Once, just once mind you, there was a bottle who wasn’t satisfied with his contents.
Well, I suppose it was just once in the case of this particular animate bottle. It was quite likely that in the cold snowy land of Elcon, the other four lands and within all the full dimensions that the tunnels lead to, there was at least one more animate bottle who got dissatisfied with its contents.
Well, among all of the bottles with hands, feet, legs, arms, a mouth and eyes, this one was, this once, quite dissatisfied with his contents.
He was quite satisfied with his body, a clear glassy round bottle with a fluted neck that vaguely resembled an unholy union of trumpet and flower. Crammed into the top of the bottle was a quite common cork stopper, but this bottle, he actually considered that his charm point.
As for the contents he was unsatisfied about? It was a fizzy bubbly green liquid that had a tendency to foam up whenever he would move too quickly. He was certain it was giving him headaches too.
He didn’t like it at all. Not the way it fizzed. Not the way it bubbled. Not its greenness, not how it sloshed about. Not how it foamed up.
He wanted a cool and calm image, rather than an energetic one. Part of this was just because he thought people would bother him less and generally not ask him to do things if he looked calm and stable.
Really it wasn’t the best of reasons.
Still, he was determined.
Thus, one day he got up bright and early, which was quite unusual for him. So much so that everyone in the village that he lived in felt it was a fel omen and so locked or barricaded their houses. The bottle however took no great notice of this, filled with plans about getting a different liquid.
Though, when he did notice, he just thought that everyone had all the years of his life been lying about getting up so much earlier than him. He assured himself that nobody actually got up in the morning.
Now, though hopelessly foolish, the bottle was sure that before he could get a new liquid, he needed to get rid of his old contents.
There was a little problem though. He couldn’t reach his own stopper with his little stubby arms.
He had tried for quite some time too. So long that he felt his arms would shatter. In reality it had been ten minutes before he gave up, which depending on how you look at it, is really pathetic or impressive.
His next brilliant plan was to try jolting the stopper out. He thrashed about and beat his neck against rocks, some of which objected greatly to this treatment, but though they were talking rocks, they didn’t want to mess with such a crazy seeming bottle. The bottle seemed like a seriously bad dude to them.
The bottled stopped trying to get his stopper out this way after he chipped himself. He spent about three days feeling sad about ‘marring’ himself.
Still, he gathered up his courage and continued with his ludicrous ambition.
By this stage the villagers had decided that the bottle had been possessed by something dreadful and had gotten crude magical wards set up to keep him out, lest they suffer his fate. They had even started to make tunnels connected everyone’s houses together.
The Bottle’s next plan was to try and get the village guardian to remove his stopper.
The guardian was known as the Dobbilops of Adyr, or at least that was how she introduced herself to everyone. She refused to explain what exactly a Dobbilops was or what Adyr was, so everyone assumed that she was a singular being known as a Dobbilops from some place called Adyr. She was after all a being that had come to Elcon via the train of the tunnels between worlds.
Dob as everyone called her, was a being with a pair of thick muscled arms, hard orangish brown skin, a long head filled with flat teeth and the lower half of her body was first covered with brown scales then bony as it formed into a kind of large wheel. This wheel could even spin. This bony extension was rather than the colour of bones in more mundane dimensions, a dark green.
If she had eyes nobody had seem them beneath her curly vaguely horse-like red mane.
As guardians go, she was fairly laid back, and spent most of her time sleeping, eating or dashing around the village at an alarming speed.
She had a bad habit of not allowing people into the village until they had raced with her at least once.
“Dob, Dob, with your big muscled arms can you pull out my stopper?” The bottle boldly asked the Dobbilops of Adyr.
She turned her head to the bottle.
“No” She flatly said.
Truthfully Dob was quite self conscious of her arms, and didn’t like people talking about them, besides she felt a little insulted that someone would notice her arms over her wheel, which had been consider the finest and most beautiful of its kind in Adyr. Or at least that was what she incessantly told people.
She hadn’t put much stock in what the villages had said about the bottle being possessed, but clearly only some kind of vile spirit could be so insensitive.
She chased the bottle around a bit, thinking that if she exhausted the spirit, it would leave. There wasn’t any spirit of course so the bottle spent most of the day being chased by Dob.
He collapsed in his home, his liquid pretty much all turned to foam.
After hiding in his home for a few days he gathered his courage once more and came before Dob again.
“Dob, Dob, with your big muscled arms can you pull out my stopper?” he asked.
“No” She said, quite annoyed.
The bottle got chased again.
After a few more days spent in his home in terror of being chased, the bottle came to decision.
He would leave the village!
Clearly he wouldn’t be able to get his stopper out in the village, and he was beginning to get the feeling that something weird was happening to the villagers. Dob was clearly possessed by something nasty.
The villagers all breathed sighs of relief when the bottle recklessly went into the wilds of Elcon.
The bottle wandered for a long time until he was set upon by a pack of hogdogs.
Hogdogs are quite a common predator in certain parts of Elcon. They happen to have a long reddish tube-like body with curious brown hair that doesn’t cover all of their body. Their legs are short and stubby and end in equally short and stubby paws. They possess a jagged mouth, that as with many Elconic natives, isn’t visible when closed. They have a strange twisted nose at both ends of their body, and in fact, possess no eyes, relying completely on smell.
Supposedly in spite of being a predator, they taste very good, and their hair is quite edible too, though, it just kind of tastes like wheat. Most Elconic chefs recommend having hogdog, smoked, with mustard.
The bottle however was not in the position of getting to eat the hogdogs. No the hogdogs attempted to eat him. It didn’t work too well, but somehow in the chaos and loud screams from the bottle, the hogdogs managed to pull the bottle’s stopper out.
They then spilt out all of the bottle’s contents and lapped up the resulting stained snow.
After a few more attempts to eat the bottle the hogdogs determined that he was inedible and there wasn’t any more liquid. After they left the bottle alone and wandered off.
Though covered in hogdog drool and slightly traumatized, the bottle was at first exultant. He had finally gotten his stopper out and disposed of his contents.
Then he realised that the hogdogs had eaten his cork stopper, more particularly one hogdog did, it suffered from indigestion later.
He considered his cork stopper to be his charm point.
The bottle dejectedly forgot all ambitions of getting a new liquid. What was the point if he didn’t have his stopper?
Feeling generally terrible, the bottle tried making its way back to the village.
Miraculously he managed to arrive back at the village. When he did, the villagers all greeted him, assuming that whatever had been possessing him was gone, since he was so subdued. They helped clean the frozen hogdog drool off him and even buffed him a bit.
After that, the bottle felt a bit better and returned to his life of idleness.
He did sometimes get quite regretful about the loss of his stopper though.
Some tell tales of the bottle going out and getting a new stopper and contents, but really, that would have been quite out of character for the lazy bottle.
It was quite likely that eventually he saved up and bought a new stopper and liquid, but then it is quite possible he got into some mishap trying to think of a get rich quick scheme.
Regardless of what happened, there were a lot of bottles better off than he was.
I suppose what we can learn from all of this is that eating cork bottle stoppers probably isn’t the best of ideas for most people and beasts.<< Hunters of the Crimson Eye Part 17 Yet, even with that you must feed >>