It was left to her in her Grandfathers will.
Just a small scrap of parchment. So darkened with age that the ink marks were only barely visible. She could only just see the marks. Just enough to show that it was a map. The writing was complete gobbledygook and written in such a small italic script that would make deciphering it quite a challenge. Her Grandfather had told her the secret of reading it on her last visit to see him in hospital.
They had always been close. He’d cared for her far more than her Mother ever did. She was going to give her up for adoption but her Grandfather took her in instead. Her Mother then ran off with a travelling gang and they’d never heard from her again. Her Grandfather had tried to find her, but without success. He had never given up hope that she would one day turn up again at his door.
Her father had never been in the picture. He was just a lad that her Mother had slept with. She never found out who. That had always rather haunted her, thinking that any man in town she bumped into, in the supermarket or at the burger bar, could have been her dad.
No, for as long as she remembered it was just Grandfather and her.
He had always prepared her for his death, knowing that it could occur at any time. They discussed it openly so that it would be easier to deal with when it happened. It did in a way. She was still very sad to lose him, but he’d had a good life and was in a lot of pain towards the end. He’d told her that it would be a release when it happened.
Not long after his 92nd birthday he’d been diagnosed with a degenerative disease. The doctors had given him 6 months but he’d held on nearly a full year. She would sit with him for hours and they would talk about his younger days in the Navy. He had been a bit of a rogue, but never cruel or unkind, just a lovely rascal. On the last day he was drifting in and out of consciousness but always held her hand tight. Then he’d roused and looked her in the eyes.
“Remember, no tears, only joy for a life well lived. Remember this. Sometimes things look clearer in the Mirror.”
The last bit had come out as a whisper, barely audible, as his eyes closed and he drifted off again. He didn’t regain consciousness after that.
The Mirror. That was the secret of this map. When you held it up to the mirror, the tightly scrawled ink became clearer. A lot of hard research later and she now knew it was a map of an island in the Mediterranean sea, not far west of Malta. An X marked the spot, the middle of a lake, on this island thousands of miles away from where she lived.
Now, here she was with a team of her friends on a boat wearing diving gear. It had taken months of planning, but here she was, Dr Angela Monroe, Historian and Archaeologist and granddaughter of an old Navy Seal and lovely rogue, about to make the discovery of a lifetime.
With the help of her mates they had managed to retrieve the old sea chest that had been buried at the bottom of the lake and it was now on the boat waiting to be cracked open like a particularly mouth-watering nut.
As she used a crow bar to break open the chest the lid opened and she saw in the glorious sunshine, the glimmer of gold.
More than just that, this was evidence of an ancient lost civilisation, found long ago and then reburied.
This treasure was from Atlantis.
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 13/April/2018