LWG prompt for 05/03/2019: Message in a Bottle.
The bottle washed up upon the shore of the desert island, and wedged itself between two rocks – going nowhere until released by time or tide… or by the hand of one Rosetta Stone.
Rosie, as she preferred to be called, pulled her dingy dinghy safely above the tide line and looked around at the vast expanse of golden sand.
It wasn’t home; but that was a mercy – she hated that place. This could be her new home, her new and much, much better home. She wouldn’t have any problems with neighbours, or thieves pinching her bicycle; foxes raiding the bins at half-past stupid o’clock; or, more to the point, her family – my, how she hated her family. She wouldn’t miss them for a single minute.
So, she’d forget all about them and their ‘ways’. Living on an island was to be the name of the game, and if she got a decent tan, too, then all the better.
Rosie scouted round the island, it was so small that it took her less than an hour to leisurely travel around its circumference. Once back to the vicinity of the dinghy, Rosie took no time at all in retrieving her small one-woman tent and the provisions from the craft – ensuring that the dinghy was secured to a stake that she drove deeply into the ground – she never knew when, or if, she might need it again, fishing perhaps.
The next morning…
Rosie found the bottle.
The message inside was written in a fair Copperplate hand, although, like an old sea salt slightly bedraggled from its time in the ocean, read: ‘I miss you, Rosie. X’
Rosie started at the words – had the past reached out a hand to try and pull her back to her former life? It seemed highly improbable, and yet…
Having put the strangely eerie message from the bottle aside, Rosie turned her attention to building a rudimentary shelter in the lea of a Rocky outcrop.
Plenty of driftwood and a few fallen branches from a stand of palm trees allowed her to put together something that approached the term ‘lean-to’. It would do for a while; the nights weren’t at all cold, and shelter from the midday sun was more of a necessity, and the tent was compact, to say the least- so, the new shelter worked well for all its simplicity.
Luckily, there didn’t seem to be a large number of bugs or flying beasties on the island; and there was also a small stream nearby that provided a drinkable water supply – some of the many tiny mercies that Rosie came to appreciate as she considered her position.
However, when a second, then a third bottle washed up on the shore, Rosie started to worry that her idyllic life on this enchanted island might not be for the long term.
The messages followed the pattern of the first – name-checking Rosie, and seemingly aware of her progress on the island – but, who could be watching her and sending these strange notes – judging by the encrusted glassware and sea-soaked messages, the bottles and contents had obviously been at sea a long, long time – year’s, decades, centuries perhaps? And yet…?
Rosie might have chosen that point in her life to go mad, insane, or just a little peculiar; but, Rosie was made of stronger stiff than one would think by looking at her.
She made a recycling centre slightly away from her homestead, where glassware, plastics, wood and miscellaneous items from the oceans pantry were stored. Not that she didn’t reuse many items in the growth of her shelter and its facilities.
Rosie left the bottles unopened, refusing to cow down to the words within – and, after a while, those messages, in those bottles, stopped.
Rosie forgot about the words and their familiarity to her.
After many years, Rosie was rescued by a small craft that had been blown off course by ocean gales – she was sad to leave her ‘home’ but life without the company of others was not all it had cracked up to be. And, as there were no creatures of any sort – birds, mammals, dinosaurs – life had become a little ‘too’ quiet.