February 23, 2006 at 12:23 am #1782AnnabellaParticipant
“This is the bottle,” said the unnamed man; and, when Keawe laughed, he grinned and said, “You do not believe me?” he added. “Try, then, for yourself. See if you can break it.”
So Keawe took the bottle up and dashed it on the floor till he was weary; but it jumped on the floor like a child's ball, and was not injured.
“This is a strange thing,” said Keawe. “For by the touch of it, as well as by the look, the bottle should be of glass.”
“Of glass it is,” replied the man, sighing more heavily than ever; “but the glass of it was tempered in the flames of hell. An imp lives in it, and that is the shadow we behold there moving; or so I suppose. If any man buy this bottle the imp is at his command; all that he desires ? love, fame, money, houses like this house, ay, or a city like this city–all are his at the word uttered. Napoleon had this bottle, and by it he grew to be the king of the world; but he sold it at the last, and fell. Captain Cook had this bottle, and by it he found his way to so many islands; but he, too sold it, and was slain upon Hawaii. For, once it is sold, the power goes and the protection; and unless a man remain content with what he has, ill will befall him.”
Excerpt from “The bottle imp” (1893) by Robert Louis Stevenson
I stared at the bottle long and hard as it sat on the ground a good 5 feet from me. My knees pulled up to my chest, arms wrapped around them for warmth, blue eyes gaze at its label.
German words. I couldn?t try and comprehend what they mean. I think some of the small type may be Russian, weird symbols, almost like Egyptian hieroglyphics.
On the horizon, a warehouse is burning. Just a few moments ago, I had been standing in that structure.
Its owner had failed to pay some kind of protection money. The Boss, that?s what I call him, for I dare not say his name in public, had ordered retribution for the owner?s failure to make timely payments.
The Boss pays my bills. He gives me a roof to sleep under, some cash to buy food and candles with.
The thugs had a way of creating the perfect fuel for fires. They scattered newspapers about the flooring, added oil. The warehouse, itself, not that far from the pier, was already run down. It was already a firetrap.
I can create fire out of nothingness. I can control the fire. And, when there?s enough fuel, I can make it burn quickly or slowly. I can shape the fire and contain it.
If I did not control this blaze, I fear all of London may burn down. I think the Boss knows this. I think that?s why he lets me do his thing. The Thugs, twice my size, don?t say a word to me. I don?t know if they?re scared of what I can do. But they do know better than to ask questions.
But on this night, the fire came easier. I heard a whisper on the wind. There was laughter. And it was coming from the bottle, stuck in my violin case.
I ran away quickly and had been sitting here, in this alley staring at the bottle.
I haven?t touched it in more than 2 hours now but I swear I?ve seen it move. There?s a shadow within it, something alive. I don?t understand it, but as the darkness encroaches, shivers run up my spine.
The bottle stands about 7 inches tall with a wide lip and a little cork on top of it. German-made scotch. I didn?t know such a thing existed. Then again, I don?t know much about Germans. Or Scotch. Or any kind of liqueur really. I tried to stay away from the stuff.
I also didn?t understand the creature inside of it.
Three inches tall. Black soot skin, with a tint of red. It looked like a tiny person ? proportional legs and arms and it all. But I couldn?t actually see the little thing, the color of the bottle blocked anyone from seeing him.
It came to me, born of the fire a few days back. I didn?t know what to do with it. I threw it in the trash. It crawled into a bottle. The good Father would surely declare it as a sign of Satan. I?m a little more optimistic.
I was scared. I wondered if I should just leave it, but I took the bottle instead and put a cork on it. There are tiny holes in the cork so if the tiny little? creature needs to breathe it can.
I think it?s an imp, kind of an elf or a fairy. I don?t know what it?s doing or what it wants. It?s not yet spoken to me.
And until I helped burn down the warehouse, I honestly had tried to push it out of my mind. But it laughed. The wind carried it to me. Somehow. I don?t try to understand it. I don?t want to understand it.
But God help me. God forgive me. Some unnatural thing is sitting in this bottle.
(For complete Robert Stevenson story I excerpted from of the imp in the bottle, visit http://gaslight.mtroyal.ca/bottlimp.htm )February 23, 2006 at 12:27 am #2336Jeff CrowleyParticipant
Awww, that's so damn cute! I want a pyro-imp!February 23, 2006 at 2:03 am #2337Helen FollmerMember
Yes was there when the little bugger appeared somehow he wasn't so cute then though hehe. Nice work as always Lyn mun you kick a$$.February 23, 2006 at 9:04 pm #2339LaynaParticipant
German Scotch? LOL! Much fun here, you. And hey…where did you say you kept the imp? In the violin case? I won't keep in it mind. Really.
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