Here's a scan of a pen and ink drawing (on 11’’ x 14’’ paper) I recently completed. In my head I’ve always called it The Dry Seabed, and it was partially inspired by a scene from a novel I attempted to write but put down years ago. Thank God this thing is done. Now it’s onto the next one. (Click here to view the image in full).
The excerpt from the absurd and unfinished novel (and sadly probably to never be finished), In the Ashes of the Sun, written by a quixotic and equally absurd and unfinished younger version of myself:
The plane passed above a long pier rooted in the damp, vaporous shore and stray ships and destroyers roped to the pier’s mooring bollards lay tilted and lopsided on the flat sand like toys slackly noosed to gallows. A distant lighthouse shrunk in isolation on the edge of a succulent headland slope burying into sick mangrove forests, the blend of rocks and plants weaved into the glossy sand in a quilted tessellation. The shadow of the plane traced through a withering kelp labyrinth sprawled across the wet floor of the missing sea and the long algae stalks spread over the sand and bleached coral reef like witch braids strewn about her bone white skull. Birds feasting on scampering crustaceans lived in bliss and pecked apart gasping fish, exposing clattering ribcages and raw meat for swarming gnats and flies to devour and nest their larva brood within. Through the aquatic necropolis shoreside natives stepped, crushing fish bones like eggshells, hauling catch in full dragnets, and exploring the turquoise remnants of sunken ferries and doomed armadas drown centuries ago in the age of the middle passage.
Sewage pipe effluence spilled into a growing cesspool of human waste merging with mounds of plastic in a slow current across the sand of the evaporating abyss toward extinction. The flowing discharge overcame an expanse of glimmering jellyfish that burned a trail of gold into the manacled sun tortured on the hem of the Earth. Wayward sea turtles crawled toward the horizon in search for water while stranded sharks and whales inhaled and exhaled gently their last breaths. On the seafloor a helicopter landed by a submarine to rescue sailors marooned by the universal riptide.
Further out, a gigantic pit held surviving remnants of the ocean, and the water of the monstrous tide pool rippled bloodred. Trapped in the volume of this doomsday soup, lashing seabeasts swam mad with fear and claustrophobia and they ripped each other to shreds. The wailing creatures breathed in blood and there was carnage and the stench of the pit reeked like rotting reptiles. A whale breached desperately and sprayed crimson from its blowhole and then drifted down in a melody of death. Slipping up through a film of floating entrails and fins, a colossal tentacle whipped across the surface of the loch, snatching a panicking dolphin and dragging it crying into the frenzy below. A starfish the size of a tank shuffled out from the edge of the pit and escaped under a bed of wet seaweed.
The plane flew over other saltwater lakes that broiled metallic orange like fallen pieces of the burning sky and neared an archipelago off the peninsula where little islands resembled tropical boulders in a desert of sand and reef. Hundreds of natives had abandoned the rocks and were moving inland in a long human chain that snaked across a sandy seafloor channel between the islands. They walked in wonder past walls of coral and men carried spears and women held their children with perpetual love and the children were not afraid. A parched and meek nation of seafaring orphans, the column of dark refugees prowled across the trenches of a star-crossed Earth. They the miserable vagabonds banished from their homeland, they the exile sons of Saturn.