Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Message dans une bouteille
October 16th, 2001

James, Jimmy, Devlin, a 31 year old boat builder from Eastport, Maine, had always been a dreamer. He was drawn to boat building as a way to follow his dreams; dreams of sailing the seven seas to visit exotic cities of the world.

A tall, sinewy, sun darkened, ruggedly handsome man, Jim had never married. He had dated a few girls over the years, but none of them had rung his bell, so to speak.

On the morning of 1 October, 2000, at first light, Jim was jogging along the beach, as was his habit on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. His attention was drawn to a glint, a flickering sparkle in the sand at the edge of the ebbing tide.

Normally, he would have passed by without a missed step, but today he stopped suddenly. As if mesmerized, he slowly, haltingly approached what he now recognized as a bottle, or at least a bottle neck, sticking up out of the sand.

Jimmy thought to himself, "if this bottle is corked and has a message inside, I'll crap my drawers!"

You see, Jim Devlin, had been having a recurring dream of late. Always, for as long as he could remember, he had had vivid dreams. This one was different. For nine nights the recurring dream had him running on a beach, discovering a bottle containing a message, a poem really. As he read the poem a vision of a young women would appear and she would be reciting the poem in a foreign language, French he thought, and although he neither spoke nor understood French, he understood every word she spoke. The poem was dated 1699 and signed Elodie.

James Devlin, hands trembling, reached down for the dark green, almost black appearing, bottle neck. There was a seemingly intact cork in the mouth of the bottle. As he pulled the bottle from the sopping wet sand there was a sucking sound, and then....free...in his hands, an imperfect but intact bottle; A very old appearing bottle.

Running faster than his normal pace, he raced back to his house, dashed through the kitchen doorway, and pulled the silverware drawer out so hard that it crashed to the floor, spilling the contents all over the floor. He spotted the sought after corkscrew under his chair near the right front leg. Retrieving the corkscrew, he set about the task of uncorking his find. Realizing the apparent agedness of the cork and bottle, he carefully screwed the corkscrew right down the middle of the cork. With slow, even pressure he pulled on the cork extractor. At first it seemed as if it were cemented into the bottle, giving no movement. Gently twisting first to the right and next left, he finally felt a release. Slowly, with the precision of a surgeon, he pulled the cork, whole, from it's home.

The inside of the bottle was too dark for him to see anything. Swirling the bottle slightly and hearing no sloshing sound he was certain that there was no liquid inside. cautiously he whiffed the top of the bottle from the side but the only smell was of old, musty paper; musty like the smell of a stack of newspapers stored for years in a cellar. Holding the bottle under the light hanging over the kitchen table, he tried to peer inside, but his head kept blocking out the light when he tried to look inside. Hurriedly he got a flashlight from the utility drawer, turned it on and directed the beam into the bottle neck. Faintly he could make out something, maybe a piece of paper. He inverted the bottle, and after half dozen shakes a piece of rolled parchment, tied with what appeared to be black fishing line, slid out onto the table.

"This is too uncanny, too unreal," he thought as he undid the perfect bow holding the tie around the parchment. "I'm not sure I want to read this." His hands, gingerly, unrolled the paper.

At the top was written:
À Jacques,

It was written in French, but as he read it he became entranced and he could hear the black haired woman of his dream reading the words and he knew them to mean:

Alone here, among the many
I wait for you my love.
Too long have you been gone.
The sea has stolen you from me.
She has always been
Jealous of our love.
But though she captured you,
She cannot have you forever.
I will wait here
On our dock,
The place we last
Kissed farewell.
I will wait here
By the sea,
For as long as eternity.
I will wait here
by the sea
For I know the pull
Of our love
Will bring you home to me.
I will wait here
On the dock;
Here in Marseilles.


Tears streaming down his face, his throat all choked up, he knew what he must do. He picked up his cell from the counter and quick dialed his sister. When he got her voice mail he left this message: I'm leaving today for Marseilles, France. Will call when I get there.



Blogger Churlita said...

I loved that. What a wonderful story. Will we get to read more?

1:50 PM  
Blogger rel said...

Yes, the story continues!

1:52 PM  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...


Good to see you back, Rel!

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it. A little mystery, some suspense. Nice story.

2:38 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Such a sweet story; looking forward to reading more.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Wanderlust Scarlett said...

That's WONDERFUL!!!!
And then?!?!!!

What happened next?
You can't do that! Start something that good and then let it stop mid-breath.

I forgot I was even looking at a computer screen. I could see him, there in the kitchen, with nothing but this one thing in his mind and the unstoppable determination to get to his destination; he HAS to go, a moral imperative....

And it stopped! AGH!

Please finish.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

3:54 PM  
Blogger Wanderlust Scarlett said...

And PS - there's something for you over at my place.

S. & V.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very intriguing! I'm so glad there will be more!

4:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Fabulous story - please hurry and post the next installment!

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my, that was beautiful. Dreams come true after all...thank you.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the mystery and romance, and I want to read more!

I like how you incorporated a recurring dream into the story.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Jellyhead said...

Oh WOW! I couldn't read fast enough, to find out what happened! I was left with goosebumps on my legs (I'm a sucker for moving romantic stories)

Brilliant, Rel!

8:05 PM  
Blogger paisley said...

more more more!!!!! this was wonderful!!!!

8:52 PM  
Blogger Catch said...

great story Rel.....waiting for the rest of it...ya got me hanging !

2:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That photo, the sea, Marseille!
Wonderful read!

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful! I can't wait for the next installment.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Rowan said...

This is a wonderful opening chapter Rel! I do hope we are going to have further instalments? I really think this has the makings of a whole book.
Well done to your son also - it's nice to see the good guys coming out on top for once. You must be, and obviously are:), very proud of him.

2:51 AM  

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