I can remember it like it was yesterday, the temple of Poseidon standing tall and proud on the shores of Atlantis. I was a mere boy of twelve, my curiosity guiding me through the majestic sun-drenched halls. I took in the sights marveling at the grandeur and beauty of the place.
The sacred columns were adorned with intricate carvings, depicting the gods and goddesses of Olympus, and the glistening white marble floors were lined with ancient Greek symbols. The walls were covered in beautiful mosaic tiles portraying scenes of gladiatorial battles and mythical creatures.
I made my way toward the altar where the high priest was waiting for me. He was an old man, his face lined with wrinkles but his eyes held the wisdom of a thousand years. He welcomed me with a warm smile and asked me to sit beside him.
"What brings you to my temple?" he asked his voice surprisingly strong for one so ancient.
I swallowed hard before answering. I had come here seeking answers but I was scared of what he might say. I had heard the rumors of Atlantis' imminent fall, whispered in the shadows by the people of my island.
"I've heard stories that Poseidon is no longer looking favorably upon Atlantis" I said, my voice trembling. "Is that true?"
The priest was silent for a moment, his gaze intent on mine. When he spoke, his voice was soft and full of sorrow.
"It is true" he said. "The gods have grown weary of the people of Atlantis. They have grown tired of their arrogance and their greed. The gods have grown tired of their lack of loyalty and faith. The gods have grown tired of the people of Atlantis not honouring their oaths and promises."
His words were like a dagger to my heart. I felt my stomach twist in knots as he continued.
"The gods are not pleased with how the people of Atlantis have treated them. They have withdrawn their favour and Poseidon has chosen to cause the island to sink beneath the waves of the Atlantic Ocean."
I stared at the old man in disbelief. Surely the gods could not be so cruel? The thought of Atlantis my home, being swallowed up by the sea was too terrible to contemplate.
"Why?" I asked, my voice barely a whisper.
The priest rose from his seat and stepped forward placing a hand on my shoulder.
"It is not my place to question the will of the gods" he said gently. "But I can tell you this, the people of Atlantis were warned. They were warned that if they did not put their trust in the gods, if they did not honour their agreements then the gods would withdraw their favour and the island would be destroyed. They chose not to listen and now they must suffer the consequences."
He gave my shoulder a reassuring squeeze before stepping back.
"What can be done?" I asked desperation creeping into my voice.
The priest shook his head sadly.
"I am afraid there is nothing that can be done" he said. "All we can do is pray that the gods show mercy on our people and grant us one final chance to prove ourselves worthy of their trust."
I nodded feeling a tear slide down my cheek. I had come seeking answers and now I had them. But they only made me feel worse.
The sun was setting as I left the temple my thoughts still heavy with sadness. I had seen the gods' power their wrath and their mercy, and I knew that I could not hope to defy them, all I could do was pray for a miracle.
But my prayers were not answered and Atlantis sank beneath the waves taking with it all its treasures, its people and its hopes. I can still remember the cries of despair echoing from the sinking island, a sound that still haunts my nightmares.
February 22nd, 2023
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