Severed Head in Red

Severed Head in Red

A Story by Joℏn / Jack / Turtle / Kurmasana

Mini absurd epic inspired by a dream my friend Stela Levi had (first "chapter" written by her), with some nods to the Aeneid, 1990-1991



Never write a controversial story about a girl named Sphinna because they’ll be jealous yet somewhat impressed. That’s not enough, though. Your head will be chopped off. You’ll be in a glass jar hating it. You can’t die; your head’s already been dead. How do you commit suicide?�"No body to stab, and no hands to hold the knife. You jerk back and forth. Finally the used pickle jar containing your head tumbles to the ground, shattering. There you lie�"a bodiless head amongst shards of glass. Just take my advice�"never write a controversial story about a girl named Sphinna.


Lying there, a bodiless head amongst shards of glass, you begin to regret having written that controversial story about Sphinna. You pray to the gods, begging for a body, or even just legs. You cry, “I’d be content with a couple of toes to wobble around on!” But the heavens answer, “Well, tough!” Hopeless, you weep fountains of tears, forming a puddle of salty water which slowly rises above your brow. “Thank gods, peace at last!” You think, but alas, you were not meant to drown. Cruel-humored Satirica, goddess of dismemberment, sends down a bolt of lightening, transforming you into a blowfish. If only you hadn’t bothered the gods!


Swishing your tail, you lament having bothered the gods, which led them to transform your bodiless head into a blowfish. As the room fills with your tears, the used pickle jars containing the severed heads of controversial writers fall off the shelves and float around in the water. Suddenly, the door bursts open, releasing a tidal wave into the corridor. An alarm sounds and guards rush around, trying to look useful. Without salt water, you begin to dehydrate, flipping about as you struggle to breathe. You just had to cry more, and now you’ve lost the pool you might’ve called home.


Gasping for water, you anguish over having cried too much, causing your precious aquatic dwelling to pour out into the hallway. One of the guards decides to finally function, and captures you. He hides you beneath his coat and steals home during tea time. There, he removes an ostrich egg from the fridge, breaks it in two, and uses one of the half-shells as an aquarium for you. As you are placed in this strange habitat, you suck in the refreshing liquid, puffing up like a blowfish (for that’s what you are), and prick the guard with one of your spines, transmitting a rare disease which makes him collapse. Who will care for you now?


Your caretaker, having caught a rare blowfish virus from you and died, is spread out on the floor: just as when peanut butter, roasted and chunky; and Welsh’s grape jelly, so sweet and gelatinous; are spread together in joyful orgasm by means of a rusty yet spick-and-span clean knife onto high-calorie, high-preservative, generally not too good for you, but oh-so-tasty, Wonder white bread. Without this burly yet homely man, you will surely starve. But, experienced at this sort of thing, you jerk your ostrich-shell aquarium back and forth, ending up on the floor, a dehydrating blowfish amongst bits and pieces of Shell.


Since you inadvertently killed your owner and destroyed your bowl, you now find yourself to be a suffocating blowfish amongst ostrich-shell pieces and next to a biodegrading corpse. Flipping around on the linoleum floor in desperation, you accidentally knock loose several tubes from the bottom of the fridge. They hiss and whip around, and one of them shoots into your mouth, inflating you with a mixture of hydrogen, helium, and several ozone-destroying vapors. As you slowly rise above the counter, you discover in horror that in seconds your flesh will be ripped apart by the rotating ceiling fan.


Approaching the swiftly spinning blades of the ceiling fan as you float ever upwards, you fear that pieces of your body will soon decorate the kitchen as you are turned into sushi. But, thank gods, you’re in luck! The fan has a special safety feature which prevents its operation in the presence of ichthyological avians. You try to figure a way out of your predicament. Thinking to yourself out loud, some of the gases that inflated you are released. As you drift down towards the stove, you see that the flame has been turned on to make scrambled ostrich eggs and realize that you may soon be broiled blowfish.


Hovering dangerously near the stove, you let some hydrogen slip from your mouth in panic. The flame ignites your breath, propelling you like a scud missile through the window and into an open manhole. You make a noisy splash-down, and suck in the refreshing water, glad that you won’t suffocate in your blowfish body. You’d rather be writing controversial biographies, but swimming to and fro in a sewer is a lot better than being a severed head. Unfortunately, a baby alligator spies you hungrily and starts to crawl at you.


Your few seconds of happy frolicking are over as the baby alligator spies you and (not being interested in the higher forms of reptile culture) decides not to don a Soviet hat while twirling to the music of Fantasia, but instead to chase after you so that it might have a hearty blowfish lunch. You try to fast-talk your way out of being fast food fast, but either it doesn’t comprehend the idea of a surgeon general’s warning, or it has a menacing secret. At last, cornered, as the huge jaws surround you, you suck in a lung- full of water in anticipation of letting out a satisfyingly blood-curdling scream.


You begin to let out the instinctual death-cry of the honorable Gh’o’ti warrior blowfish as your world plunges into the darkness of the baby alligator’s tonsils, but your lungs fill with the sewer water, introducing into your system a wide range of psycho-reactive materials. You suddenly wish you were staging a concert because, although your talents as a vocalist are at their prime in the shower, the intense light show your body is giving off would rival Hiroshima. Your consciousness expands �"or rather it contracts�"well, it depends on whether you think blowfish or alligators are karmically superior, because you’ve just had your soul transplanted into one.


Now that you have played mind-switchies by means of mutagenic sewer water, you find your self facing a unique moral dilemma. Should you, in control of the baby alligator’s body, take revenge on the beast that was about to reinvent sushi by lining it’s intestines with the warm of flesh of your previous incarnation as a blowfish? Should you ravenously tear it apart as it resides in the very body it was about to kibble-ize? The fact that the great philosophers will honor you by formally naming a moral problem after you is little consolidation. Just as you decide whether to spit or swallow, a voice from behind cries, “Stop!”


An old man in a toga with a strange animal yells for you to delay, saying he has come to document the momentous decision you are about to make�"whether to satisfyingly digest the baby alligator that was about to do the same to you before its consciousness was transferred into your blowfish body and you into its reptilian form�"or to spare it in the name of a new world (or sewer) order. You ask how he knew, and he replies “Rumor,” pointing to his peacock. “Gets around fast?” You ask. “Cellular phone,” he replies. “Ah,” you say, “So?” He asks you to reveal the events leading up to this extraordinary circumstance. “Well,” you say, “Never write a controversial story about a girl named Sphinna. . .”

© 2017 Joℏn / Jack / Turtle / Kurmasana

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Added on August 24, 2017
Last Updated on August 24, 2017
Tags: absurd, Aeneid, mini epic


Joℏn / Jack / Turtle / Kurmasana
Joℏn / Jack / Turtle / Kurmasana

Port Jefferson Station, NY

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