Message in the Bottles – Friday Fictioneers

Light filtered through the bottled patchwork like a stained glass window on a Sunday morning, only it was a Saturday, and Gully’s head throbbed so that he could barely lift it.

Smoke stung the tops of his eyelids. Gully choked and forced himself to sit. A redhead lay across from him in a singed, pink polka-dotted dress. The bar had burned to a crisp.

“Rats in the kitchen,” the townsfolk said of the yellow bottle.

“Paradise” blue was not offered.

All that was left was “Danger” red.

He lived to touch the glistening glass. Tomorrow he’d go to church.


Genre: Strange (99 words)

Photo Copyright: Marie Gail Stratford


I woke up this morning to smoke and I thought my house was on fire. It turns out it was the smoke that had drifted down from the King Fire, which has now burned more than 95,000 acres. It rained and everyone thought it was out. It was only 55% contained, but I’m sure it’s getting better. It’s strange to wake up to smoke, and thus inspired my story.

Thank you to the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the Fictioneers, and to Marie Gail Stratford for this very unique photo.

Click here for incredible stories from the Fictioneers.

49 thoughts on “Message in the Bottles – Friday Fictioneers

    1. Yes, I guess it was two-prong. I take inspiration from wherever I can get it, Mark. Thanks.

      It was a freaky experience. To smell it, but not to see it. I woke up super early, like 3:30, and couldn’t go back to sleep. When the sun came up it was really hazy and they cancelled my kid’s jog-a-thon.


  1. Three things: First, glad the fire missed your place. Second, wonderful story and elegantly told. Third, we (Nan and I) loved hearing the musical clip left by Mihrank. It goes with your story.


    1. The fire is actually pretty far, but it’s so big that we all feel the effects of it. It’s better today. 🙂 Thanks so much, Mike. I appreciate that. Glad you liked it. I thought the same thing about Mihran’s clip. I think it goes with it, too! It works perfectly.


  2. Hi Amy, I finally got a free minute to stop by. Great story, but I’m sorry to hear the fire was close to your home. Such devastating loss for those other home owners. Hope you and your family are doing well!


    1. Anka, thanks for stopping by. The fire actually is probably about 30 miles away. So, not too far, but it’s just that it’s so big!! We’re doing great? How are you? How’s baby?!


      1. I’m hanging in there. Thanks for asking. We’re deep into soccer season. So we’ve been super busy. As for baby, my little love muffin is going to be ONE in three weeks. Yikes!
        How are you and your boys?


      2. What?!! I can’t believe it! I can’t believe he’s already going to be ONE! What happened to the time?

        I’m over at your blog. I haven’t been getting your posts in my email. Hmm…I will be catching up a bit.

        It’s a mixed bag right now with my boys…both good and difficult.


      3. I hear you. It seems the older the child, the more challenging life becomes. But for now, I’m in blog heaven. My hubby is putting the kids to bed so I’m playing catch up, too!


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