Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: water

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.

Guest Drabble: Baptism

In every drop of rain there is the capability to absorb sin, which it loses once it hits the ground. Sin is as woven into your flesh as into anyone else’s: and as you stand there, and the night-time raindrops mingle with the tears that run over your cheekbones, they carry away even the memories of what you have done. You stand there amnesiac, holy – there is no memory in heaven – I forgive you – and the harm you have done is carried down into the dark backward and abysm of subterranean rivers and into the ocean beyond perception, beyond recall.


by Rob Mitchelmore (@kerastion)

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.

Methane Soul

Image courtesy of The Thrusting Sensations

Image courtesy of The Thrusting Sensations, who have a facebook page:, and a website:

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.

Clear Liquid

A glass of clear liquid, but it is not water. When it stirs (when someone slams a door, when someone hesitantly picks the glass up) the liquid becomes opaque and whatever’s in there spins around nervously. “Drink it,” she says. “See what happens.”

The other one picks up the glass and meets the eye of the thing inside. “Sorry,” she mumbles, then she opens her mouth like a yawning hippopotamus and pours all of it down her throat. A few swallowing noises come from the space where she used to stand. “What happened?” she asks, for a moment visible again.


A fog rolls in, billowy and fistful, and an ocean follows it. Rivulets of water race each other across my yard, surrounding my house. As soon as the water has covered an area, it goes still like a mountain pond, and I see a perfect reflection of the sky in it. My house starts sinking, I rush to the rowboat perched on my roof. I manage to climb into it and then I am alone.

(Somewhere far away, you tell me that you love me.)

(I left the words I wanted to say to you behind, now all is fog.)


She made friends, friends who knew things, until one of them told her that she required salt water. She spent most of her time in bathtubs, feeling herself turn into a mermaid, yet every time she stood up she would look down at her body, all wet glistening skin and no rainbow-shimmering scales. By the time she found out about the big sea, she already had too many landlubber friends to leave them all so abruptly, so she stayed. One day in her old age, she knew, she would have shedded them all, and she would walk into the ocean.


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.

How Little Girls in Schoolyards Lie

Is it true that, at the bottom of a deep well, with your eyes adjusted to the darkness, if you look up you will always see stars? Down where there is always night unless the sun, directly above, reaches down for you?

The answer is no, there are no stars, they kept you here with only the gurgle of water for company, no bucket or ladder or sky, stone lid above your head. Once a day, the sun reaches for you, but it only has a minute or so and it is not enough.

She said they would be back.

I Will Try, I Will Try, I Will Try

And for my next trick, I will become a seasonal slime creature. In the winter, I will be cold but I will live grudgelessly. In the summer, I will live under a bridge and watch the water. Sometimes, I will catch a fish, extending my crude approximation of limbs outward to stop the happily skipping fish in its tracks. I eat all of it except for the bones, which I wear as jewellery. They slowly sink into my skin and migrate to my heart. Watch, as I live life in a cycle of freezing and thawing, free from the pain.