Hippocampus (The First Book of the Atlantis Revolution)


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The Prophecy for Revolution

Atlantis exists. Of course, you don't know this because it's hidden from our world. Eleven thousand years ago, the Greeks and Egyptians attacked Atlantis. In order to protect the island, Aruc, a sorcerer, created an illusion of the island sinking and then put a barrier in place to prevent outsiders from seeing or gaining access to Atlantis. But Aruc knew that the isolated island was not safe forever. In fact, he cast the very prophecy that predicted the bleak future of the island. His prophecy became known as Profiteia ek Epanastasi.

From Blood of Evil and Blood of True

A Boy is Born and this Prophecy Due

For When the Abyss Rises to Make Its Mark

The Savior is the Boy with Royal Blood Half Dark

The sorcerer then designed a plan that would ensure the survival of the island he loved. For thousands of years, Atlantis continued in peace and prosperity with no need for the plan.

Sixteen years ago, the Prince foreseen in Aruc's prophecy was born. Familiar with the Prophecy, and knowing that one day the boy would be needed to save Atlantis, the royal family sent the baby off the island to ensure his safety in the world outside Atlantis. Eleven thousand years after it was created, Aruc's plan was finally put in motion.

The Atlantis Revolution begins…


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Royal Palace – Atlantis

Aerian woke with a gasping breath. Her face, drained of all color, contrasted her sweat matted black hair and gray robes. If her dream was true, something that had been predicted eleven thousand years ago was in progress. She listened to the world around her to figure out if she should believe the dream that woke her. But, being deep in the heart of the palace basement, she didn't hear anything at all.

Dark and dungeon-like, the room was special to her none-the-less. Trinkets and other artifacts, reminiscent of her ancestors, cluttered the room. Her family had served the Atlantean royals since the first record of Atlantean time and it just so happened that some of the artifacts in the very room she now occupied were sixty

thousand years old.

One particular artifact was of interest at that moment. The most important one passed down through the family of sorcerers. The one that could clarify the situation. But she wouldn’t find it in her room so she climbed out of bed and walked to the door.

A sharp knife tore through her mind like it was flesh and she screamed in agony.

Aerian. The word came to her like a whisper avoiding her ears and going directly to her brain. A feeling of urgency swept through her, probably transferring from the person trying to get her attention. She needed to find them and figure out what was going on.

She closed her eyes and searched her thoughts, as she had been trained to do. A few seconds later, she made the connection and found herself lying on the floor under a bed, looking out at smoke. She saw boots; dark, navy blue boots. The silver symbol on the boots verified that the dream was true.

Aerian forced herself out of the body and looked at the scared face of the blond boy. Dirt covered his smooth features, caked to his face by tears. The bloodshot ocean blue eyes belonged to Prince Maciek, the nine-year-old grandson of the ruling Prince and Princess.


I'm coming, just stay there. She quickly slipped her boots on under her robes and ran out of the dungeon toward the steps that would lead her up to the palace. Her ancestors had predicted this day would come but none of the royals had listened. Now, at seventeen and with powers not fully developed, she had to save the royal family.

She climbed the steps cautiously. Voices from above caused her to stop. Closing her eyes, she concentrated on the hallway at the top of the stairs. Three of them were in the hallway, dressed in navy blue outfits, only their eyes left exposed. The silver symbol of a wave on their headpiece represented the Knights of the Abyss, an underground organization determined to take control of Atlantis.

Founded by individuals with a hatred for the Atlantean kings of the past, the Knights had made it their goal to overthrow a royal family and change the entire structure of the Atlantean government. They had waited for hundreds of years and strategically gained access to the palace and the royal families. The Knights that now threatened the lives of the royal family may have been their guards earlier that afternoon. All of this knowledge had been passed down through the Mnemosunero but, while the sorcerers took it seriously, the royals ignored it.

The searing pain tore through her mind again. She muffled a scream with her hand. The Knights moved closer, their shadows on the steps in front of her. Thankfully, the curved wall kept her hidden from their view.

Using her mind, she took control of the flame of a candle on the stone wall. Pulling her arms apart, she forced the flame into a large wave of fire and bolted up the steps, throwing the fire at the Knights. Orange engulfed navy; the Knights screamed in horror. Waving her hands over the air, she hid their screams until all three succumbed to the flames. The smell of burnt cloth and flesh all that remained.

