Midnight Swim

She stood at the edge of the pier, drawn there as she had with every full moon since her 12th birthday.  She looked out at the Atlantic, mesmerized by the buttery yellow light that played across the inky water.  The thrumming in her veins pulsed.  The moon on the water called to her.

“Alanta!  How many times have I told you the docks aren’t safe?”  Turning, Alanta saw her mother rushing down the dock.  Her father sat in their family BMW, engine running.  “You must stop coming here Alanta.  Your father and I … you’ve left us no choice.”

Alanta turned, seeing her suitcase in the car.  “Where am I going?”

“To a clinic.  The seizures, the breathing attacks, we just can’t handle it anymore.  Last week you lay flopping on the ground, gasping for air like a fish!” Her mother struggled to continue, her face a kaleidoscope of fear and anger, “And the neighbors are talking.  They say you’re not human.  They say such awful things about you..me..us.” Her mother’s anger flared.  That she should suffer the indignity of this strange daughter was more than she felt she could take.

“Is this about me or about you?  Just drive away Mother.  You don’t have to deal with me anymore.” Alanta turned her back to her family.  The pull was a physical force now, luring her towards the water.  The Atlantic Ocean called to her.

“I named you Alanta the moment I saw your face.” Her father began. “It wasn’t on any of our baby name lists.  I held you in my arms and the name filled my mind. I love you daughter.” He whispered.  Then turning, he lead his wife back to the truck.

Her chest began to ache again, her lungs labored to breath.  The knowledge that she did not belong in this world blossomed within her.  A seed of truth she had held inside of her for so long finally set free.

A single tear flowed down Alanta’s face and falling, landed in the ocean at her feet.  The ocean shook like an atom bomb had erupted beneath the tear, the sonic boom slamming into her parents, knocking them to the ground. A wave of energy rushed and enfolded Atlanta in a cocoon of warmth and life.  Ripping the clothing from her body, she scaled the barrier and dove into the Atlantic.

The water should have been cold so late in winter. Instead, it slid off her skin like the finest silk.  She swam beneath the surface, heading towards the unknown.  She did not realize she was breathing under the water at first.  It wasn’t until she passed through the opening of the marine, having never surfaced did she notice, her lungs were unusually still and yet, she was breathing.

Like a beacon shining in the night she could sense an innate rightness before her.  Atlantis was calling her home.

————————

My response to the Dare on JM Prescotts Blog: “Write a science-fiction story or poem that deals with the discovery of the ancient continent of Atlantis”.  This short piece received honorable mention from Sal Buttaci – this weeks guest Editor on JM’s Blog.

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