Bottled Up

a Bocksbeutel style Bottle
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was chillin’ on the beach when a bottle washed up on the shore. It beckoned me with a wink of sunlight, and my curious nature bade me investigate. The stopper was cork, shiny and supple – I gathered that it’s ocean ride had it’s ups and downs, helping to keep that cork fresh. As I turned it over there was a light, rasping “clunk” from inside, and I saw that there was a rolled up piece of paper in there, just long enough to protrude into the bottom of the bottle’s neck when it was held upright, and the scroll was tied with what appeared to be a simple piece of hemp twine.


So I opened the bottle, shook out the scroll, slipped the twine loop over the top and began to read the words scrawled on the paper in a quick, neat cursive:

Bobbing on a wave,
I bear a message, saying
“Don’t float like I did.
A life of playing catch-up’s
tough; you never get it back.”

A tanka – interesting. I barely had time to reflect on the meaning of the words before another wave-polished bottle lolled up onto the shore and came to rest against a stone – clink!

Curiouser and curiouser.

English: Pontiled soda or beer bottle excavate...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I found that this bottle too was corked and contained a small scroll identical to the first. To say the least, I was compelled to read this one as well:

Inspired by unawarebutunderlined:

Said, but not spoken —
a heart crushed, but not broken;
phone’s a distance wall.

Said, but not spoken;
a heart poured out, unbroken —

Somehow I remembered the name at the top of the scrolling paper, but I could not remember why; I need to pay more attention, I sometimes think.

Clink! A third bottle. The paper inside contained just three words in that neat, cursive scrawl: “Hoi polloi converge”. Now that struck a bell, but I wasn’t sure why – nor why the heart began to thump heavy beats in my chest.

I looked out at the shore and was greeted by the foaming crest of a wave, upon which rode countless thousands of bottles to join the hundreds that had already washed up on the shore. A feeling of dread filled me as I realized that I was completely dumbfounded – not only as to the bottles’ origins, but to my own as well.

Where am I? How did I get here, to this beach? What the heck is going on?

This post was prompted by today’s Daily Post prompt.

88 other responses have posted so far:

