LITERATI! When it rains, it pours!!!
And how appropriate…such a watery cliché for such a watery death or two! Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you for your “It’s-not-Christmas-yet-so-please-take-down-those-decorations” pleasure, Mary Willmont’s:
MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE
I wished for my honeymoon to be way beyond memorable and exciting. Now, after killing Jake, I shall send a bullet into my brain.
My grandmother’s warning haunts me. “Be careful what you wish for.” In my wildest dreams, I could not have imagined the wish transforming my life into this terrifying nightmare. As I savor our wedding pictures, tears pour from my eyes and disappear into the slimy mound of hideousness I’ve become.
Two days into our sailboat honeymoon, Jake spotted what appeared to be a deserted sailboat twice as large as ours, aimlessly drifting. He yelled through our loudspeaker, “Is anyone aboard?” No one answered. Pumped with excitement, Jake, could hardly wait to climb aboard and begin exploring. Not me. The shredded sails hanging from the rigging and moss thickly covering much of the ship triggered warning vibes shooting up and down my spine that urged, “Get the hell away from here!”
Jake, however was an adrenaline junkie A chance to wander freely on a ghost ship obliterated all caution, and he was out of our rowboat and up the rope ladder like a shot. I regularly called to him over the loudspeaker, checking to see if he was okay. When he didn’t reply to my fourth call, fear and flight adrenaline tore through me like bolts of lightning. What could I do? Jake was my soulmate, the love of my life. I had to find him. The sailboat was twice as big as ours, so maybe he was somewhere he couldn’t hear me. After boarding, I started down the cabin steps, holding on to the hand rail for balance. The slimy moss on the rail made me gag at first touch, but I had to grasp it or risk slipping and falling.
Before I reached the floor, Jake charged through an archway near the bow of the boat, clutching the ship’s logbook. Shock and terror disfigured his handsome face. Before I could react, he screamed at me, “Get the hell off this ship!”
I scrambled back up the stairs, sprinted to the rope ladder and in seconds was watching him shimmy down the ladder still gripping the logbook. Grabbing the oars, he rowed like a madman to our sailboat. Once onboard, I noticed slimy moss clinging to my hands which now throbbed painfully. Rubbing hard at it seemed to make it spread. Worse yet, it throbbed in sync with my heart which was pounding like a jack hammer against my chest. I screamed at Jake, “I can’t get this shit off my hands!”
Huddled together on the deck of our sailboat, Jake handed me the logbook, tears streaming down his face. “I’m so sorry.”
The first sentence made my skin crawl.
Like an insatiable vampire, this loathsome moss is sucking the life from my family and me and transforming our bodies into horrid moaning masses of slime. We’ve been brutally cursed. Crushed by total despair and all hope having deserted us, moments ago, I granted their tormented pleas for release, with a bullet to their brains. Praying that death can release me from this indescribable agony and suffering that has attacked us, I prepare to send a bullet into my brain.
John Halvorson, Mission Beach, CA. Halloween, 2014
After five days without wind, a working engine, and discovering no cure for this insidious moss greedily sucking the life from us, we ignited the ghost ship, then watched our eventual fate. Blood drips from where I’ve ripped away the moss blocking my vision. My once beautiful husband lies dead next to me, blood oozing from the slimy mass of grotesqueness he has become. I refuse to have this be my last memory of him and gaze once more at his handsome face smiling down at me, in our wedding pictures. Lyrics from The Way We Were haunt my thoughts. We so loved life. We had such wonderful dreams. Why did this evil assassinate us? Enough! Once more, I gaze at us and how madly in love we were—so eager to sail away on our honeymoon adventure.
The flames are nearly here—death, promising relief from this nightmare, beckons me. And yes, to my horror, I got my wish. Our honeymoon more than surpassed memorable and exciting. Be careful what you ask for.
Danielle Stevens, Mission Beach, CA Halloween, 2015
Gingerly unsealing the slimy, castoff bottle, the unsuspecting, teenage couple hunting for beach treasures excitedly removes the message. Mission Beach, CA Halloween, 2016