She breathed heavy, her heart raced, and her head pounded. Mentally and physically exhausted after battling only three Knights, she forced herself to continue.

Her heart dropped. Maciek's mental waves could not be located. Sadness tore through her as she tried to connect with Maciek's older brother, Prince Sandro, but came up empty. The thoughts of their father, Evander, and their mother, Kyra, could not be located either.

A crash downstairs interrupted her before she could focus on the last person with whom she wanted to connect. She headed down toward the crash, which sounded like it came from her room. As she approached the door to the room, she heard movement from inside. Two Knights searched through the artifacts on the shelves.

“Looking for something?” Aerian asked as she stepped into the doorway.

The Knights turned to her and each pulled the sword from the scabbard on their belt. “You don't have to be a sorceress to realize that,” one said in a deep, raspy voice.

“But lucky for me,” she replied, “I am a sorceress. That would be most unfortunate for you though.”

“We're interested in a particular member of the royal family,” the Knight with the raspy voice told her. “The one with dark blood. With him in place as King, we’ll control the island.”

“You'll run our civilization into poverty and depression,” Aerian said.

“No worse than these rich, selfish royals have done for the last eleven thousand years,” the Knight hissed.

“Where’s the boy?” the other Knight grew impatient with her.

“I'm not telling you,” Aerian answered.

The Knight with the raspy voice ran forward, grabbed and turned her, and, with his back now to the door, placed the sword

to her throat. “You will tell us where he is.”

“If you kill me, you'll never find him.”

“We'll take that chance,” the Knight standing in front of her said. He nodded his head, giving the one with the raspy voice the permission to kill her.

Before he could slice her neck, he let out a gasping moan and fell to the floor. Aerian blasted a wave of energy at the one in front of her, forcing him into the wall. A young man ran toward the Knight that lay on the floor against the wall. He stabbed his sword into the Knight's chest, pulled it out, and turned to face her.

“Jedrick,” she hugged him. “I thought you were dead. I was going to connect with you but was interrupted.”

His handsome face stained with dirt and blood and his disheveled blond hair showed he had been in a fight. The ocean blue tunic left his upper arms uncovered, revealing a seahorse tattoo on his left arm. His ocean blue eyes stared into her and they kissed.

“I came for you as soon as I could,” Jedrick told her. His eyes and voice saddened. “The rest of the family is dead. I searched just about every room. They killed my mom, dad and grandparents.”

“Maciek and Sandro?” asked Aerian.

His eyes watered. “My cousins are dead.”

“No,” she cried. Her stomach twisted and her lungs burned.

“So are all of the servants, who were in the princesses' room.”

“And the princesses?”

“All of them are dead,” Jedrick told her.

Not knowing herself, she looked to him for guidance. “What do we do now?”

“We get out of the palace and run as far as we can,” he said.

“I have to get the....”

“We don't have time. There will be more Knights down here in a matter of minutes. They already eliminated everyone upstairs so they're going to comb the tunnels under the palace to make sure no one escaped. We're next if we don't run now.”

He grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the room. They ran as fast as they could.

“Where are we going?”

“The southeastern forest,” he said.

Aerian stopped and Jedrick was pulled back as well. “That's too far away. And who knows if the Knights already infiltrated

the base.”

“Where else are we going to go? Now come on!” He pulled her again but she wouldn't move.

“Jedrick, you're the new ruling Prince. You have to be near so you can run the city.”

“They're going to kill me if they find me,” he reminded her. “The farther we get from this place, the better. Come on...”

Before they took five steps, Jedrick fell to the ground and screamed in pain. He searched for the object in the back of his ankle and pulled out a throwing star. One of its points dripped with blood from his ankle.

Five Knights approached them, swords in hand. “I'll take my star back,” said one of the Knights, reaching for it. Aerian swooped her hands forward and shot a gust of energy at them. It caused them to stumble backwards but didn't knock them over.

“My body is weak,” she told Jedrick.

Jedrick made it to his feet, putting all of the pressure on his left, healthy ankle. He pulled the sword from the scabbard on his belt.

“That's the boy,” said the Knight who asked for the star.

“Are you sure?” another asked.

“What do you want?” Jedrick questioned.