  1. It’s wonderful world | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  2. Ethical Professor Boynton; Part 2 (Nothing to do with today’s Daily Prompt.) | The Jittery Goat
  3. Water | thoughtsofrkh
  4. Daily Prompt: SOS | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  5. Drown | 365 days of defiance
  6. Water – Daily Prompt | Linda Long Writes!
  7. Daily Prompt: SOS | Thoughts of an INFP
  8. A Summer Invitation | Pairings :: Art + What Goes With It
  9. S. Thomas Summers: Writing with some Ink and a Hammer | Bit by Bit by Bit: Fiction Writers, Please Lend an Opinion
  10. Water | The Land Slide Photography
  11. DP Daily Prompt: SOS | Sabethville
  12. Bound to the Shore | Exploratorius
  13. Daily Prompt: SOS | The Daily Post | L5GN
  14. (Daily Prompt: SOS) Message in A Bottle | Step It Up
  15. Perchance to Dream | The Zombies Ate My Brains
  16. Emergency Measures | The Dragon Weyr
  17. TAKE A MOMENT TO ENVY ME | Standing Ovation, Seated
  18. Daily Prompt: SOS | Tommia’s Tablet
  19. “A hundred billion bottles” | Hope* the happy hugger
  20. Daily Prompt: SOS | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  21. it will flow | peacefulblessedstar
  22. daily prompt: SOS | aimanss…
  23. Water… | Ana Linden
  24. Call Me, Vogue! | Haiku By Ku
  25. SOS: A Watery Pic | Khana’s Web
  26. Daily Prompt: SOS | | Photography, Pain & Life
  27. Daily Prompt: SOS | Finding Life
  28. Bean-O | Charron’s Chatter
  29. Ashes To Earth: May you Rest Peacefully in the Water « psychologistmimi
  30. Three Layers Of Water | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  31. Daily Prompt: SOS | Basically Beyond Basic
  32. S.O.S. | Home’s Cool!
  33. Fate | Buzzy Beez
  34. Daily Prompt: SOS/Water | Wordz on a Page
  35. Daily prompt: SOS | laura-in-china
  36. Daily Prompt: SOS | Iwannabealady
  37. Nisqually – A Short Story | Kilbo – Chris Kilbourn
  38. SOS | Passionately Bored
  39. Message in a Bottle: Eulogy for Joshua and Star – Daily Prompt | Write now?
  40. Get Me Some Water | Just Visiting This Planet
  41. DP: Water | As I See It
  42. Ice Cream | amarllyis
  43. Daily Prompt: SOS | Life is great
  44. A message from the universe. | Tales of a slightly stressed Mother!
  45. Mesajul din sticlă | Mort La Datorie
  46. Daily Prompt: SOS | Incidents of a Dysfunctional Spraffer
  47. Like Water | Wanderlein
  48. Sending Out an SOS | A Sober Head Full Of Confusion
  49. SOS « One Crazy Mom
  50. Beacon of Hope | LenzExperiments
  51. Marina Bay Sands water show | Mishe en Place
  52. Daily Prompt: Being Mythical! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
  53. Schrodinger’s Bottle | djgarcia94
  54. SOS Water | The Nameless One
  55. The Giant Wakes Up – Daily Prompt – SOS | Views Splash!
  56. The Ole Rum Bottle | The Shotgun Girls
  57. Daily prompt: SOS | The Wandering Poet
  58. Relaxing on the Beach | theauthorwhoknows
  59. Message in a Bottle | The Diary of a Lippy Chic
  60. SOS – Did You Get The Message? | Deliberating Dave
  61. Weary Dreams of Poe and a Bottle in the Sand | meanderedwanderings
  62. Daily Prompt: Water | Karen Gadient
  63. Message in a bottle | Mindful Digressions
  64. Message in a bottle. | The Word Trance
  65. Listen to the Sea | The Silver Leaf Journal
  66. JUST BREATH | hastywords
  67. If You’re Reading This… | My Author-itis
  68. Wahine Wednesdays
  69. Footprints In a The Sand… | Steve Says….
  70. Daily Prompt: Water & Senior Portraits | Daily Prompt & Blogging Progress
  71. Daily Prompt: SOS | Occasional Stuff
  72. One Starving Activist
  73. Ocean – Illustration | Dina’s Illustrations
  74. S.O.S | Writing and Works
  75. WATER WATER EVERYWHERE | Serendipity
  76. Within my Reach | Daily Observations
  77. Captain Nemo’s “Message In A Bottle.” | The Political and Social Chaos Blog
  78. Message in a bottle | mombox
  79. Message In A Bottle | Scribbled Posts
  80. Daily Prompt: Water | Different Isn’t Wrong, It’s Just Different
  81. Sunrise | vic briggs
  82. A Hundred Billion Castaways | Edward Hotspur
  83. Music and The Water Element | My Days In A Song
  84. Water | Overcoming Bloglessness
  85. SOS | Daily Prompt | From Slacker To Scribe
  86. Message in a Bottle | Love.Books.Coffee.
  87. Daily Prompt: SOS | Nicole Sloan’s Writing
  88. Daily Prompt – SOS « My journey to qualify for the Boston Marathon…and everything in between…
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  1. I had never read of the tanka poetry form before. Interesting!

    And re: the Daily Prompt– I suggested to Cimmorene that she start incorporating them into her blog– she had some writing prompts (outside WP) before, and she was thinking of dropping them for ones of her own creation, but I said she might get more readership following the WP ones.

    • That does work, especially if you copy wholesale the link list into the post, like I do – but I’ve been trapped doing them for a while and realize that once you belly up to the udder it can be a little hard to pull away to do your own work, so just so you’re both forearmed!

      • Yeah, yet Cimmorene is trying to build readership, and doing your own prompts, per se, doesn’t seem to attract them too much.

        She’s been doing a lot of hard work and I’m hoping she’ll get a little more acknowledgment.

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