Thursday January 10th, 2013

The exercise:

Today we write about: the bottle.

We had a little bit of rain yesterday, but not as much as they had originally called for. Shocking, I know - an inaccurate weather forecast. 

Anyway. Combined with above freezing temperatures, it was enough to melt some of the snow but certainly not all of it.

So the winter wonderland survives another day.


The empty bottle rolls inexorably toward the end of the table. Fighting to keep the panic from her face, the bartender watches from across the room. It seems as though the entire building holds its breath as the bottle teeters on the edge, its shattered predecessors staring up at it from the floor.

Everyone knows that was the last drink the bartender could provide. Supplies have run out and the next delivery has been delayed. Everyone knows she has done all she can.

Everyone, that is, except the drinker.

He is blissfully unaware as he watches the bottle tip over the edge, smiling as it falls. The crash of glass doesn't seem to bother him. He is satisfied, or so everyone hopes.

Because if he demands another bottle and it fails to materialize before him, everyone knows that there will be no negotiations, no reasoning with him. No milk when he wants it? Then that baby is going to drown the room in tears.


Greg said...

The snow survives? Hurrah! We have a little snow forecast for tomorrow, but I'm not holding out a lot of hope for it. The temperature has dropped nicely though, and it's properly cold at last.
I'm really confused by your story today, but it may just be that it's the end of the week and I'm tired (and my squash game this morning got cancelled too). Why is the baby in the bar? And drinking from a glass bottle? That a bartender thinks he can catch? I feel like I'm missing a line somewhere (maybe I am!) that provides the necessary context.
Of course, mine will now also miss something out and be impenetrable :)

The bottle
The djinn looked around. The estate agent, a fussy woman in a green coat that smelled like a dead sheep, was beaming at him, a sure sign that this would be expensive.
"It's ok," he said hesitantly, his voice booming pleasantly in the confines of the bottle. "Does it come furnished?"
"In a manner of speaking," said the estate agent. Her voice was squeaky like Minnie Mouse and the djinn had to resist the temptation to magic her clothes to match her voice.
"Does that mean it costs extra?" he said. Every other bottle they'd looked at had had hidden costs so far, so he was expecting that this one would too. Why was home-moving so damned hard?
"No," said the estate agent, her grin now so wide that it looked like her head might tip back and fall off at any moment. "This is a Klein bottle, so the inside and the outside are actually the same. So technically it's as furnished as you want it to be."
"Technically," said the djinn, groaning loudly. "and technically you're helpful, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to turn you into a cockroach."

morganna said...

Blow across the top
To make a spooky noise
Trick only works with
Long and thin bottles
Everything else just goes meh.

Now mine seems to be missing something essential, too. It's contagious and it's all your fault, Marc! :)

Cathryn Leigh said...

Hellooo Back from along absence I know, but for once words just wanted to jump from my fingertips the moment I saw the topic. *grins*

@Greg - bartenders don't have to sell alcohol you know, and having been a mother, sometimes you feel like a titty bar always on tap... (Sorry if that image disturbs anyone, if so blaim my hubby) :}


I had a little bottle
The color it was blue
And when I went to rub it
Out came you!

But now my little bottle
Has gotten lost upon the sea
All alone and floating
It’s taken you from me!

So I’m sending my own bottle
Out into the brine
And if the currents cooperate
Once more you will be mine!

Greg said...

@Morganna: the trick is to how hard you blow across the bottles... though for milk bottles you definitely need a good pair of lungs. I do your like your poem :) It's really nice the way it evokes a haunting feel to go with the haunting notes you're describing.

@Cathryn: That does help explain things better (and I'm a bit less tired this morning too!) Thank-you :)
I like the sentiment in your poem today, and the jaunty rhythm of the verses conveys the narrators optimism and hope really well.
(Of course, I now have the image of those yellow plastic ducks finding and hoarding your bottles in a secret harbour somewhere!)
Did i mention yet it's good to see you back?

Marc said...

Greg - I would advise you not to take it too literally :)

The bartender is meant to be the mother, while the bar is just a home. I suppose I could have made it more clear but I was having fun with it :P

Hah, I quite like the idea of a djinn searching for a new bottle home. You've got some great lines in this one!

Morganna - yes, well, I do seem to set the tone with my takes on the prompts :P

I don't know how many times you've done an acrostic and I haven't noticed it until a second or third look. You make them seem very natural.

Cathryn - welcome back!

Fun little poem, feels like it could be the opening for a rather epic tale :D