The Next Day

Serenity set up her latest painting of the two women in the bar behind her counter and stuck the price that her painting examiner, Gabriel, gave her underneath it.  She smiled warmly and briefly remembered that she had hung up her painting of a mermaid up in the same spot before it got sold.  She also remembered the way the buyer seemed to be enchanted by the beauty of the mermaid and suspected that he only bought it because he didn’t have much of a loving life.  The fact that someone she had met not long ago was dead now gave poor Serenity the chills.  Serenity shuddered then shrugged and sighed.  It wasn’t like she knew him personally, it just made her feel sad that someone had gotten murdered.  Serenity then went off to wondering who might have inherited the painting after the man died.  Serenity was always curious to know what kind of life her paintings would go through.

“Excuse me?” a voice stirred her out of her reverie “Are you Serenity Maler?”

Serenity turned at the sound and smiled at the gentleman on the opposite side of the counter.

“I am, may I help you, sir?” she asked and the man smiled and nodded.

“Dr Ari Fox,” he introduced himself and held his hand out for her to shake “We met yesterday.”

“Excuse me?” Serenity tilted her head to the side in confusion.

It took her a few moments to recognize the green hair and the shape of his face and Serenity suddenly jumped a few feet away after pulling a gun out from the drawer.

“Stay away from me!” she said with wide eyes and Ari held up his hands in alarm “I have a licence to own a gun and I can use it whenever I feel threatened!”

“I assure you, I do not intend to harm you in any way,” he said as Serenity’s whole body shook “If I scared you yesterday then I’m terribly sorry.  I can assure you that I don’t hurt women on a daily basis.”

“Just who are you?!” Serenity shrieked “And what are you doing in my shop?!”

“I’ll explain that my actions yesterday were caused by fatigue and stress, Miss Maler,” Ari calmly explained “I am so sorry if I have alarmed you yesterday, I was not quite myself.”

“Wh-Why were you covered in blood?!  Are you a murderer?”

“Goodness, no,” Ari laughed “No, I’m a forensic scientist.  I study dead bodies for the police and sometimes I fall asleep on them and get covered in blood and guts…”

Serenity placed a hand over her mouth as she made a soft retching noise.  Ari blinked in confusion as she lowered her gun and placed a hand on her heart.

“Oh, terribly sorry.  Are you faint-hearted?”

“Yes, of course I am!” Serenity barked at him and swayed slightly before blacking out and fainting promptly on the spot.

The End

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