First attempt at Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details here). The idea is to write a short story based on the photo prompt. My first attempt is a little on the long side, but not by too much, so I hope I’ll be forgiven!

© Ted Strutz


‘You want a drink from that bottle?’ she asked him again.

He nodded. ‘Sure, that one.’ He motioned with his eyes to the brown bottle that sat on the top shelf behind the bar.

‘I don’t even know what’s in it.’

‘Neither do I.’

‘So why do you want a drink from it?’

‘Because I don’t know what’s in it.’ She looked at him. ‘I’ve had a drink from every bottle in this place. Except that one.’

The barmaid moved a barstool and clambered onto it, stretched up and managed to pull the bottle down. She wiped the dust from the label.

‘Balvenie 50 Year Old Single Malt.’


The barstool wobbled under her weight. She toppled over. There was a sickening smash.

He slid off his barstool. ‘I’m done here.’ He left the bar.

The barmaid picked herself up and reached for the cloth to wipe up the pool of scotch behind the bar.


19 responses to “THE HIGHEST BOTTLE”

  1. I love the idea of the highest bottle. I didn’t understand though what he meant by “I’m done here”. Was it a mission? Was it just walking away from his responsibility? It seemed anticlimactic


    1. I prefer to leave it to the reader to decide what he means by that. You could take it as there is now no bottle left in the bar left for him to try, so he leaves to find a new bar with new undiscovered bottles. But that’s just one interpretation. You could also read it that it is the barmaid herself he is disappointed with, having been keen on her before. Many interpretations to choose from – and I do like an anticlimax now and then! Thanks for reading and your comment. Iain.


  2. Oh what a jerk, he should at least have helped clean up. Great story, and welcome to the club. The Friday Fictioneers are addictive. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the comment, glad you enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next one already!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Iain,

    Welcome to Friday Fictioneers. Your story leaves the reader with many questions and I see in your comment that was your intent. Personally, I think the guy is a jerk. Female perspective, I suppose.

    I do see many places in your story where you could cut those 58 extra words and not lose the integrity of your story. At any rate, practice…happy to have you aboard.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rochelle. Looking forward to the next challenge already and determined to keep to word limit from now on! He may have been a jerk, or he may have had good reason, who knows? Best, Iain


  4. michael1148humphris Avatar

    A waste of good scotch, but the writings good,

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh boy. Hope the owner doesn’t find out.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Welcome to the group, Ian – great story. The man’s a lout, leaving her to clear up a mess he created. Cutting down to 100 words is part of the challenge – and the fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Awww, man. That poor bottle of scotch.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The thought of losing the 50 yr. old bottle of scotch brought a lump to my throat and tear to my eye.

    An alternative ending might have been, he left without saying a word.

    Great story, Ian. I look forward to reading more of your work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I like the idea of ending with him saying nothing, good tip. Iain

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I second everyone’s welcome!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, Iain. I didn’t like the guy much either. A mystery there. I’m just glad there wasn’t an injury involved. Good writing. —- Suzanne


  11. Ha, what a nice chap!
    I do feel that the world has just lost an extremely expensive and possibly quite rare whisky. Oh yeah, and I’m glad the barmaid is okay 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I expect he didn’t like Scotch whisky!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. That ending hurt me more than it hurt the barmaid! Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John, definitely a split reaction to this – the men have more concern for the whisky 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They say an Irish love triangle is a man, a woman and a drink. It’s often a tough call.

        Liked by 1 person

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