The moment she saw the art piece she knew she had to have it. The image called to her in a way no other painting or photograph ever had. The auction was a battle; there was this guy who kept bidding against her. Eventually she paid 10k more than she’d planned. But the instant she held the frame in her hands, she knew it was well worth it.
“That was a nice fight.” She’d have dropped the frame for the sheer fright the man gave her. He towered above her, a killer in a suit. She knew it as surely as she knew the frame was emotionally worth more to her than the money she paid for it. She might have spent more than she’d expected but she would have spent a hundred thousand more if it meant she could have it.
He didn’t move. And she wasn’t going to ask him why he’d thrown the towel. She didn’t care.
“I would buy it from you. I’m offering you a million for it.”
“No. I won’t sell it. If you wanted it, you should have bid more.”
“There are other ways Miss Hendricks.”
The smile didn’t reach his eyes. She knew what that meant.
“This photograph means more to me than it ever could for you Sir.”
“You have no idea.”
“Actually I do.”
She turned around and walked away. That same night the picture hung on her bedroom wall.
She almost expected the man to break and enter in her apartment that night; she didn’t sleep well. Whenever she did doze off, she dreamt of deep waters. She placed her hand on the picture and was swallowed in it. And she could see them; it was that day.
She and her father had come to the beach. They did so every other week even after her mother left. He never spoke of her but she always loved the sea. And so did Laura. They’d brought the snorkelling gear. Her father rented a small boat and they went to fish sea urchins. Farther from the shore, she always liked to see how deep she could go before she had to swim back up. That day, a glowing light caught her attention; she swam away from her dad. That’s when she saw them; at first she thought they were jellyfish and she stopped in her tracks. She knew not to touch them; but then… she noticed. They were shaped with the body of women. Their slender tendrils reached for her before she could swim away. They surrounded her… And somehow she wasn’t afraid. They floated around her and onto her arms. It seemed they embraced her. She staid there… unmoving. For a long time. She didn’t need to breathe, she didn’t panic. Somehow she was home.
When she reached the surface her father was beside himself. Didn’t understand how she could have been down there so long. She told him about the fairy jellyfish but he didn’t believe him. He checked she was alright. Never did she see the fairies in the sea again; she’d thought she dreamed that entire adventure. Until today. It was real. And that man… she woke up with a start.
He was standing over her, knife in hand, leaning against her throat.
“You’re one of them. What would happen if I cut your throat. Would you turn back into your original shape?”
She didn’t understand… she reached for his arm, one finger. It seemed to lengthen, change form. Electricity crackled along her limb. She took his arm. He screamed; she didn’t let go. He collapsed. What did that mean?
She looked back up at the piece of art. Could it be? How? Maybe she should have insisted to know why her mother left.
This is in answer to Linda G Hill’s stream of consciousness prompt Art
Image is Sea Fairy by Rosel-D