Cynthia eyed the bottle of dark liquid with mixed feelings. A part of her was quite pleased to have found more alcohol. Another part was quite displeased that it was such a commoner’s drink. And a third part - the miniscule part of her that was hell-bent on her surviving this ordeal - was dismayed that the box did not contain the water she had been hoping for.

“Oh well. I suppose beggars can’t be choosers,” she said as she reached for the cap. As she unscrewed it her eyes went wide with shock at the implication of her words. “Not that I’m a beggar! Surely not. Perish the thought.”

Her heart racing, she looked up and down the beach to make sure that nobody had heard the unfortunate turn of phrase. Satisfied that her dignity was still intact, she brought her gaze back to the bottle resting on her lap.

That was when she noticed that the metal box had more than just a bottle of rum lurking within its confines.

“What do we have here?” she asked with squinting eyes and pursed lips.

Cynthia pulled out an object wrapped in yellowed notepaper and set to work. It took several minutes before a tall, smudged shot glass was revealed - she could have done it in half the time but her three-inch acrylic nails gave her more than a little trouble.

“What the bloody hell do I need a glass for?” she muttered with a shake of her head. “I’ve already got the bottle! I mean honestly, who even uses glasses these days? They‘re terribly inefficient.”

In the bright glare of the sun she could just make out some handwriting on the inside of the wrapping paper that had fluttered to the sand. She picked it up, holding it at arm’s length between her thumb and index finger, and looked at it doubtfully.

“Reading is such a bore,” Cynthia sighed, letting her head fall slightly to the right. But she could just make out the words Important: Read This First! scrawled across the top of the page so, with great reluctance, she brought the rum, glass, and paper over to the shade of the tree line. Making herself as comfortable as possible - and doing a fine job of ignoring the bird crap on her dress - she began to read.

If you are reading this then the situation must be very grave indeed. Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place!

“Well thank Versace for that!”

The keen reader will have already noticed that the glass which accompanies this fine bottle of rum has several lines on it. That was my idea, and I’m particularly proud of it!

“Oh for the love of Armani, get on with it!”

Please use the table below for proper use:

1. In case of massive electrical failure on the ship, fill the glass to the lowermost line and sip slowly. Refill and repeat until help arrives.

2. In case of a significant hole in the ship’s hull, fill to the next line and throw it back in one gulp. Refill and repeat until help arrives.

3. In case of a mutiny amongst crew members (yet again), fill to the third line and drink quickly. Refill and hold ready to throw in the eyes of irate crewmen should they break through your defenses. Once you’ve safely escaped, refill and repeat until help arrives.

4. In case of escaped radioactive monkeys, fill to topmost line and swallow it all. Refill and repeat until the monkeys get you - hopefully by that time you won’t feel a thing.

“Escaped what now?”

5. In case of shipwreck, just drink the whole bottle. It can only help.

“Now we’re talking!”

Best of luck, and may help arrive before you’re forced to eat your fellow survivors.


Captain S. Bottoms

“Rather morbid fellow, isn’t he?” Cynthia said with a frown. “Oh well, time for some liquid courage!”

After taking a rather large swig from the bottle, she went slightly cross-eyed and decided to slow down a little. With some care, she thought happily, she might be able to make the bottle last until sundown.

Screwing the cap back into place, she took another look at her surroundings. Spotting several intact crates bobbing in the water several feet from shore, she was suddenly struck by…

The End

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