The Last Laugh

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a story about a couple, a painter, an unsuspecting victim and how two women pull the wool over the eyes of their significant others and have the last laugh.

Submitted: September 10, 2016

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Submitted: September 10, 2016

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A loud gunshot disturbed the cooing doves in the nearby trees and all cacophony descended on the neighbourhood instantly.

Looking at the partially curtained window in the opposite building where his target lay dead, Ryan smiled smugly and wondered, “Could it have ended any better?”

Calmly, Ryan packed his bags and exited the building unnoticed.

But he was wrong. Ryan thought he shot at Sean – who, according to him, was his wife Laura’s lover. What Ryan also didn’t know was that Laura was a witness to his crime having followed him earlier and was now on the floor below him.

Stifling the scream rising in her throat was difficult. But Laura managed, just. She saw Sean coming into her view with a paintbrush in his hand. She didn’t wait anymore and scrambled out of the building, careful not to be seen by her husband.

************

Sean froze as his subject dropped dead in front of his eyes.

His hand, holding the paintbrush, went still. Sean stared at the dead man’s face. He didn’t know him personally, so, he also didn’t know why he was killed.

With his mouth gaping, and eyes stunned open, his subject lay dead at Sean’s feet. There was something arresting about the expression. A thought occurred to him. He quickly mounted a blank canvas on the easel and started capturing the look on the dead man’s face. Sean needed to be quick before the police came.

An hour later, Sean shut the door behind the police with their summons ringing in his ears to make himself available at the police station the next morning.

Going to the window, Sean looked out. A slow smile spread on his lips.

The next morning, Sean woke up earlier than usual. His wife, Rene, brought his favourite breakfast - pancakes with choco chips generously sprinkled on top – to the table. Together they ate in their sunny dining room and drank the famous Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. Afterwards, Sean got ready to go out.

“Honey, what’s your plan today?,” he asked Rene.

“Darling, I have to meet a friend at the airport. Don’t wait up for me for dinner,” Rene replied.

Nodding, Sean planted a swift kiss on her lips and zipped out of the door. Rene waved to him, smiling. Her eyes gleamed as she picked up her mobile phone and dialed a number.

************

At the police station, Sean finished recording his statement and affirmed his complete cooperation with the police in the investigation. He exited the building and dialed his agent’s number.

“Dan, meet me at the studio in 10.”

“What’s it, Sean?”

“Fresh work. I can’t say more. Just come, will you?,” said Sean hanging up.

Dan arrived shortly after Sean and looked about him. Dan’s eye caught the newly finished painting and gasped.

Sean smiled. Exactly, he thought.

“So, Dan?”

Dan stepped nearer to the painting. It was arresting, alright. Immediately he knew that it was going to be a hit. The face peering from the painting, fresh off the dead as it were, was worth a lot more than what he has seen lately. And Dan knew just the right collector who would like to own it.

“I know, Sean.”

Dan pulled out his cell phone and went to the window. A few minutes later, he turned around.

“You’re on, Sean, but my percentage goes up for this.”

Sean nodded.

“The Sheikh will make the transaction tonight. Let’s get this ready and packed up.”

Soon, the news about his painting will be all over the news, Sean thought, and he was going to be world famous.

************

Back home, Rene finished the hour-long call with her friend. She packed her summer dresses, designer lingerie, jewellery, her passport, hard currency from the locker at the back of their walk-in closet, Sean’s gold credit cards and all things valuable.

With her luggage ready, she went to her 4x4 parked in the garage. Soon, Rene was out and drove straight to the gas station and topped up. Then, in the bank, she withdrew all the money in their joint accounts sparing the minimum balance. She took care of the bank official’s questioning look by saying she was planning a surprise for her husband.

On her way to her parked car, she speed-dialed the last number and spoke in low tones, “See you in 20.” At the reply, Rene smiled and hung up.

In a little less than 20 minutes, Rene parked her car at the airport and got her luggage out and walked to the departure gate. Her eyes sparkled at the person alighting a cab a little distance away. She waved hard, and soon they were in each other’s arms and went inside the airport together.

************

In the evening, Sean reached home. Going straight to the bar he poured a stiff whisky for himself. He knew Rene will be late. He went into their bedroom and instantly knew that something was amiss. His jaw dropped to see the locker open and empty. All the other valuables were also missing. He was robbed.

************

Reaching Hawaii, Rene and her mate went straight to their lawyer friend. Soon the paperwork was over and the divorce papers were couriered.

Free now, the two lovers took another cab and reached their exclusive beach resort.

At the resort, the lovers couldn’t wait to watch the stunning sunset and celebrate. Hand in hand, Rene and her lover and soul mate, Laura, ran to the beach. They looked at each other and collapsed on to the wet sand laughing their hearts out.

Laura couldn’t believe that her ex-husband, Ryan – who was in jail now - thought that her lover was Sean. Now, both Laura and Rene were rich with their ex-husbands’ money. Back home, Sean earned much more than what Rene took from him from the sale of the dead man’s painting and was now a world famous painter.

It couldn’t have ended any better.

 


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