Limited Edition of 100
It was a beautiful day in the town of Obalin and the folks were losing their minds. The sun had burned for three years solid. And in this town, if it was daylight you had to go to work. There used to be a party every night on every street. But night had gone and life had turned to dust.
Bones, the dog at the Three Bottles, rolled out a scratchy tongue. The jukebox scraped along like a needle on sandpaper while Stargazer Floyd, the regular who never said a word, didn’t say a word. Chewing his hands, the landlord knew he had served his last. Seasick with despair, Sophie, his beautiful daughter, lifted down the tavern’s three antique bottles and ran a finger through the dust. “There’s a handsome refund on those bottles” said Floyd. Bones twitched his tail in shock: Floyd had spoken! He read out the address on the bottles. It was a long way away . . . beyond the Corkscrew . . . where the gods squabbled. No one went over the Corkscrew. It wasn’t a place for ordinary folk. Everyone kept their eyes to themselves. Finally, Sophie broke the silence: “I’ll go.”
The sun dripped over Sophie as she rode . . . Over the hills . . . Far away . . .
She slipped past the sleeping guards. To the Corkscrew. It wound Sophie into the sky . . . twist after twist . . .
. . . and spat her out. The liquid belched as a spirit emerged.
“Hellllo. If I’d known you were coming I’d have . . .” “…baked a cake?” suggested Sophie. “Not exactly what I had in mind. Are you from the other side? Do they all look like you over there? Answer the second question first.”
Sophie told the spirit about her father’s tavern. “I’d love to help. But I’m just a souped-up cloud.” “You may not have a great body but you’re a charmer!” said Sophie. If the spirit had known how to blush, he would have. Sophie showed him the address on the bottles. “Isn’t that where the Bottle God lives? Talk to Night, he’ll know.” He pointed the way. “Can I take some spirit? It’s beautiful,” said Sophie, pulling out a bottle. She hit him with a killer smile. How could he say no?
Nightâ€™s garden seemed to go on forever - a maze of shrubs. Nordic berries sprouted everywhere.
“Lost your way?” Sophie was startled: “Where can I find the Bottle God?” “Shhhhh . . . Listen. Hear that? The sound of berries growing. So cool.” “Very cool. Not much grows back home in Obalin” “Ahhh, yes. I used to go there.” “Why did you stop?” “When it comes to Night life, I’ve seen it all. Same sounds, same parties, same drinks, same old same old. I’d rather listen to berries grow. Go and ask Skadia the Ice Queen about the Bottle God, I haven’t seem him in ages.” “Can I take some berries?” said Sophie, fixing Night with one of her killer smiles. “Be my guest,” said Night. She filled a bottle: “What would bring you back to Obalin?” Night raised an eyebrow: “One hell of a tasty thing.”
Sophie crunched up Skadia’s drive. She picked up a handful of the crystals but they were so cold they burnt. “Get lost!” came a voice like a howling gale. “I’m looking for the Bottle God - can you help me?” said Sophie. “Help you? Of course I can’t help you. Not if hell froze over. I’m a cold-hearted bitch. Nobody cares about me; I don’t care about nobody. Good bye.” “Wow, nice dress!” “. . . You think you can just come round here and whine about your problems?” Skadia stopped: “Hang on, what did you say?” “Your outfit. Where did you get it? It’s so cool! And how do you get your hair like that?” “You think I look nice? No-one’s ever said that to me before!” “Funny that!” said Sophie, fixing the Ice Queen with one of her killer smiles. “I just stopped bothering . . .” said Skadia “. . . I thought life was less complicated if you didn’t . . . have . . .”
She wailed, tears like pearls clattered to the floor. Skadia was so shocked to find her heart in working order that she listened to Sophieâ€™s story, gave directions for the Bottle God, and filled her last bottle with crystals.
Sophie stepped in to the Bottle Godâ€™s doorway and was sent flying. What was going on? Back down the corkscrew! She was spat out back in Obalin. Had she been tricked? The guards woke up but Sophie left them for dust.
“Baubles and berries!” Sophie’s father was hopping mad when he saw that she had no cash to show for her trip. “I can’t believe you just went for some retail therapy!” “I think I can make something out of this” said Floyd, eyeing up the bottles. He grabbed some glasses . . . poured some spirit . . . blended the berries . . . and, with a quiet flourish, added a handful of ice crystals. “If only I had found the Bottle God” said Sophie. Stargazer lent towards her and whispered: “Maybe you did.” “Cheers” said Floyd, his eye on Sophie. Clink! . . . The drinks danced with light. “That’s one hell of a tasty thing” said Floyd, who seemed to be speaking a lot these days. Sophie looked at him, wide-eyed. “So you’re . . .” “Shhh . . .” He silenced her with a wink. And she fixed him with one of her killer smiles.
There was a cheer from outside . . . A cool breeze picked up as the sun raced toward the horizon . . . A star woke up in the sky . . . The moon rolled in . . .
And night . . . Fell.