“All we're asking is that you come with us,” the first Knight told him. “We have a proposition for you.”

“We'll never go with you,” Aerian replied.

“Don't make this difficult,” the Knight said. “Our leader needs to speak with the Prince. We have no reason to kill you.”

“You think we believe that?” Jedrick said, grating his teeth. “As long as I'm alive, I'm ruler of Atlantis. You want control of the island so you have to kill me.”

“We're not trying to take your throne,” the Knight told him. “We're just trying to use it.”

“Liar! You killed my entire family.” Jedrick attacked, the Knight caught Jedrick's sword with his own and the clanging metal echoed down the stone hall.

“Don't kill him,” another Knight shouted.

“Are you sure he's the right...” A bullet of energy hit the Knight square in the forehead and he collapsed to the floor with a thud. Aerian's body relaxed after the spell as the other three Knights turned their attention to her and charged. She ran, their footsteps echoing off the walls behind her.

One of the Knights caught up to her and pushed her to the

ground. She used a wave of energy to push him away and scrambled to her feet. A sword sliced her arm, she screamed with the tearing of flesh, and backed against the wall holding the bleeding wound.

“Now tell your boyfriend to come with us,” said the Knight holding the sword dripping with her blood.


Jedrick hobbled towards them. The Knight he fought now lay on the floor. He stabbed one Knight before he could defend himself and the other two turned to the Prince. They both swiped their swords at Jedrick but he avoided them.

“It's not him,” one of the Knights said as he blocked Jedrick's sword.

Aerian ran over and grabbed the sword from the Knight laying on the stone floor. She stabbed one of the two Knights that battled Jedrick and then turned to the last Knight.

Jedrick's face went blank and he let out a gasp of air. The remaining Knight turned his eyes to hers as he pulled the bloody sword from Jedrick's chest. “It wasn't him,” the Knight hissed evilly as he bore his eyes into Aerian.

Pain, sorrow, and fear flowed through her as the Knight moved toward her. Clenching her teeth, she gathered up as much strength as she could and shot a bullet of energy at him. The barely visible bullet connected with the Knights' head and he fell.

Aerian dropped to her knees next to Jedrick. She smiled slightly when he gasped for air, though she knew he wouldn't make it much longer without help. She tore the blue tunic, removing the cloth from his chest. The amount of blood that came from the wound turned her stomach ill.

She tried to muster up the power to heal him. “Come on!” she cried. He was dying and she didn't even have the power to save him. “I'm sorry!” The last amount of energy had been used to take down the last Knight. “I'm sorry!” Tears poured from her eyes like teeming rain.

“It's alright,” Jedrick comforted her through gasps of air and moans of pain. “You...have the chance...to save...” He struggled to take in enough air to talk. “...Use the plan.” He gasped a few more heavy breaths and his eyes turned lifeless.

“No!” Aerian laid her head on Jedrick's stomach. The right side of her face soaked in the blood that had poured out of him. She heard his last statement in her head. Use the plan. The perfect idea. If she didn't do it, Jedrick and the rest of the royal family would have died in vain. She sat up. Use the plan. She kissed Jedrick

one last time and then pushed herself to her feet. Her stomach

sick; she felt like she could vomit.

She forced her aching, dirty body to walk down the hallway, only able to move slowly at first, but picking up speed as she went. She had to make it to the river that ran under the palace. It was the best way for her to make it to the destination needed to put the plan in play.

By the time she approached the river, she jogged at a nice pace. She jumped in the river and let the currents carry her, saving her strength for what was going to have to take place. It took less than a minute to make it to the royal grounds just outside the palace. She caught the bank of the river and pulled herself out.

The palace walls, like massive sand dunes, hid the murdered bodies of the people she knew and loved. Though not family, they were the closest thing to it she’d ever known. Jedrick's parents had loved her as their own and she loved Jedrick more than she thought she could ever love anyone.

Her legs bent under her, her face nearly touched the ground, as tears, mixed with the little of Jedrick's blood that remained on her face, dropped to the soil. Not a single royal survived the vicious attack. Jedrick had made it clear that he was the last one alive but now he too was dead. More tears ran from her eyes. If only she hadn't used all her power, she could have saved him.

Use the plan.

