#5. Modern Art

“So you want to do it?”

“Yes. Without a doubt. Just take me there and I’ll go through with it.”

“No backing out this time? I don’t want to waste my time, and gasoline prices these days are so ridiculous.”

“No backing out. Promise. Scout’s honor,” he held up his hand and tried to mimic the boy scouts’ signal.

I laughed involuntarily, “Liar. You’ve never been in the boy scouts. Well, come on then.”

“I would have joined, but my mum didn’t like the idea. So you know a good spot?”

“Oh yes. I’ve taken quite a few people there. It’s gorgeous. So much better than the spot last time.”

“I would have done it last time, only it just wasn’t pretty enough.”

“I’m sure you would have,” I tried to sooth his agitation, but thought to myself, “No you wouldn’t have.”

“Are we there yet?”

“Just a minute… alright. We’re here. Isn’t it gorgeous?”

I didn’t need to hear his reply to know that it was. The cliff overlooked the ocean. For as far as you could see, the turbulent stretch of shimmery blue continued. The sound of waves breaking against the base of the cliff made him jump every time. He hesitantly stepped to the edge while I sat on the hood the car, camera in hand. He looked nervous then. And I knew what he would say next. But this time, I decided, I wouldn’t let him break his promise.

“Look… I’m really sorry to do this again, but I can’t do this. I’ve decided that life is too precious to toss away for art,” he stammered, backing from the edge of the cliff.

“I haven’t,” I replied, with a tone more playful than menacing, stepping forward and shoving. I saw his look of surprise, hurt, and then terror as he hurtled through the air, limbs flailing helplessly, mouth gaping in a terrified shriek drowned out by the force of the water hitting the cliff. Leaning over the edge, I saw the beautifully random patterns his brains and blood made against the rocky bottom. “Modern art. Eat your heart out, Jackson Pollock,” I thought, snapping a photo before the water washed away my work.

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