by Lewis

His arm was trapped, a ripped sail had wrapped around his wrist pinning him to the rail. The rain pounded his body, numb with shock. The boat jolted again, as the prow sank further under water. His free arm searched his pockets desperately for his Swiss Army Knife, until at last he found it and frantically cut himself free. He dragged himself up towards the emergency raft, using the slippery cold rail as a ladder. Desperately, he fumbled at the clasps before finally freeing them and the raft dropped over board inflating as it fell. He clambered over the rail and plunged into the water. It was icy cold and his breath was instantly snatched away. He reached for the rafts trailing rope and dragged himself in, zipping up the door before collapsing into a semi-conscious slumber.

He woke suddenly, a gentle bump on the bottom of the raft and a strange sensation he couldn’t quite explain. He looked outside and it was pitch black. A starless moonless night. He suddenly realised what the sensation was; he was no longer floating. He had reached land, somehow, and somewhere. He grabbed the emergency torch and shone the light out. As far as he could see there seemed to be a grey and white marble floor. But, it pulsed, slowly as if the marble veins were somehow alive. It was unlike anything he had seen before and strangely beautiful.

He cautiously stepped overboard as the first rays of dawn began to glow in the sky, casting a grey half-light across the floor, adding to the strangeness. It seemed whatever he was on, stretched for about 20 meters in all directions. It was slightly domed with the raft alighting almost perfectly in the middle. At the edge and running around the entire floor was a tangle of thick purple bushes, a moat of life before the sea. He approached cautiously and saw along the floor of the bushes, hundreds of fish and fish-bones. Some were dying or dead and others wriggled and jumped their last moments. As he watched one of the branches of the bush arched down and wrapped around a fish, as soon as it touched, it seemed to drain the fish, sucking in the skin and flesh until just bones remained.

Suddenly the floor shook violently and he stumbled back. The floor he realised was slowly sinking and he ran back to the raft. Just in time he reached the raft as the water rushed back and soon he was left floating, once more alone.

Then silently the shape rose again and this time he saw it, in all its majestic beauty. The floor he had been on was the roof of the head and a long body rose slowly out of the water, an endless wall of pulsing grey and white. Then it began to fall a beautiful marble-etched beast plunging back into the water and sending a huge wave that rocked the raft and sent it and him spinning. By the time they stopped, the beast had gone, leaving nothing but a memory of awe and majesty.