She couldn't sit and dwell on the tragedy at this point. She had to put the plan in play. She climbed to her feet and walked cautiously toward the temple. The plan had to be activated at the pond right outside the large marble building. Smoke rose out of its roof as she searched the area for Knights. There were none in sight.

Aerian knelt in front of the pond and placed her hand in the water. A sensation of losing all memory took over. She stared in the water, which now glowed with a white light. The water reflected the image of the Knight pulling the sword from Jedrick's chest. The image of Jedrick's death faded to her lighting the Knights on fire. Maciek, under his bed, called for her help. The image faded again. She was a young child, stealing food to eat and sleeping on the streets. She met the young, handsome Jedrick for the first time and he took her to meet his family. The smiles and embraces of acceptance.

Her mind came back to life, giving her more control over what she saw in the water. She discovered the room with the ancient artifacts that she now occupied. That's when she figured out she was a sorceress and a descendant of a long line of sorcerers.

She smiled as Jedrick kissed her for the first time. He had been

so nervous and she had found herself equally nervous after the fact. She hadn't seen it coming and she didn't know how to respond. Three years later, kissing him like that was so easy but it also meant so much more.

Now having complete control over the visions in the water, she searched for an ancient memory. One she did not have herself. A fragment of mind given to the Mnemosunero by her ancestor, Aruc. The memory appeared in the water. Aruc cast a silver jewel, diamond shaped with wings on the side and a blue gem on the top triangle, into the unknown.

Focused on the jewel, she forced her mind to stay with it. She continued moving the memories faster through time until she reached the present. The jewel rested in a box that sat in a dark space. Focusing harder, she hoped the water would show her the person who would next receive the jewel.

The new prince of Atlantis.


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Lucky Charm

Miami, Florida

I sat in biology at just past noon. I hoped to make it through the day as quickly as possible so that I could get to swim practice. The teacher, a tall, thin, balding man, paced the room rambling about the projection of the human brain on the screen in front of us.

“Work with your lab partner and use the laptops to find the name of the structure highlighted in red,” Mr. Walker instructed. “Also find the meaning of the name and the function of the structure. I want it all on a piece of paper before the bell rings. Get to work.”

“Hey Trey,” Coal, my lab partner and one of my two best friends, sat down next to me.

Jessica met my eyes with hers and smiled, her white teeth accented by parted pink lips. I couldn't ignore her perfectly groomed red hair or her green eyes that filled with admiration as they stared at me. I smiled back. She looked like she'd just won the lottery as she turned her focus back to the computer in front of her.

Coal waved his hand in front of my face. “Can you go two minutes without attracting the opposite sex?” My smooth, model-worthy face, ocean blue eyes, and layered blond hair made me one of the most popular guys in the school and Coal liked to tease me about it.

“Are you ever going to get past the jealousy, Connor?”

“You know I hate that name.” At his request, everyone called him by his nickname. Then again, it did fit him due to his black hair, rough face, and dark eyes.

“When you give me a hard time, I’ll call you by your real name. This really isn't anything new.” I powered on the Macbook.

“I'm not jealous you know,” he said.

“I know, I know. We go through this all the time.” Truthfully, while most girls avoided Coal like the plague, he had a steady girlfriend of a few years so he had no reason to be jealous. “Let's just get to work.”

“You search Wikipedia and I'll search Answers.com,” Coal told me.

“Those aren't reputable sources.” I didn't want to lose points for using sources our teacher didn't want us to use. I took pride in my grades and maintained straight “A's”.

“So what?” he said. “Let's just get information and be done with it.”

I looked back at the image and stared at the pea pod shaped structure highlighted in red. I connected its location to the information I studied the night before. “It's in the temporal lobe,” I informed Coal of my connection. “Looks like it's in the central part of that lobe. That might help us narrow it down.”

“Found the temporal lobe on Wikipedia,” Coal said. “It's involved in hearing, speech, and vision. It says it includes the hippocampus.”

I typed 'hippocampus' into a medical website's search engine. I read the text that appeared once the screen loaded. “The hippocampus is involved in long-term memories.”

“And spatial navigation,” Coal added.

I clicked the picture on the page and, when it came up enlarged, I studied the portion labeled 'hippocampus'. Sure enough, it looked just like the highlighted structure on the screen.

“That's it,” I told Coal. “Write it down.”

We recorded that the structure was the 'hippocampus' and that it was involved in long-term memories and spatial navigation.

