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There is a dark blue bottle, about half-full, sitting on the bottom of the stairs. It’s been their since about dawn, when I came downstairs to check on my plants in the backyard. I was so tiered I didn’t think so much about it then, though.
By Caroline on 08.30.2013
I’m dangling off a ledge. My skin is pale grey and I have black tipped claws that are digging into the rock, keeping me from falling into the abyss. Karyna screams and I reach to catch her, but I’m too late and I hear her screams echo for several minutes later as she falls. I squeeze my eyes shut and mutter a prayer to our patron goddess of the dead, Lareya. I open my eyes and resume my scramble back onto the ledge. I’m almost up and Al is next to me, offering to brush me off and check me for any signs of injury. I shake my head diagonally up and to the left, signalling “no” as I shake my limbs and look at them.
Same pale grey, same black-tipped claws on my feet as well. I look down the front of my body and pull the thick, black mesh bodysuit away from me and stare down my torso to ascertain that I am indeed in one piece and not leaking my life-juice. I let the mesh settle back into place around me and start walking, tapping Al’s shoulder to let them know we were going to gather the group and continue on to the nearest temple to properly mourn Karyna’s death.
The rest of our group is straight ahead, having been taking down camp while Karyna, Al, and I took down our wards and sensors. I raise my arm and wave it in a wide circle as I point in the direction we’ll be going, their heads bow slightly and they stand in unison, grabbing all of our bags and swinging them to their backs. Al brings me the tent bag that Karyna and I had shared, bowing his head in respect to the loss of my lover. I grab it and swing it over my shoulder, pointing stiffly and starting toward the fissure we were going through, moving quickly through and ducking due to the low ceilings.
I see the light at the end and move quickly toward it, becoming more cautious as I got closer, slipping my bag off and darting to the corner. I snapped my hand shut and the group halted, waiting for me to declare it was safe. I peeked around the edge of the dark blue rock to see what appeared to be an empty expanse. I held out my hand palm up toward the light, gathering energies before focusing in on lifeforms ahead of me. There were no signs of life, not even a small animal.
I turn around and grab my bag, swinging it over my shoulder as I slowly step into the light, squinting as I pulled my hood up and over my head, concealing the skin on my face. The others slowly file out in single file, their hoods already protecting them from the harsh rays of our sun. Al stands next to me and grabs my shoulder. I look at them and nod, starting to walk ahead, the group following cautiously. We continue walking through the night, slowing our pace considerably when it grows dark to appreciate the beauty of our planet’s 8 moons.
We reached the outskirts of a small city shortly before dawn. The city’s gates were closed so we set up camp to sleep and regain our energies. Al, Lonar, and I had first shift watching over the cap to prevent our numbers from dwindling even more. We were already down to 23 from the original 47 we had. Our shift lasted about half a sweep of the small moon, and five of our next capable members of the group settled into a new shift.
I was woken by Al’s hand gently shaking my shoulder. The suns were higher in the sky and the gates were slowly opening. The group had already packed up the camp around me, letting me catch a few more moments of sleep before waking me. I stretched, letting out a soft moan when my back cracked and I felt warmth flush through me. I leant down to pick up my back, swinging it onto my back and pulling my hood back over my head. I trilled my hand in the air above my head and began walking toward the gates, the group slowly following me.
Inside the small city there is a market just being set up. There are only a few that look like us, this planet has become very culturally diverse since the big ships started arriving and dropping people off. A lot of them have pinkish skin and weird proportions, and they make a lot of noises with their mouths. And there’s a big fountain they had us build for them.
We stop by the fountain and I let the group know that Al, Lonar and I wil be going to Lareya’s temple to set Karyna to peace. Two of them want to come with us, the others decide to go look at the wares and attempt to haggle for them. We nearly get lost a few times before we look up at the spire that seems to be peircing the sky, deciding that must be Lareya’s temple and walking determinedly toward it. Al sees it first and quickens their stride, opening the doors for us long before we reach them.
