Saturday, August 15, 2015

Message in a Bottle

A short writing exercise on the theme of "message in a bottle," specifically communicating with your younger self


Davey and Darlene were making out in the back seat of his Dad’s Henry J, sucking each other’s tonsils at the drive-in. She was easy about everything from the waist up, but getting in her knickers was a no-no. “Oh baby,” he whispered in her ear, along with other romantic shit his big brother Mel told him made the girls go limp. What was about to happen was he was going to go limp, which was not the idea at all.

“You’re just like all the boys,” she said.

All the boys, yeah. Half the guys in high school had done Darlene at least once; he had his best pal Mikey’s word on that. So what was the matter with him? Finally, she pushed him away, sweetly but firmly. “Let’s watch the movie.”

Which she did, as he reached for his bottle of Narragansett and swigged the forbidden brew. Jesus,
Mary, and Joseph, why did they have to sit through Peter Pan before Stalag 17 came on? Some fairy twinkle-toed across the big screen as the moon rose behind it.

Davey stepped out of the car. He drained the last dewy drop and held the amber bottle up to the moonlight. He saw handwriting through the glass bottom. It said, “You’re screwed.”

“Huh?” he muttered.

“You know what I said. You’re screwed six ways from Sunday.”

Davey looked around and saw an apparition, a man who looked like he’d lost a few bar fights. “I had to show up in spirit,” the man said, “because I couldn’t fit the whole message in the bottle.”

“What do you want?” Davey said.

“I’m your older self, here to say enjoy life while you can, since it’s going to turn into one unholy mess. First, don’t worry about getting laid. She’ll do it with you during the second feature, and you’ll knock her up.”

“But I’ll wear a—”

“You forgot them. Your unwanted son will spend most of his short life in juvie, by the way. From tonight on, your life is one long string of mistakes.”

“But tell me what they are so I won’t make them!”

“That’s not how it works, kid.  The future’s already happened, and no one can change it.”

The apparition disappeared. Was Davey going nuts? What was in that beer, anyway? Then he promptly forgot the meeting.

Back in the car, he reached for Darlene.

1 comment:

D.G. Hudson said...

We only listen to what we want to hear. . .and when you're young, you think you can do no wrong. Well done, Bob.