“Find out what the name means,” Coal said.

I searched the term in Answers.com. It broke the term down to Greek roots. “'Hippos' means 'horse' and 'kampos' means 'sea monster',” I read to Coal. “But hippocampus is also the genus name for the seahorse. They call the structure the hippocampus because it reminded the scientists who first studied it of a seahorse.”

“I don't think it looks anything like a seahorse,” Coal shot me a weird look.

“Did I say I thought that?” I replied. “I said they thought that.”

We finished recording our findings on our papers and prepared to turn them in. “What’re you doing later?” Coal asked.

“I have swim practice, like normal.”

“Again?” he replied, sounding annoyed.

“You know the meet is tomorrow and I...”

“Not that,” he cut me off. “Jessica’s staring you down again. It's amazing she's not drooling.”

I turned my attention to her and met her eyes with my best smile. She glowed with exhilaration.

“Seriously dude, cut it out,” Coal reprimanded me. “I'm tired of watching them fall at your feet.”

“Why are you jealous?” I asked. “You have Sara and she's great.”

“Yeah but man, you have every female on the planet at your disposal. You walk by and they practically grovel at your feet for attention. I wish I had that for just a day.”

“It's awesome,” I assured him, still smiling at Jessica.

“Just last week you went out with Brittany and now you're moving on.”

“I'm too busy for the serious relationship stuff,” I told him. “I'm good for the casual fling.”

“Leave your papers on the counter on your way out,” Mr. Walker instructed. “Make sure you read the next section in the book.”

The bell rang and I stood up. I pulled my designer jeans up and fixed my shirt. I noticed Jessica, as well as a few other girls, watching every move I made.

“Just ask her out already,” Coal complained.

“I can't,” I said. “I have the meet tomorrow. I'm so strapped for time. Maybe next week.”

“The sad part is, she'll actually wait patiently for you to ask her. Of course she'll stare and drool while she waits.” He laughed.

I laughed with him. “Yeah, it sucks being me.” We headed for lunch with Jessica walking stalkerishly behind us.



The rest of my day was normal. I said 'bye' to Coal quickly before heading to the pool to meet Coach.

“Trey, you have the chance to go to regionals,” Coach gave me the usual pep talk. “Tomorrow you’re going to compete in the last swim meet needed to get there. If you win this, you can go to regionals and hopefully, eventually, nationals too.”

“I'm ready, Coach,” I assured her.

“I know you are. You're the best swimmer I ever coached.” I could read it in her green eyes; Coach counted on me. She had been set on getting me to nationals since eighth grade. After all, she didn't have a life outside of our school, which is probably what made her the best math teacher and coach I ever had.

There was more to winning nationals than just fulfilling Coach's dream. As a sophomore, I really wanted to be dubbed the best swimmer in the nation. Plus, our entire school counted on me because we needed to get some positive publicity. We weren't doing well on the mandated state tests and no one from our school stood out academically

Coach told me to go practice and then headed to her office. I went into the locker room and changed into the blue and white swimsuit that represented our team. I put the matching cap on and then walked back to the pool. I put my goggles on and then dove in.

The water was cold but my body quickly acclimated to it. I swam the length of the pool, turned around, and kicked off the wall, heading back to where I started. Seventy-five laps of peace before me, I didn't have to think about anything more than swimming.



Lap number fifty interrupted my concentration. A shadow glided over the pool floor below me. I didn't pay much attention to it because I concentrated on getting to the other wall. As I approached the wall, bubbles came up and hit me in my stomach. I stopped and looked around. No one was in or around the pool. I dove under and looked at the bottom. Nothing.

I needed to finish the last twenty-five laps so I started swimming again. A blood-curdling scream pierced the water on my second lap. A woman. A scream for help. Coach? I stopped swimming and searched the pool. The scream dissipated and it was quiet again.

Coach sat peacefully at the desk in her office. If it wasn't her, who was it? It did sound like it came from the bottom of the pool. But who can scream like that under water? And there was no one in the pool with me. I had to be imagining things. The water was getting to my brain.

Just to be sure, I dove down to the bottom of the pool and ran my hand on the floor. I didn't see the shadow; I didn't hear the scream. I swam for the surface, took a deep breath, and tried to convince myself that I imagined the whole thing. But I wasn’t able to shake it.

