story. Oh, and you might want to check Preston’s shoes before you let him in the house. He has been out in the field shooting old cars.

    I’m not sure, 100swallows, but she was eyeing the anchovies on my pizza.

  8. kevmoore says:

    in answer to 100 swallows…a helluva lot of plankton

  9. 100swallows says:

    Good, Kevin. I bet that’s bad for her teeth. Did she give you a sort of broom-bristle smile, Bill?

  10. wrjones says:

    You guys are cold but she does seem to have a pretty big plankton habit. I should point her to the “I can make you thin” post.

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