Writing Day: Conmen and Art Forgeries

So as you’ve probably already read: I’m giving the whole doing 500 words pretty consistently again, except this time I’m making it not so frequent. This first one is pretty short and it’s just the introduction, I haven’t decided how long it will be (but hopefully it will continue), and it’s about two conmen and one art forger who is questioning their business. Enjoy!

Carefully placed with trembling hands, the sculpture work teetered precariously on the edge of the stool. The newly molded clay was still warm to the touch, but the work was not yet complete. Sweat glistened on her forehead as her eyebrows knitted in concentration.

Just one more step

Her heads clutched the last piece of her work, a delicate bushel of fresh lavender and a handful of sand. Samantha’s breath quickened as she inched the pieces of lavender, stem by stem, into the tight grip of the sculpture. As that went off without a hitch, her attention turned to the sand.

It’s easy, she told herself, just sprinkle the sand on the base and you’ll be finished. But she couldn’t. Her hand shook suddenly and a hand placed itself on her shoulder, gripping it tightly.

“Almost there” it coaxed,

She let out a breath she had been holding, and dusted the base with sand – watching as the smooth surface of clay turned pockmarked in one motion. But she leaned back, feeling at peace with the work regardless.

Such was the work of a conman.

Her close friend and partner, Ross, slapped her on the back when he saw that she was finished.

“I’d say that’s your best work yet” he exclaimed,

“Sparkling with diamonds,” she quipped, before grabbing a nearby beer to take a long swig from.

He laughed, letting the situation drift into a comfortable silence. No words needed to be spoken, and yet Samantha kept the sculpture in her sights.

“I’d like to keep one of them,”

The quiet whisper in the back of her mind was finally graced with words as she looked at it longingly. It wasn’t as though she was naïve; she did realize that keeping a work of art so alike to another was like taking out a microphone and screaming to the world “conman”.

But the thought hadn’t gone away. It had been years now, always the same job, the same heart wrench as she would watch Ross wink at her and load the sculpture into a black truck, and the same guilty pleasure as she would suddenly receive a four or five digit sum in her bank account.

Art was her life. She couldn’t live without it, and yet living in the public view, where people could see her work displayed, was terrifying. It was the only way after all, she repeated internally.

“You mean, as in keep a copy of artwork you’ve copied?” Ross asked, confusion mounting on his heavy-set features,

“Just once or twice,” she trailed off,

“Do you even know what a death sentence that would be?” he repeated, “Have you any idea of the consequences that my work would face?”

“I don’t even know what it is you do,” she threw her hands up in exasperation, “The most I have to do with this business is the actual making of the art”

“Then maybe you should come along,” a voice answered her unspoken question from the shadows of her room.

A second later and two guns were up and pointed at each other, but Ross lowered his as soon as the man came out of the darkness,

“Jon, I didn’t see you there” Ross said, bringing his gun back to the holster, “And don’t go giving the girl ideas”

“And why shouldn’t she be curious?” Jon asked, turning his eyes to Samantha, “I’d be happy to take you along. It would be a learning curve, but…” his upper lip curled,

It should probably be noted that Samantha, while curious, was nothing more than a great deal of trouble when it came to any sort of situation where she was counted upon for anything other than making artwork. But she was extremely hotheaded, and as the man known to her as Jon looked at her condescendingly, her temper seized.

“I’d be happy to go along” she retorted, “So long as you gents can keep up with me”

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