I decided I had enough of the pool, which was the first time I ever felt that way. After rinsing the chlorine off and changing into my gym shorts and a t-shirt, I headed to to the gym.



The gym was three blocks from the school. My parents had given me a new Mustang for my sixteenth birthday a few weeks before but I only had a permit and couldn't drive on my own. Besides, walking was great exercise.

The scream kept echoing in my head. Someone, a woman, was being tortured and I didn't know who it was. I tried to convince myself that I couldn't do anything to help. When that didn't work, I tried thinking that it was all just a figment of my imagination.

My regular work out routine and ambition to stay in shape helped me ignore the screams replaying in my head. I had the typical swimmer's body. My arms and legs were toned but they weren't huge. I didn't want to be a body builder, just a healthy athlete.

Push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, weight lifting, squats, and three miles on the treadmill completed my nearly two hours workout but I wasn't done yet. I still had to get home so I gathered my belongings and then, like every other day, ran the mile and half home.



When I got home, the house smelled like a delicious chicken dinner. And indeed, when I went to the kitchen for a bottle of water, I saw that Maria, our housekeeper, was making lemon grilled chicken on the indoor grill appliance sold by that former boxer. I can't remember his name. I think his slogan was “I pity the fool” or something like that.

She was also steaming a California vegetable mix, my favorite, and had a Caesar salad already sitting on the table. “Dinner will be ready in fifteen minutes,” she told me with a smile. “Your mother and father will be home in ten.”

We had plenty of housekeepers in my life and Maria was the best one we ever had. She was great at keeping the house clean and managing daily duties, her cooking always delicious, and she knew how to operate around a busy, rich family.

“I need to get a shower,” I told her. “I'll hurry to be ready by dinner.” She nodded and went back to finishing the dinner. I headed upstairs to my room.

My room was larger than any of my friends rooms, at least the ones I'd been in. I had my own private bathroom. My favorite part of my room was the high definition projector and surround sound that allowed me to experience theater quality movies in my own bedroom.

The warm water ran the sweat and griminess off me. I washed off and then shampooed my hair. Water ran in my ear and the scream pierced my brain. I dug at my ear, trying to get the water out. My eardrum felt like it would burst from the woman's high-pitched voice.

Quickly washing the shampoo out of my hair, and turning the shower off, I stepped out, toweled myself off, and then wrapped the towel around my waist. Using a cotton swab, I got the water out of my ear. Once I did, the screaming stopped.

I stood at the mirror, staring into my ocean eyes. The thought hit me like a freight train. The scream was in the water. I heard it when I was in the pool and then when water got in my ear. And, in both cases, the scream seemed to be coming from the water itself.

Maria called me on the intercom to tell me that dinner was on the table and hot. I quickly got changed into my favorite jeans. So what if I paid nearly two hundred dollars for jeans that looked like they went through a war? That was my style. An orange t-shirt that had the slogan, “Miami Made” caught my attention from the hangar. I slipped the shirt on and then put on socks and my


I went down and found my parents just sitting down to eat. Joining them, I filled my plate as quickly as possible. I was starving and it smelled great.

“Are you ready for the big meet tomorrow?” Dad asked.

The question took me by surprise. After the whole situation with the screams I heard, I forgot that I was heading into the most important meet of my life. “Yes,” I answered. I tried not to sound fake or distracted, even though that's how I felt. I turned my focus to the meal. “This is delicious.”

“How was school today?” Mom questioned.

“It was OK,” I told her.

“Just OK?” Mom replied.

“I have a lot to worry about and, with this meet tomorrow, school work just isn’t a priority. I'm trying to manage everything. My teachers are being cooperative though.”

“That's good,” she replied. “You'll do fine; you always do.”

She always told me that. I could have the worse day in the world, tell her all about it, and she would say, “it'll be fine; it always is.” I told my friends that it was my mom's motto.

“How was work?” I decided to reverse the roles.

“Big case,” Dad said. “I think I'm going to be away for a week or two to work on the evidence.” Dad was a high profile lawyer, which is where our fortune came from. He was a strict guy and always knew what he wanted but that's what helped him become so successful. Unfortunately, he could be a real jerk sometimes.

