Short Stories

I find this bottle at the tide’s limit, half-buried, overlooked: its glass, the cold green of sea caves, intact, refracting the weak winter sun like hawked mucus. The ocean’s castoff, its landfall ignored by every empty cockleshell and cuttlebone, gestures recklessly seaward and winks, daring me.

Gulls hurtle overhead, flipped by the wind, indifferent to my find. The dunes’ skirts flap impassively, witnesses to yet another pointless ebb. I turn the bottle over in my hand, weighing its lethal potential, then peer inside. Idiot! What did you expect, written permission?

A voice from behind calls. Grip the neck.