, , , ,

As the early morning sun dyed the sands gold, Amelia Earhart paced the shores of Atlantis yet again, kicking over any mounds of sand that seemed too tall and inspecting the various bits of garbage the ocean had washed in.

“At it again?” Asked a tall, dark skinned man, walking up beside her, in a language that has long been forgotten. He was well muscled and wore nothing but a loin cloth and a string of beads about his neck. From the waist down his legs were covered in blue-green scales, that ended in large feet with long, webbed toes. He carried a slim fishing spear with him. Amelia replied in the same language he spoke.

“One day, Kay. One day soon I’ll find that last piece, and finally fix my plane.” She bent over to inspect a particularly promising mess in the sand, but found nothing but an unspooled cassette tape. She sighed in frustration, but shoved the mess into a basket woven from torn grocery bags. It wouldn’t get her plane moving, but it might be useful to trade in town. The Atlantians were mostly self sustained, but always found a creative use for the discard trash of the outside world. Magnetic ribbons were a popular decorative ornament.

“And then what?” Kazil said, the sun glinting iridescently off the scales embedded about his neck. “You’ll find this… gasoli you speak of, and fly off into the veil? Into that?” He gestured with his spear into the clouded mists that surrounded the island. It glittered like a rainbow, and empathized his gesture with a crackle of jade coloured lightning. Amelia turned to stare at the unbroken wall of mists, quietly. The silence dragged on as she stared into it, beginning to frown. Kazil drew his lip into a thin line, and walked behind her, slipping his arms about her and drawing her close to his bare chest. After a moment, Amelia looked up at him and smiled sadly.

“I can’t spend my whole life here, Kay. I’m a free spirit, I need to see the world. This feels like a cage I’ll never escape.”

“From what you’ve told me, you’ve already spent two lives here with me. Now come back to bed, you make me feel like I’m still in my first century of life.” He said, playfully nuzzling her neck.

Hours later, Kazil found her on the beach yet again, staring out at the veil as it danced and glittered.

“Still thinking of leaving me.” He said without malice, sitting beside her to watch the evening sun turn the mists red, orange and purple.

“Tell me about the veil again.” She said, “Truly, has no one ever lived to get past it?”

“None that we know of. People have tried, of course, but their bodies are normally found washed up on shores a few days later.”

“But not all of the bodies, right?” She asked, already knowing the answer. Kazil sighed.

“Not all, no, but the last person to go missing to the veil was centuries ago. Not since my grandfather’s times.”

“I wonder if they still speak English out there.” Amelia mused in her native tongue.

“My grandfather knew him, you know. Soren, the last person to try to leave Atlantis. He said he was like you. Always curious. Always infected with, how do you say it, wanderlust?” He twisted his tongue about the foreign word as Amelia looked at him curiously.

“You never told me this story, Kay.” She said, gently accusing him.

“I did some asking about for you, my little caged seagull. My Grandfather likes you. He says Soren was obsessed with the veil, like you are. That he would claim the veil had moods, that could be tracked like one tracks the weather. He thought that the veil might be calmer at times, you see. My grandfather always laughed at his theories, but Soren was convinced he could make it through the veil. Soren would often sit out here and watch the veil, much like you do. One day, as they were sitting out here debating whether the veil was calmer at a full moon or dawn, a small blue bottle washed ashore. Soren claimed it was proof that some things could pass through unharmed. He promised my grandfather that when he made it through, he would send back a letter to my grandfather in that very bottle, to prove he made it.”

Amelia stared Kazil intently. “And then what?”

“My grandfather said that a few weeks later, on the night of the full moon, Soren went missing. No one was sure when he’d left, but my grandfather knew where he was heading. He combed the beach for years afterwards, but never did find the blue bottle again, or Soren. He says all he found was this.”

Kazil placed a curved piece of blue sea glass in Amelia’s hand, no bigger than a sand dollar, and worn smooth by the ocean currents. She turned it over several times.

“But what does it mean?” She asked.

“He wasn’t sure. But the veil sure is lovely tonight.”