We cross the threshold and immediately we all drop to a knee, elbow resting on the other one, fists at our chests. We keep this position of great respect for Lareya and her children for several long moments before straightening up and walking to the altar, where Her priestesses are. They look at us puzzingly, their faces varying depending on species. I go to the Head Priest and kneel, grabbing her hand and holding my forehead to it. She looks down at me and smiles, signalling for me to stand tall and proud in front of my patron. She starts a low, humming melody that the other priestesses pick up. The five of my group that is here close our eyes and hum along, feeling connecting to our planet, and the priestesses. This is an old tune, one that is sung to us from birth until death. It is one of love, loss, desperation, anger, melancholy, and happiness.
It brings me back to my first days with Karyna, and I stifle a choked sob as the memories flit by, as if being carried off on an errant wind.
The High Priestess grabs my hands and squeezes them, silently urging me to send Karyna’s spirit on her way through the valleys. I shut my eyes tight and ball up all my happy emotions relating to her, my joy whenever she laughed or smiled, my anger when she got hurt, my sadness when she fell. I ball these up and I direct them toward her, hoping that these will help to keep her warm on her journey. I squeeze my eyes tighter and a tear leaks out, and I smile. A big, ear to ear grin that showed all of my pointy, white teeth. Karyna was at peace, she would wait for me to be reunited with her, she wanted me to love again.
By KARKAT on 08.30.2013
Bottles of beer, cold and refreashing. Sitting on the bench with my perverted soon to be ex and my hot soon to be boyfriend drinking till we’re shitfaced and smoking roll ups. I actually find it hard to believe however I do enjoy these times and soon so will any friends I may bring with me next time.
By amy on 08.30.2013
Up high by the tall window sill, the light these empty bottles hold, shape, and color have become holy to me. There stillness prove there is a higher being and as day passes through them it passes through me. I feel great and small.
By michael on 08.30.2013
bottles are cool. I however, prefer boobs ;) And butts :) those start with a b too so I guess their close enough, I mean they’re better than bottles aint they?
By chelsea on 08.30.2013
Bottles, 99 of the,, dust-covered and aging like my bones, like my mind and the cellar of lost thoughts or thoughts I sturggle to forget or ache to remember. bottles in the hands of a man i loved but he loved them too much and our lives were eclipsed by them. bottles.
By jb URL on 08.30.2013
I used to collect bottles from our old house when we had tennnants, this was before we got kicked out by our family after my uncle died. our mom would give us the extra cash.
By Khary S. Smith on 08.30.2013
We had cases of bottles in our garage, delivered by the soda distributor. there was 7 up, gingerale for mixers in drinks and there were bottles of Schmidts beer for the hot summer days when we needed a refresher at noon.
By Marsha Ross URL on 08.30.2013
You’d think I’d drown in these bottles, as I sink to the bottom of each one slowly and without pause. It’s like molasses, the way I drip, drip, drip past the lip and neck, into the belly of the beast.
By darseyrsm URL on 08.30.2013
Scattered among the trash. Living quietly among the streets. Who do they belong to? A college student comes by, gathers them and makes a dime at the return center at the local walmart. A homeless man see them as an opportunity to survive. Many colors and shapes finding their way into lives…
By KCS on 08.30.2013
Üvegek. Jaj, mi jut erről eszembe, 60 mp alatt? Ott állnak a polc tetején, mindenféle színűek. Zöld. áttetsző, barna, főleg boros üvegek., Szép formájúak. Valaki gyűjti őket. De minek? A formájuk miatt? Vagy emlékek? Vagy dísznek? Vagy ténylegesen porfogónak?
By Kriszta Sarkadi URL on 08.30.2013
49 bottles of beer on the wall, 40 bottles of beer
Bleary-eyed, she looked up at the shelf and cursed. Damn. There’s 51 of those f*uckers to go.
Lying on teh cold, unforgiving floor, she felt nothing, just the desire to finish those bottles.
