TREASURE

When the islet broke the surface of the ocean, Ines put on her diving regulator and stepped off the back of the boat.

She studied the catacomb of undersea caves at the base of the island. Picking an entrance outlined in blue and red tiles, Ines held her breath. As she drifted into the cave, a barrage of sights and sounds filled her mind…

… laughing, green-skinned children running through crystal-paved streets …

… shark-headed men speaking an unknown language hauling baskets of oysters onto a dock crafted from seashells …

… an alarm of bells and shouts as a giant hand of molten lava pulled a columned building into the sea …

Ines sucked in a breath of air and her mind was her own again.

Swimming to the beach, Ines counted over fifty boats along the shore. People walking out of the treeline dragged bags of artifacts: figurines, pottery, tools – anything and everything Atlantian that could be hauled off to sell before the land returned to the depths of the ocean.

As Ines sat down for a rest, a young man waved at her. Silver and gold bracelets encircled his arms, his chest covered with gemstone pendants hung from gold chains. “Find anything good down there?”

Ines shook her head. He wouldn’t understand the value the visions had to her. How each island that appeared gave her a few more pieces to the puzzle of what happened so long ago.

An earthquake shook the island. People shouted to each other and ran for their boats. Ines checked her SCUBA tank, preparing for the swim to back to her boat.

The young man pulled a necklace over his head and handed her the chain. “Better luck next time.”


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