Crispin Smythe took his pristine white speedboat out of St Ives harbour grinning smugly and fondling the bag of jewellery in his pocket this should fetch a bit, she’s going to get the shock of her life when she sees what I’ve done to her precious picture, serve you right bitch.
Priscilla Hartford-Jones was a socialite who Crispin had set his sights on, her father was a local businessman and entrepreneur and he was worth a small fortune to boot. They had met at a very prestigious party and she had fallen for his easy charm and good looks and all looked set for him to be on the road to an advantageous marriage except for one fly in the ointment in the form of Jack Tremayne, a swarthy self-styled artist and boat owner who ran fishing trips for the Emmets when they swarmed down in the summer season. Pris thought the sun shone out of the little oik’s arse and flirted round him, it had come to a head when Tremayne had presented her with a picture based on the legend of the mermaid of Zennor, true the picture was outstanding and the fishy woman was extremely realistic and to say the least full breasted, Pris naturally loved the damned thing giving it pride of place on the wall above the mock fireplace in her expensive apartment overlooking the bay. Crispin had been steadily working his way into her affections and this distraction was one that in his eyes Pris did not need, worse still she had begun to divide her time between the two men, after a long argument she agreed to see more of Crispin and allowed him to move some of his things in to her home, despite this and her assurances that it was just friendship with Tremayne he found often himself glaring jealously at the picture, you are not ruining for it me my friend, one day you and I are going to sort things out.
‘Are you sleeping with that toe-rag artist?’ he asked one night after she had returned late from a girl’s night out.
‘I never said we were exclusive my lover.’ She emphasised in a mock Cornish accent, she was quite drunk.
‘So you are?’ he could feel his anger rising.
‘What’s it to you Crispin, you’re only after my dad’s money when all said and done?’
‘Not that again Pris I love you, you know that.’ the one thing he had always liked about her was her naivety, since when had she become so perceptive? ‘They’re his words aren’t they?’
‘No but knowing Jack has made me realise what a conniving bastard you are.’ Priscilla looked adoringly at the picture ‘such a sensitive man and he’s so good with his hands.’ she side-eyed Smythe grinning slyly.
‘That’s it then it’s over, I’m sleeping at my place tonight bitch.’ He snarled slamming the door on the way out best go before I do something I regret…
Early next evening Jackiel Tremayne was coming out of the Sloop after a quick drink when Crispin approached him in the car park. ‘What do you want Smythe?’ he asked cautiously.
‘Are you sleeping with Pris?’ he snarled.
‘What’s it to you?’ asked the artist ‘just because you got a posh voice and a fancy name doesn’t make you special you’re just a money-grabbing tuss.’
Crispin was enraged but held his temper back. ‘Why don’t you come with me to Pris’ place then she can tell us face to face who she prefers?’
‘Isn’t she out in Penzance tonight?’ asked Tremayne.
‘No, she had a last minute cancellation.’
They walked through the back streets to the other side of the peninsula and climbed up to Pris’ apartment. She’s not here you twat.’ said Jack looking around.
‘I knew that you prick!’ Crispin snapped.
‘What do you want from me an apology? Cos’ if you do you can fuck right off’ Jack felt a sudden pang of fear, he had never noticed how much taller than him Crispin was, or how well built.
‘I don’t want an apology I want to break every bloody bone in your body, but I’ve not much time so I’ll settle for this.’ he punched the artist in the face breaking his nose and knocking him to the ground ‘good with your hands Pris said, well let’s see how good you are after this.’ Smythe stamped on each hand in turn enjoying the cries of pain from the floor then dragging the artist up by his collar hit him repeatedly until he passed out…
Priscilla came back some time later to find her home ransacked but far worse than that was Jack sat propped up in the mock fireplace, the painting around his neck with his head protruding through the ragged hole where the mermaids face had been. ‘Oh god Jack’ she pulled the broken frame off and put her arms around him ‘please don’t be dead!’
He stirred groggily ‘Pris I think I need an ambulance.’ He looked at his broken fingers ‘bastard!’
She called 999 and sat down next to him. ‘Who did this to you my love?’
‘Who do you fucking think, Crispin fucking Smythe that’s who’ he paused then said in a panicky slur ‘we’ve gotta find him!’
‘We’ll leave that to the police.’
‘No we’ve gotta find him before my sister does, she don’t take kindly to anyone hurting our family!’
‘I didn’t know you had a sister?’
‘She lives local, we don’t talk much she’s a bit odd.’
Crispin Smythe or Chris Smith as he was known to the police in the West Midlands was a con man with a history of violence, he had actually liked Priscilla seeing her as a more than a mark, but now he’d lost it with that little prick so that was the end of that. He had got a thousand pounds the silly bitch had left in a drawer, two of her credit cards and all of her expensive jewellery, he would have to get rid of this nice boat he had coerced Pris into buying but hey-ho he would see what tomorrow brought. He was keeping to the coastline heading north in the falling dusk when he saw something white in the water close to the shore, it was a woman swimming and obviously in trouble, she started waving frantically and he thought briefly about ignoring her but decided he had been enough of a bastard tonight so somewhat reluctantly steered towards her, as she began swimming towards the boat he realised she was topless, the nights looking up he thought but when he reached over the side to help her aboard he realised that she looked remarkably like the mermaid in Tremayne’s painting, he recoiled in shock as she smiled baring teeth like needles or possibly like those of a fish, he reeled back in horror but she clung fiercely to his arms half pulling herself out of the water, the shock of seeing her toothy smile was nothing compared to that of seeing the golden scaled lower half of her body.
He screamed as she hissed and pulled him into the sea with her, a large golden fish’s tail flipped briefly out of the water and sank below the surf leaving the smart white boat drifting alone.
via Daily Prompt: Shock