A Letter in a Bottle at the Bottom of the Zee

The words are nearly illegible

I can no longer stand the smell of flowers. The picture of sanguine speckled across the white marble of the orchids, the scent of roses and copper. That solitary intruder into our lives, crashing through glass, ceramic and bone with such unerring speed that I must sometimes remind myself that it ever happened. It was looking for me, but ever the taskmaster, it found you instead.

That one bullet weighed but an ounce at most, yet it carries the weight of a dreadnought sinking deeper and deeper still; it carries me down with it. Just like this message, consigned to the same zee where I said my goodbyes. You said nothing in return, but I like to think that it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Roses still make me retch. Once upon a lonely Russian autumn, we pruned those feeble dying petals with the same care and affection one would show to a precious memory. I remember how I was left breathless by your smile, with you being left breathless forevermore not even a heartbeat later.

I offer you now an eternity of longing. I cannot throw away more flowers to this apathetic expanse of water anymore than I can throw away my memories of you. But like those flowers, I am dying. My mind is slowing down and my heart is becoming cold. I’m fading away and if I cannot even remember your name… what then?

The truth is, the only thing I can remember about you is that instant before death. It was painless for you, but that microsecond has lasted countless decades for me. So I offer you this disgusting, putrid plant, plucked from the petrified white soil of a battlefield. It was flawless before, but I have scorched it into nothing but silver ashes.

I offer you now these very same ashes, for they can never die. I may not remember you by tomorrow, but let this be the monument that the zee keeps in our honor. I offer you now, this final goodbye. My love for you is, like these ashes, forever.

There was a signature here. It’s gone now.

The bottle smells of roses, but the ashes escaped into the air when you uncorked it.

The world feels emptier than it did before.

Excellent work!
Another love story to add to the rest. . .

Eli seems sadder than I beleft… great work, though…[li]

I’ve been thinking about the mind I was in when I wrote this and I realized that there was meaning to this letter that was more tragic than I first thought.

The writer of the letter lives in The Neath, obviously. But more specifically in London. He realizes that this is a love story, tragic though it is, and although he cannot be certain in such things that are beyond his comprehension, he knows about the Bazaar. He knows about the ban on romantic literature. He knows what happens to those stories, even if he is not certain as to the end.

The writer of the letter was also a zailor, for a brief time. Holding this story in his mind is a lost cause, for he realizes that it will be forgotten forever if he does not transcribe it. But he also knows that if he transcribes it, the Bazaar will claim it for it’s own. There is only one thing in this world that he knows can keep his story safe. The timeless entity who he has thrown his life to countless times and somehow survived.

The Unterzee.

I will not scatter your sorrow to this Sunless Zee
I will always be with you, plant your roots in me.

This is beautiful - thank you.