I dived into the wineglass and swam a few strokes. The glass wrapped itself round me, then there was a cross noise and I was unceremoniously tipped out on to the floor. The glass reformed itself and began:
‘Lucky, huh! I might have been a sundae dish, or an ashtray, seriously shallow, eh? And then where’d you have been, tell me. Ambulance, A and E, head injury, that’s what, you name it.’
‘Sorry,’ I said meekly, and wondered why it was me who was apologising. Somehow the new flexible and automorphing glass we all had nowadays didn’t make life any easier and could be hard to cope with, specially when things went like this. Even burglars, it was said, got told off when they tried to break windows: ‘Push us aside, peel us back, bend us out, but don’t even think of trying to break us. We don’t break, us flexiglass windows.’
‘Bossy, uppish, trying to run the world,’ I thought. Even before today I’d known that the usual glassware, bowls and jugs in the kitchen could be very difficult. Better be careful. ‘Really sorry,’ I repeated and added idiotically – I could have kicked myself, though it would have been better to kick the wineglass – ‘I hope you’re OK, not … hurt or anything?’
‘Hmmm.’ The glass wasn’t going to be friendly, that was clear. It went on:
‘You listen. Right now I’m a wineglass, red wine, white wine, whatever. But if I wanted I could’– there was a theatrical pause –‘very quickly…’ It speeded up: ‘turn myself into a copita, one of those slender sherry glasses, know the ones I mean?’ I nodded. ‘Dive into me then, and you’re a goner: head down, drowning in amontillado, legs kicking, but not for long. And I might not take pity and help you out the next time.’
‘No,’ I agreed, as the pause lengthened. This was crazy, being scared by a glass.
‘I don’t think you’re taking me seriously,’ it said. ‘We’ll teach you.’ It raised its voice. ‘Guys, girls, all of you! Everyone out. We need to give someone a lesson.’
Out of the kitchen cupboards they poured, literally. The floor was awash with a flood of liquid glass. I could still move my feet, but they were heavy and getting heavier every second.
‘Ever wondered how flies get trapped in amber?’ laughed the glass, itself still in wineglass form, but beginning to melt and drip. ‘Well, now you know.’
Muriel Higgins is a retired teacher of English as a foreign language and text-book writer. Born and educated in Scotland, she has lived in several countries overseas and moved to Dorset in 2005.