Le marin acéphale

The Headless Sailor extract from Lorenzo Recio’s text:

« The water, in the engine room, had reached a disagreeable level. The underside of the boat was filling up with marine-life, algae and sharks.

The sharks, lying in a corner, observed us with lust. A young white shark went off with big Maurice in his jaws. Busy unblocking the pistons, I couldn’t give him a final goodbye.

Then it was Driss’s turn, that tender young man. The water invaded the agonizing machine, pouring out smoke, flames and sparks. Driss’s beautiful and light voice produced a little « quack – quack » of pain, a Hammerhead shark ate him.

By now, they were a certain number observing me, they seemed to be really having fun. The water blushed, the oil and the petrol, mixed in with the blood, surrounded me up to my shoulders, I felt good, like in a lukewarm placenta… I was shortly going to be devoured.

A blue shark bit my big toe. I tilted over into the machines. A piston suddenly started up again and very cleanly cut my head off at the neck, thereby separating my head from my body. As my head rolled between the pistons, my body collapsed and, floating by the tear at the side of the boat, extracted itself from the stricken boat.

The marine currents drew me further away from the cargo. My boat, « THE VALDIVIA », off Sumatra, sunk into the electric waters, carrying away in its belly… my head! »