Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: shipwrecks

Methane Soul

Image courtesy of The Thrusting Sensations

Image courtesy of The Thrusting Sensations, who have a facebook page: facebook.com/ThrustingSensations, and a website: thrustingsensations.co.uk

There is a flash of lightning and a hundred shipwrecks are visible at once, some awkwardly stacked on top of each other, ancient masts skewering the hulls of newer ships, and broken glass covering the entire ocean floor. Methane gas starts to seep out of the crack in a window of a building in the middle of all this, and the gas becomes bubbles and water rushes in. After a few tries, the glass yawns like an oyster and lets out all the methane it can in a great bubble and then it snaps shut again.

Inside the window, there is a room now filled mostly with water and bobbing wooden debris. The window is round, bulging, and so are the walls of the room. Where the highwatermark goes, straight like a ruler, the unescaped methane from somewhere beneath this tectonic plate takes over. Every time the ocean pressure becomes strong enough to open the crack – like squeezing a tennis ball with a slit in it – the gas is let out, and water rushes in again, and the crack grows just a little bit wider.

Over the months, the wooden debris will soak up enough water to sink to the floor and the water level will follow. The water will continue to sink through a grill-hatch down to a spiral staircase covered in patient algae, half-alive, and the water will continue sinking, trying to reach the point where the staircase ceases to be a staircase and is just a gorge, until it ceases to be a gorge and shrinks to a crack. It will sink towards this because, every so often, a bubble of gas will struggle free from the crack and travel upwards, catching itself on algae on its circuitous route up. The algae is brimming with minuscule remnants of the bubbles.

There are three sets of glassware in this tower: one massive cupola, one huge lightbulb, and one drinking glass. When the water sinks far enough, there will still be water left in this drinking glass, which stands upright on the table every time, though it’s knocked about when the water floods in. The cupola, covering the lightbulb, is filled with water too, and it takes much longer for it to dry out, and it needs to dry out completely. Sparks fly, then, and the lightbulb inside lights up for a brief few moments.

This is when the ocean squeezes the lighthouse until it opens its tiny mouth and breathes out its methane soul and lets the cold water in and everything goes dark again. Sometimes, a ship is caught in the bubble and it’s as though the sea stops existing underneath it for a good ten seconds, and the ship falls and the ocean closes around it again.

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The Shipwreck Daisies

They are hard to catch on film, for reasons that are or will become obvious. They have never been given a formal Latin double-name, but they are known as stormblooms or the shipwreck daisies: the flowers that grow and blossom just before a disaster. Captains of sunken ships write about them growing in the rotting parts of the vessel. Gorgeous shimmering colours that are not quite real and not quite there, and huge petals. Supposedly they wilt and that’s when the disaster strikes, or perhaps picking them is what brings on the death and no human can resist picking them.

Shipwreck

I feel like a shipwreck. I sank like a stone. The finest masonry this side of the ocean I tried to cross did not help, but I got exactly halfway before anything happened. Cracks spiderwebbing all over my hull and you will never pull me up in one piece. You can salvage the fine china. I can feel your wires and divers attach magnets and hooks but if you move me, I will fall apart like a slow-motion fireworks display. The waves are doing their part, the corals theirs. Perhaps one day I will bloom with them but for now …

Introduction to Top Hat Physics

But they must to come from somewhere.

Why?

Because things don’t just appear. They do not originate from your hat; they are coming from somewhere else.

I don’t follow.

You can’t actually create anything. At best you can… assemble.

That’s it, then. The rabbits are assembled by the hat.

But you can’t assemble rabbits.

You just said–

I know what I said. Shut up, I’m thinking.

Maybe it’s like, a loan. I’m borrowing the rabbits from their future offspring.

That doesn’t make sense.

Don’t overthink it, then. Just be glad you were shipwrecked with a real magician and stop complaining.