The map to Atlantis smoldered on her back: in talons of fire and feathers of smoke, and a hiss that did not end, not even when she plunged into the water. She was part phoenix, after all – a firebird in search of a fable in water – a creature without a home – a myth in search of peace and light and love and acceptance. So she fanned her wings under the waves and pushed on – and on – trusting the high priest’s thaumaturgy.
He had chanted the map into existence. And as each note emerged from behind his blue-gray beard, it plunged into her back with daggers. Each wave of his hand bore a cloud that seeped and burned like magma. And she bit her lip until it bled.
Trust, he warned – just trust.
So she trusted.
And now, underwater, she had no choice but to follow his burning tattoo as it spoke to her wings. Left, her wings cried! And a rift opened beneath her – with green waves funneling down – down – into the void. Right, her wings shouted! And she found herself weaving through thermal vents with black plumes of death. Quick! Right again! Her wings screeched – and she narrowly missed a treacherous shelf – lined with row upon row of tubular creatures with razor sharp teeth.
Now, DIVE! her wings cried – and they flared into fireworks of laughter as the darkness burst into peach starlight. Atlantis sprawled below her – gleaming – and its music rose all around.
And the water grew thinner – thinner – till she could no longer swim. She plunged – shrieking – with the shimmering city growing nearer. The men and women of Atlantis pointed into the water – the water? – the sky! – her sky! and the miraculous wings laughed even louder: Fly! Fly! Fly!
So she flew: trusting magic – embracing fables – wrapped in peace and light and love.
But she never lost her fire.
Linked to the Fairy Tale Prompt at MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie, where we were to explore Atlantis. Thanks to Chèvrefeuille for a great prompt!
A bit of an experiment – using Kerouac’s tips for spontaneous prose. I was shooting for his trance-like vision. [Not sure if I achieved that or not – but it was fun!]