“The guy at the art show assured me it was authentic and worth much more than he was asking for it,” Dean said.

The art appraiser at the small shop continued to examine the painting closely, using a magnifying glass to study the painting’s details.

Dean was getting anxious. “Well, is it the real deal or not?”

The appraiser put down his magnifying glass, removed his bifocals, and looked up at Dean. “I’m afraid, young man, that you have been taken for a ride. I wouldn’t even call this a good forgery. I’d call it a clumsy copy.”

“Are you sure?” Dean asked, disappointment in his voice.

“Quite sure,” the appraiser assured Dean. “The brushwork has too many incorrect characteristics. The techniques used do not match those of the artist. And I’d even venture to say that the colors used in this painting were not available during the artist’s lifetime.”

“Shit,” Dean said. “I paid 250 bucks for that piece of crap.”

“Well, son,” the appraiser said. “The frame is worth that much. I’ll give you $300 for the frame to ease your pain just a little.”

“Thank you,” Dean said. “I’ll take it. You can have the frame, but can you take the painting out of it? I like it and will reframe it. My unsophisticated friends won’t know it’s a fake.”

“I wish I could,” the appraiser said, “but that would likely damage the frame.” Taking three hundred dollar bills out of his cash drawer, the appraiser waved the money in front of Dean. “Take it or leave it, son.”

“Fine,” Dean said. He grabbed the money and left the small shop.

The appraiser picked up the painting and took it into the back room of the shop. He picked up his phone and punched in a number. “Hello,” a voice answered.

“Simon,” he said. “You won’t believe the incredible seventeenth century masterpiece I just scored for three hundred bucks.”

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “authentic.”

10 thoughts on “Scruples

  1. baddadcartoons101 April 20, 2018 / 10:42 am

    The appraiser sold the painting for a high six figure amount, retired and died within 18 months (served him right)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sight11 April 20, 2018 / 5:56 pm

    It would have been more of a twist if the young guy had made his way out of the shop and said “Idiot fell for it, always..”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango April 20, 2018 / 7:02 pm

      Maybe I should send you my first drafts and you can write my endings.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. leigha66 April 21, 2018 / 10:37 pm

    Unless you know they are trustworthy a second opinion is a must… good story.

    Liked by 1 person

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