Sending Out An S.O.S.
Patti was walking along the shore, trying not to be depressed about the fact that she was doing so alone, when she saw it.
A bottle, half-buried in the sand. Her first instincts were to kick it, pick it up and throw it in the next garbage can she saw, or just ignore it.
But as she got closer, she saw the bottle had a cork stuck in its top. No way, she thought as she kneeled down and starting digging it out.
She pried the bottle out of the sand, wiped it off, and took a few quick steps to the water, carefully dipping it into the shallow remnants of waves to wash off the excess sand, and:
Way. Patti had found a message in a bottle.
She twisted and pulled the cork, finally hearing the satisfying POP as it came loose.
She pocketed the cork and turned the bottle upside down, gently shaking and moving it every which way in order to coax the rolled-up paper back out through the bottle’s neck into which it had been stuffed…who knew how long ago? Or where? She was actually kind of excited about the possibilities, in spite of herself.
Finally, finally, the end of the paper poked out of the top of the bottle just enough for Patti to grab it between thumb and index finger and yank it out the rest of the way.
She dropped the bottle, unfurled the paper, and read the message destined for her:
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
Is the “Macarena” still a thing? Just curious.
For a brief moment, Patti was profoundly disappointed. Really? THAT’S the message I get?
But she snapped out of it as she realized she had a responsibility–nay, a DUTY–to give this person an answer.
She took out her pen, smoothed the paper against her thigh, and wrote:
Yes…AND IT’S SLOWLY KILLING US ALL.
And with that, she rolled the paper up, picked up the bottle, stuffed the paper back into it, got the cork out of her pocket, smacked it back into the bottle’s top, took a running start, and, once she reached the surf’s edge, hurled the bottle back into the ocean.
She watched the bottle splash into the churning waves, then turned to leave after losing sight of it.
I hope someone finds that in time to save us, Patti thought to herself, and smiled.