Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: the sea

Sandcastle Man

Sandcastle man sits on a cold beach like something medieval. His hands vanish into the grey sand and it must be cold for him, stark naked. His skin has assumed the same colour as the sand itself. The water is beating at his legs, nibbling at his toes, and soon surrounding him. By unfocusing his eyes he can look at his arms as if they’re trees rising from the water instead of columns pushed down into it. He stays unfocused, and eventually he falls apart, and in but two tide cycles the sand is perfectly smooth where he once sat.

Anchorlust pt. I

The tube goes all the way up to the surface. It is hard to breathe. He is walking toward a large rock. Every step he takes throws up languid clouds of dust. The pressure from all that water kaleidoscopes his vision. The two white lights on his shoulders, far apart like the minuscule eyes of some giant creature, flicker as one. He nears the rock. He reaches it, embraces it; this is it. He wants to stay here. The rock is, and he is, immobile. It is hard to breathe. The tube goes all the way up to the surface.


The ship was welded together the same way their culture was. It was made up of bits and pieces of old things: patchwork hulls, and still functioning machinery from old u-boats, steamer chimneys, maglevs, and oil rigs, and everything else that still floated 500 years after the last civilisation lead-piped their aqueducts and drowned in them.

In the rear of the ship stood a hulking crane with a diving bell in the hook’s stead. The crew, clad in wet-suits and helmets, would climb out to it and dive down to collect more leftovers for their ships or for their culture.


“I’m really not the kind of person to run away,” you claim, tightening the laces of your new white runner’s shoes. “Like, if you know me, you know that is so not me.”

I do not know you.

“I never ever go away, and I always come back.” You unfurl your fins from your torso like a set of wings. It’s a short pier and a long way down. The sea attacks the cliffs with a relentless kind of romance, the kind that’s not problematic in works of fiction. You sigh. “But I have to do this.”

You disappear.

A Lighthouse on the Tallest Hill

There is a lighthouse on the tallest hill, but no sea for miles. Sometimes I go inside and climb the stairs and crank the machine, and there are little sparks and the lamp makes as if to turn more, but it’s stuck. It’s creaking. I start digging, and reading up on ships, and I think our houses are all things that used to be ships. I dig in the sand, and find the skeletons of big, shapeless things. They break when I try to lift them up. I think perhaps long ago this place was the bottom of the ocean.

Thunder across Deck

Rain! Thunder across deck, woman the harpoons! The night this is, this is. This is the night, the night. Toss and turn all you want, vengeful sea, but you will never sink this ship. There he is, the whale, the whale! Take aim, breathe out, draw tight, release. Wrap the lace around the bait, sink the net into the ocean. Dip it in, pull it out, dip it in, scream. The rope won’t hold, won’t hold. Do you think he’ll take us back, us back? We don’t want his meat, his meat, we just want to sink him, sink him.


The sea attacked the shore with its whole self; kissing it again and again. The shore tried to shrug it away and then push it, it tried to say it only wanted to be friends (and it worried about the status of their friendship; people take this sort of thing rather seriously, especially with entities so contiguous as they). But the sea continued, lunatic and obsessed, until it wore it down, until the shore was nothing but hard, cold rock. The sea threw itself still, asking for another kiss though it could not reach the top of this new formation.