The laminate felt good
By wairwair on 08.30.2013
Tiny bottles of alcohol lined the counter, intermingled with larger cups and containers. She was a collector. A collector of things that happened in her life. Unfortunately, her collections made her seem like an addict. She kept pretty bottles from her nights that were hazy with the booze induced stupor. She kept ones that she kept saying she would do some sort of artistic project with. But the bottles just sat there, reminding her of the nights where she used their contents to forget the things that she didn’t want to think about…
By Katie Wright on 08.30.2013
49 bottles of beer on the wall, 49 bottles of beer
Bleary-eyed, she looked up at the shelf and cursed. Damn. There’s 51 of those f*uckers to go.
Lying on the cold, unforgiving floor, she felt nothing, just the desire to finish those bottles.
The laminate felt good. Solid.
hit the bottle like all night,
my bottle seems bottomless
how at the bottom theres no light
drown what haunts you wit this
fizz too strong to down
sip till it dont burn when you swallow this shit
By sicknificant URL on 08.30.2013
The bottles were strewn across the floor, drops dripping onto the floor. She shoved some to the side with her foot and made her way to him. She removed the bottle from his hand and covered him. She walked toward her room and turned for one last look. He snored deeply and she wiped a tear from her cheek. This was for the best, she had no other option. At least one of them could survive and move on. This was it, her moment to freedom. So why was she regretting every step towards the door? Was it the guilt of knowing he wouldn’t make it for very long or was it the pain of leaving anything that ever made any sense to her?
By Hebba on 08.30.2013
Nothing like driving down a shady country road in the south….oak trees holding hands across your drive throwing everything in green shadows. And then, out of the green softness and around the bend, you see color….bottles and bottles decorating the iconic bottle tree.
By Anne Freedman on 08.30.2013
Bottles are filling our landfill. Remember the day when they were made of glass and people refilled them and it was unthinkable to throw it away and it actually made you money by returning the empties. They also had a heft to them, they felt good in your hand
By Rob on 08.30.2013
There along the beach, glinting in the rays of sun rows and rows of bottles. Some still riding the waves to the shore while others lay have buried in the sand. Each one carrying a message of hope, others words of fair wells. All carrying apart of its writer’s soul. I remember that beach as do many others who have thrown their bottles into the sea of life hoping another will find it. Many never make it to the island of dreams.
By tasha04 on 08.30.2013
They kept accumulating under the bed. She didn’t let anybody into the room and she would lock herself in there for two or three days at a time with everyone in the house knowing what was going on. Every now and then she would got out for more and then her mother would go in to clean. The poor woman would then find all those bottles under the bed and everywhere, gather them in acarton boxes and throw them out.
By charlaboya on 08.30.2013
They kept accumulating under the bed. She didn’t let anybody into the room and she would lock herself in there for two or three days at a time with everyone in the house knowing what was going on. Every now and then she would got out for more and then her mother would go in to clean. The poor woman would then find all those bottles under the bed and everywhere, gather them in carton boxes and throw them out.
Bottles keep piling up, the plastic, glass and metal was everywhere. Every type of bottles made and to be made. The shelves were full, none was paired with the other. The many kinds of containers were just astonishing. At first seemed to be the work of a hoarder, but the bottles were well placed and put up, that none looked wrong where it was.
By A. Daniel Martinez-Leal URL on 08.30.2013
“Grab a bottle of soda and try to relax, would you? You’re getting really uptight, and we haven’t even started yet.”
“That’s half the reason I’m getting uptight!” exploded Mark, who was anxious beyond belief today. It was exhausting the rest of us to no end, of course, but he wouldn’t shut up about it, leaving us with nothing to do but try to calm him down.
By hannah URL on 08.30.2013
99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer…
Well, they probably weren’t all beer, Robin thought, picking up a hammer. Still, they all violated Prohibition.
“Ready?” Robin asked his partner.
“Mind the glass,” John said, before laying waste to an entire row.
Robin grinned and joined him.
By GloriousClio URL on 08.30.2013
i found you at the bottom
of a Smirnoff
but you didn’t grant any of my wishes.
By h. b. on 08.30.2013
a division of Identity Crisis, Inc.