“Get your foot out of my
mouth,” Sandy mumbled, pushing Murray off. “I don’t know where your shoes
Murray rolled to the side. “I’ll take my foot out of
your mouth when Duncan takes his fist out of my ear. Are you trying to
deafen me, Duncan?”
“Knock it off and keep quiet. We’ve landed on a boat
and we’re sailing up a canal of some sort. All the crewmen are down at the
rail preparing the boat for docking. If they find us we’ll be labeled
stowaways and tossed in jail. At least that is how it goes in most
places.” Leith stood and brushed fish scales from his pants. “It’s a
“I can smell it,” Fraser said. “Well?”
“Well what?” Leith glanced at his friend.
“Well, are we in Atlantis?”
“How would I know? I’ve never been to Atlantis before,
“We’re in Atlantis. Look at the rings of land and
water. In the center is that mountain with Poseidon’s Temple on top. It’s
covered with gold. Oh my gosh! We’re in Atlantis! It’s real.” Paisley ran
to the other side of the boat. “We’re in the canal that comes from the sea
to the main city.” She sniffed the air. “You smell fish. I smell
honeysuckle and gardenia.”
The lads stood next to Paisley and leaned over the
edge to gaze at the canal below. “Smells like fish to me,” Sandy said.
Behind them stood an outer wall, encircling the rings and beyond that was
the sea. The wall was covered with bronze that glistened in the sunlight.
The boat sailed past the first strip of land, its sails blowing in the sea
breeze. Houses crammed together showed flower gardens of vivid colors. The
leaves of the trees sparkled like emeralds. The boat moved closer to the
dock and then came to a stop.
“Has anyone besides me noticed that this canal is
enclosed in some sort of see-through stuff, like glass? It reminds me of
going to the aquarium and walking through the inside of the shark tank.”
Sandy tipped his head back.
“Hmm. That’s different. We need to get off this boat
before we’re caught,” Leith said.
“Do you want us to jump into the water and swim over?”
Murray gulped. “It’s a long way down.”
“No, don’t jump. There’s a rope. When the crew isn’t
watching, we can slide down to the dock.
“Is that your plan?” A voice called from behind them.
“What are you doing stowing away on my fishing boat?”
“We’re not. We, uh, just came on board. We were
curious,” Sandy said.
“Your curiosity has earned you the right to work. I’ll
pay you, but I have some work that needs done. I want you to deliver some
fish for me. It’s either that or I will throw you in the hold with the
crabs and other sea creatures that are left behind.” The man burst out
laughing. “My name is Catt. Who are you?”
Paisley whispered to Leith. “How come we can
understand what he’s saying? He’s speaking Atlantean, isn’t he? He can
understand us too.”
“The golden arrow is allowing it. Abaris told me it
would help once we arrived here.” Leith took the man’s hand. “I’m Leith.
This is Paisley, Sandy, Fraser, Duncan and Murray.”
“Odd names for Atlanteans,” Catt said.
“This is Atlantis then. Is the city named Atlantis?”
Fraser stepped on a dead fish that squeezed out all over his shoe. He
scraped it on a piece of wood.
“No. This is Atlas, the capital of Atlantis. Where did
you say you’re from?” Catt scratched his stubby chin.
“We’re from here, but we’re from another part of the
island. We’re visiting friends,” Fraser said.
“Go down the plank and wait for me. I’m the Captain.
If one of the other crew had caught you, you’d be swimming right now. Be
grateful.” Catt’s aqua eyes glistened against his suntanned skin. Light
brown hair stayed hidden under an orange cap. “Stay out of the way. It’s a
busy dock. I’ll be there shortly.”
They moved down the wooden plank onto the dock where
they were able to have a better view of the boat. “I’ve never seen boats
that looked like all these. What an unusual style. Did you see all their
eyes? They are either that aqua color or violet. All of the people have
light hair too,” Paisley said.
“Only a girl would notice that,” Sandy scoffed.
“The boat has markings on it that must be Atlantean. I
can’t read it, so the golden arrow only helps us speak, not read the
native language. That’s all right. The people here must be rich. This boat
is covered in gold stuff.” Fraser touched one of the planks.
Catt came down the ramp and stopped in front of them.
“My men are unloading now. You are each to carry a crate of fish up to the
temple mount. Once you reach the gate, tell the gatekeeper that Catt sent
“Are you a rich fisherman?” Duncan glanced at the
crates. “Will we be able to carry those? They look heavy.”
“The wood is light. I’m not a rich fisherman. I’m
Captain Catt, of Poseidon’s Fishing Fleet. All my catch goes directly to
the temple mount.”
“Is Poseidon there?”
Murray gawked at the shiny temple in the middle of the hill.
“You act like you’re from another planet. Poseidon has
been gone for millennia. His descendants eventually mingled with humans.”
Catt put his hands on his hips.
“Speaking of other
planets, is it true that the original Atlanteans were aliens from outer
space?” Fraser kicked a stray crab off his foot.
