On a lark, I bought this book with 400 writing prompts. I don’t know if I’ll do one every day, but I definitely will be doing them to work out the writing muscles more. I’ll likely write more about life and stuff here eventually, but I’m just trying to bring writing back.. so lets start here.
So without further adieu….
“While at the beach you decide to write a message in a bottle. What would it say? Who would you like to find it?”
Aaron stood with the water rushing in over his ankles, staring off into the horizon that felt like it was hundreds of miles away, but was realistically only a few. He had spent months stranded on this small little island and he had one word for all of those survival movies he had seen.
Cruise ships don’t notice signal fires and the countless times he tried to fire his laser pointer at helicopters, the only thing he got in return was sparkles blinking in his eyes from looking towards the sun too much.
His life wasn’t entirely miserable here on Aarontopioa, as he had come to refer to it. There was a fresh water stream that provided him with enough water between rainfalls and if he had access to the internet, he would guarantee the little pigs that ran around the island in abundance would be the key to letting him know where he actually was. He had never seen their like before anywhere, which meant they probably had some unique island specific name and were protected by one animal group or another.
He pondered if the article would also explain that their meat tasted like it was pre-smoked in hickory. Probably not.
Aaron stood every sunrise and sunset like this with the long rope vine in hand, tugging it rhythmically. It was the only time of day he could really stand and watch the horizon for signs of ships. In the mid-day it was too hot and he would burn himself alive and at night, his machine didn’t work.
“Machine” was a bit of an exaggeration. What he had was a dozen or so aluminum panels that he had taken from his crashed plane. He had bound them together, and arranged them so that, when he tugged on his makeshift rope, they bounced up and down in the hopes to act as a signal for anybody in the sea or air.
A glint of light caught his attention. A quarter mile from where he stood, something was bobbing in the water. At first he considered that it was a fish that jumped up at the right time, but after he saw it flicker twice and then three times, he realized there was something there.
In his first month, Aaron had used everything he knew from Castaway, Life of Pi, and Joe vs. the Volcano to try and build a raft to find one of the other dozens of small islands that were likely just out of sight to him, but he found it impossible to break across the barrier of the tides a mile or so out. A dozen times he took his raft made of logs and luggage, reeds and patchworked fabric to the water, and each time he would get to some invisible point a quarter mile away from his island and the force of the ocean would bring him back.
Aaron didn’t think it was some strange mystical force that kept him locked in to his paradise prison. He just didn’t know enough about how the tides work to explain it.
It did mean that, on occasion, things would wash up on shore.
This particular thing was getting closer, and judging by the shape outlined in light as his signal machine bounced its big metal aluminum sheets, it was a bottle.
The sun rose slowly, turning from purple to red to orange to yellow, and the heat that had begun to bathe Aaron told him it was going to be a scorcher. The bottle bobbed and swam, and it was definitely getting closer, but if it took much longer, Aaron would have to wait until tonight to find it on the beach. He had read somewhere that the most dangerous sun was early in the morning, and he wanted to get inside his makeshift cave before it got unbearable.
The bottle moved a little faster, like it wanted to be retrieved. Aaron decided to meet it halfway and swam out to get it. The cold water of the ocean felt like the greatest balm on his already heated skin, and he reveled in the feeling. If there was one thing he had grown to love during his time on the island, it was swimming. When he looked around, he was surprised to see the bottle right next to him, remaining afloat because of a cork stuck in the top, and again he got the feeling that this message was important. At the very least, it was interesting.
Back on shore, he walked to his home, examining his new curious treasure. It was a letter in a bottle, like you would imagine happening to man trapped on a deserted island or, more likely, a song by the Police. Aaron couldn’t help laughing at how cliche the whole thing seemed, but that didn’t stop his excitement to find out what his new aquatic pen pal might have to say. He hoped it was someone who had seen him and this was the only way they could get a message out to him. It sounded preposterous, but what else could it be?
Aaron waited until he was situated in his small home. He sat on his bed made of the airplane’s fire blanket. After popping the cork, getting the piece of paper out took a bit of manipulation, but with the help of a long thin branch, he was finally able to get a corner of the paper to emerge from the top of the bottle which let him pull out the whole.
He was flush with excitement. ‘Here we go’ he said to nobody, in a voice hoarse from disuse.
We regret to inform you that, due to Statute L4W:1663 of local aviation law, you are hereby fined the sum of $2,500. The use of a laser or laser-pointing device on an jet/airplane/helicopter is forbidden by law, and attaches to it the previously mentioned fine.
Please fill out the bottom half of this form, whether or not you wish to dispute this claim. If you do not wish to dispute this then also enclose a check or money order along with the form. If you do wish to dispute this, please include a brief explanation to explain your case and it will be adjudicated on.
Thank you for your time,
The Judiciary of the Palmyra & Associated Islands & Atolls”