Fiction in a Flash Challenge #17
The week’s flash fiction challenge is titled Message in a Bottle. Join here on Suzanne Burke’s inspiring blog: https://sooozburkeauthor.wordpress.com/2020/09/11/fiction-in-a-flash-challenge-week-17-new-image-prompt-join-in-the-funpursoot-iartg-asmsg-writingcommunity/
The sand is cool and grainy under my toes, a refreshing relief from the warmth of the sun on my shoulders. I’ve been walking this mostly deserted beach for hours, lost in memories of happier times.
I arrived as a visiter, but for the last twelve years this has been home. I’m not sure how I’ll survive without the wash of the waves, the briny scent, or the crimson sunsets, but I must. It’s up to me to continue the search.
Something green glints in the shallows and I pad out to investigate. It’s a bottle, half-buried in the wet sand, its cork pointing toward the North Star sparkling brightly in the evening sky.
Heart pumping, I tug until the sand gives up its treasure with a pop and carefully carry the fragile glass up the beach. Upon closer inspection, I spot a roll of paper inside the luminous green bottle.
“Sam, is that you?”
A wavery voice from my past jerks my attention away from my find.
Could it be?
The woman I never thought to see again, picks up her skirts and runs toward me, her silver hair flowing like a moonbeam.
With a joyous bark, I bound toward her, the aches and pains in my old bones forgotten. She came back.
“Oh, Sam,” she cries, falling to her knees to wrap frail arms around my neck. “I can’t believe I found you.”
I want to tell her I’ve been searching and searching for her, too, but of course I can’t. Instead, I whine and lick her chin in greeting, my tail swishing the sand.
“It was the cancer, boy. I’ve been in the hospital all this time. I thought I’d lost you.” She puts her head to mine and weeps.
A long while later, she slowly rises and, with a hand on my back, follows me over to the green bottle.
“What do you have there, Sam, a treasure?”
I already found my treasure tonight, but I bark and push the bottle toward her.
“Okay, okay.” She chuckles. “I get the message.”
She carefully works the cork from the bottle and tips the paper into her hand. Unrolling the missive, she reads, “Whoever finds this note, know this; there is no greater gift than love.”
As my old friend and I make our way down the beach, I sigh, contented for the first time in months. The bottle is right, love soothes the soul.