“Oh,” I replied. It wasn't unusual for him to be away for work. When he was away, Mom was usually a wreck. She tried to lose herself in her work but she couldn't help but think that Dad was running around on her. I was never sure what I thought about it. He could have been but who knows.

Someone knocked on the back door in the corner of the kitchen. Dad answered it and found Grandpa Atlas on the other side. My dad's dad, Grandpa Atlas was the only grandparent I knew. The others passed away before I was born. A very tiny man, short and skinny with just enough gray hair to cover his small head, he looked every minute of his age.

“Dad, what're you doing here?” Dad questioned.

Mom signaled for Grandpa to come in. “Join us for dinner.”

“Thank you, but I already ate,” Grandpa said as he entered and sat down at the table. “I came to see Trey before his big meet tomorrow.”

I smiled. He remembered. “How are you?”

“Oh, fine, fine. How are you?”

“I'm good. I'm ready for tomorrow.”

His eyes told me he wasn't convinced. “I brought you a lucky charm.” He pulled a small jewelry box out of his coat pocket and pushed it across the table at me.

“Dad, you shouldn't have,” my dad said.

“Shush,” Grandpa replied. “Go ahead, open it.”

I opened the navy blue box. Inside, was a leather, braided necklace. The pendant on it was something I'd never seen before. It was diamond shaped but with a wing on each side. Silver in color, maybe pure silver—which I knew could be worth money. It was old and worn but appeared to have been cleaned up by a jeweler. A blue triangle-shaped gem sat in the top part of the diamond shape. I had no idea what it was but it had my interest.

“It's beautiful,” Mom exclaimed. An old and worn necklace had to be intriguing to an archaeologist.

“Yeah,” I agreed.

“Read the card,” Grandpa told me.

I hadn't noticed the card—actually it was a piece of parchment—until Grandpa said that. “This ancient necklace is one of a kind and carries the destiny of specific individuals. Trey Atlas, you are the next person in line. Your possession of this necklace is a sign of royalty and it will bring you prosperity, peace, and good fortune.”

“That must be a powerful little pendant,” Dad chuckled.

“It sounds like if you wear it tomorrow, you'll win and go to nationals.” Mom looked at me with hope.

“It will help,” Grandpa said. “You will wear it, won't you?

“Of course,” I told him. “I'm willing to try anything to get to nationals.”

“Well you don't really need any help,” Mom said, “but the necklace can't hurt.

I put the necklace on and Grandpa smiled from ear to ear. “Thank you,” I said.

“You're very welcome,” Grandpa said. “I just knew it belonged to you.”

“Can I talk to you alone?” Dad asked Mom. He stood and went to the living room. Mom followed after him.

Grandpa looked at me with concern. “You sure you're alright?”

He knew something. “Fine.”

“Trey, I know you're lying to me. I don't want to talk about it now, because your mom and dad will be back in any minute, but I know that today was not a normal day for you.”

I tried to hide the surprise. “What do you mean?”

He leaned in closer. “I didn't write your name on the card that came with the necklace.”

Butterflies grew in my stomach. “Wh...Who wrote my name...then?”

Mom and Dad came back into the kitchen and Grandpa turn-ed his attention to them. “Everything alright?”

“Yeah,” Mom said as she and Dad took seats at the table again. Dad said nothing. Instead, he paged through the mail that he brought from the living room.

“I should be going,” Grandpa stood up. “Good luck tomor-row, Trey. I'll await the news of your victory.”

“Thanks.” I went to see Grandpa out and opened the door. “And thank you for the necklace.”

“You're welcome,” he said. “I promise you that all will be revealed soon.” He winked and walked away.

I closed the door. “I'm going to my room to do homework.”

“Don't you want to talk about the necklace?” Mom asked. “Or the meet?”

“Nothing more to say and I have to get my homework done.” I grabbed the box with the necklace from the table then practically ran up the steps and closed my door. I didn't want to talk about my day anymore. I needed processing time.

The waterbed rippled like my mind trying to figure out what Grandpa meant by ‘everything would be revealed soon’. It was a very strange visit from Grandpa who I'd never known to be a strange person.

I closed my eyes and hoped to find sleep but the piercing scream echoed in my ears. It wasn't just the memory. It came from my waterbed. I knew it would be a long night with hardly any sleep. The scream was in the water.





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A World Burning in the Pool

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