Short stories and poems based on writing prompts, sometimes just the prompt. These stories vary in length and quality, but throughout every story I have strived to entertain though the quality of the writing does vary.


The Message in a Bottle

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It was my first time, though it was anything but a day for firsts.  The weather was mild at best, or perhaps it could be called bleak for that time of year: my summer holiday.  I was walking along the beach, at the water’s edge; the Waterboys song still playing in my ear – that morning I had looked up the Waterboys on Spotify.  I had thought of the Waterboys when eating full English at the hotel with a sea view, headphone on to prevent seeming to care about being alone.  God, that categorises me, start with my being fat, middle aged and alone and work out from there.  Well, I thought I would “celebrate my freedom” by strolling up to the nudist beach, further than I had thought or dared to go as a youngster playing in the waves, or a young lover posing on the towels, or a parent teaching sandcastle building skills.

My first was a walk along a near empty nudist beach with which I avoided eye contact.  It was not an excitement, it was simply a way of occupying time until I cowered back to what was left of my life.  It was because my eyes were fixed to the sand and the water that I saw it.  A message in a bottle.  Exactly like it is in the stories, washing back and forth like flotsam, a glass bottle with a big cork and very clearly a rolled up note of paper inside.  My first tingle of a thrill was being part of a real rescue.  Then I thought it would probably have an email address: let me know where this bottle washed up.  Then I worried it might have been launched from this beach.  If it came from this beach I would not reply to the message I would simply throw it back into the water.  My mind made up, I took the few steps into the waves to retrieve it.  I stepped back out of the water to uncork it.  The note caused me to blush, it was an advert, like those ads in phone boxes.  This ad had a picture of a naked man offering sex in the dunes at the other end of a phone number.

I cautiously put the note back in the bottle.  I placed it on its side just out of reach of the waves.

I walked on.


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