“You’re enjoying making sand castles at the beach, when the ocean waves wash up a message in a bottle. You pull out the message: What does it say?”
I sit there, quiet as the ocean waves wash over my feet, between my toes.
The air is hot, beating down on me, swarming me in heat! I should be in my hotel asleep at this time of day. I know it’s my summer holiday, but it is way too hot to be outside on this Greek beach at midday.
Isn’t there something called a siesta?
I should be having a siesta, not sitting here on the burning sand with my parents just sunbathing a few metres away.
They’re not moving.
They’re probably asleep.
Of course they are, it’s them!
Just as I lean back over to my sandcastle, digging a moat around it, I think I should get up and walk back over to my parents. The hotel is only a short walk from the beach and I can already feel my nose and shoulders crisping.
As I heave a sigh, ready to get up and put on my flip-flops, a cold, smooth object brushes over my foot.
Maybe it was a fish?
But as I look down at my toes I see a glass, beer bottle that’s been stuffed with leaves, bark and rope to determine that whatever is inside, does not escape from the bottle’s hold.
Slowly, I reach over and pick up the bottle.
It’s wet and I can feel the salt from the ocean, glazed over the bottle.
It must have been floating in the ocean for days!
I may be exaggerating but it’s a fun thought.
Endless possibilities suddenly enter my brain.
Maybe this bottle holds a message from someone stranded on an unknown island, or is a love note, passed over the sea from a hopeful lover? So many possibilities it starts to make my heart quicken in excitement.
Before I can think any more, I rip the rope from around the bottle, holding the leaves and bark in place. I pull the foliage out of the bottle and tip the contents of the bottle into the palm of my hand. I throw the bottle and everything else away from me, letting it skid over the sand.
I hold in my hand; a note.
It’s folded into some sort of star, the paper yellowed and mouldy at the edges from the wash of the ocean.
I open it up and first of all see a diagram, filled with lines and circles. I’m not quite sure what the drawing is meant to represent, but it looks as if it’s been drawn in a hurry.
Above the diagram is a message:
“You are now the only holder of the Hydrian Code. Keep it safe. People would kill for this information. Good luck, from a dead man.”
Brilliant, just when I thought this holiday was going to be relaxing…