“I’ve heard the rumors of
that too, but we honor Poseidon, not aliens. Our king, Mason, is pure
human, though Poseidon’s blood runs through his body. He sits up there on
the great Poseidon’s throne, enslaving the citizens of Atlas. I fear the
king has angered him and the other mighty rulers that once lived here and
ruled this great island.” Catt’s face twisted in anger. “We have to give
our choicest fish to the king and his queen, Illiana. We are allowed to
sell the leftovers at the Fish market. If there is anything extra, we are
allowed to keep it for our families,” Catt said.
“What about the crabs and other sea creatures you
threatened to throw us into? Who eats that stuff?” Sandy watched a
brilliant green sea bird flying around. “What sort of bird is that?”
“You ask too many questions. The king, queen, and the
two young princes, Apollis, and Poseenos, don’t care for the taste of
crabs and orinks. We sell most of them at the Fish market. My wife detests
orinks, but my three-year-old daughter, Hanala, loves them and so do I, so
I take some home for the two of us.” Catt’s eyes lit up when he spoke of
his daughter. “Enough talk. Get the crates up to the gates before the fish
start to spoil. When you are finished, come back and I’ll pay you.”
They picked up the crates and headed through the
docks, ducking and moving from side to side to avoid being trampled by the
crowds of workers.
“This canal goes straight to the gates. I’m sure we’ll
have to cross this bridge and then some others. These crates are going to
be heavy by the time we get there. Have you noticed there are no flies and
what sort of birds are those flying around? They’re not seagulls.” Murray
nearly tripped on a stone. “Not cobblestones again. They’re everywhere,
even thousands of years before we’re born.”
“I’ve never seen that sort of bird. It’s rather
pretty. Most sea birds in Scotland are white or black, but the ones around
here are blue and pink and green.” Paisley watched a yellow feather fall
from the sky. She picked it up. “And yellow.”
“This bridge has a funny name, Ifushi Bridge. Hey, how
did I know that?” Fraser put his hand to his mouth. “I can read Atlantean
now. I guess we had to be here a while before it kicked in. Keep hold of
that golden arrow, Leith.”
“Maybe it works better the closer we get to the Temple
Mount. Have you thought of that?” Duncan ran onto the bridge.
“That might be true. What if their central power unit
is under the temple or in that hill?”
“You’ve been watching too much television, Murray,”
“He might be right, you know. Don’t make fun of him. I
can’t see any source of power. There are no power lines, yet they run
their machines. Down at the dock, the pulley worked to lift the crates off
the ship. There were no men around tugging at it.” Paisley stepped onto
the bridge. “I didn’t see any wires or electrical cables.”
“Time will tell, won’t it?” Sandy ran ahead of Fraser.
“Race you across.”
Fraser and Sandy were the only two who ran. The others
took their time as they crossed over the first ring of sea water. The
bridge was made of the same marble as most of the buildings, except it had
its own unique design. Patchwork colors of red, black and white alternated
in tiles across the bridge. The railings and posts were made of red and
black marble with a white top holding them together. Each post was carved
with intricate shapes and patterns of sea life and the ancient gods that
once lived here. The mount stood in the center with an oblong plain
reaching to the mountains behind. The canal began at the southern entrance
and headed straight north to the temple.
“This ring of water is
enclosed in the glass dome tunnel stuff too,” Murray said. “All the water
ways are. I wonder why.”
“The ring of land looks like it’s mostly houses.
They’ve all got flower gardens. My mum would kill for flowers like that.
Look at the size of the hibiscus! The roses aren’t much smaller.” Leith
took a deep breath. “The outer ring is more for businesses and industry.
There is no pollution at all. More flowers. By the looks of it, they keep
their naval vessels in the first ring of water.” Leith stood on his
tiptoes to see better.
“If you tell me the naval ships have flowers on deck,
I’ll punch you.” Murray winked at his friend.
“They have a name for
every ring of land and water. That first ring of water inside the main
wall is called Ismanel Way. It starts out wide nearer the temple and each
circle becomes narrower. What an interesting set up,” Paisley said. “The
ring of land where they have all the businesses is called Orloni. This
ring of land that has all the houses is called Meloni.”
When they reached the
second bridge, they stopped for a few minutes and put their crates of fish
down. “Whew! This is getting heavy.” Leith wiped his brow.
“This big canal that comes
from the sea is called the Uverlu Canal. It is 300 feet wide and 100 feet
deep. Thank goodness Catt didn’t toss us in. That’s a long way to swim.”
Murray kept reading the signs on the bridges. “This bridge is called the
Ewlanis Bridge and it goes over the Eriphius Way. Weird names.”
“Let’s get going. I want
to get this fish delivered so we can get paid and find food and shelter
for the evening,” Leith said.
They carried the crates over the Aberon Bridge and the last ring of water,
the Andoras Way. The entrance to the temple mount was heavily guarded.
They dropped the six crates near one of the guard’s feet and stepped back.