Saturday, March 26, 2016

Welcome to the Magic City of...Atlantis?

The thing about research is that you never know what you are going to find. I have been writing a fantastical tale set across the southern United States. Hang on, though, because there’s more: the story is about the search for Atlantis. I had postulated in my initial drafts that the city was found at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, in the equidistant post between the three landmasses making up the Bernuda Triangle. For years, researchers had argued about the existence of the fabled city, but more than that, they have wondered: where could it possibly be? I will admit, I keep my research to a minimum, especially when it comes to fantasy because in those genres I like to let my unhindered and unpolluted imagination guide me. It definitely scares me when things line out as perfectly (or almost as perfectly) as they have. It makes me wonder….

Less than a month ago, I commissioned a circular design, which involved a circular figure with equidistant holes and a large geometric design. Why? It was the gateway to Atlantis. It would be buried, deep underground—in Florida. St. Augustine to be more specific. Fast forward to the present time; as I prepare to edit the chapters set in Florida, where there is a high likelihood of my protagonists finding the city, I come across an excerpt from Charlie Carson’s “Weird Florida”, a travel guide tantamount to an anthology of pieces ranging from folk tales to must-see venues in the Sunshine state. In one particularly eerie section, there came the report of “The Miami Circle” located in Downtown Miami.

[Photo by John Ricisak, n.d.]

The Miami Circle was unearthed when construction was to begin on a high-rise apartment complex, back in the late nineties. Workers came across a large, thirty-eight foot diameter monolith: a limestone circle (thought to be at least a thousand years old), riddled with holes…right in the center of the buzzling, sleepless Miami. Along with this stone marker, there were shark skeletons, turtle carapaces, and a myriad of artifacts which are not indigenous to the state. I remember reading, nearly a decade ago, about aquatic archaeological expeditions near the Bahamas; their purpose, of course, being the never-ending quest to find (what most are convinced is) the sunken, ancient city. Why did I feel the clangor of bells in the backdrop as I read this article? Well, for starters, it is not impossible for there to have been such a place; eliminating the more fantastical elements of the city (such as it being a live city, located at the bottom of the ocean and ruled by King Triton and his merfolk co-inhabitants), it is a very plausible location. There have been remains of ancient temples, found near shores in the Mediterranean. Whether Greek-era bards and adventurers actually ever reached it, well, we may never know.

Fortunately, we still have a chance to figure out what this piece of limestone (dubbed by one conspiracy theorist, the “limestonhenge”); after much discussion, Miami-Dade County stopped development on this plot of land, and reburied the circle until further studies could be made. Today, the well-groomed Miami Circle, basks under the (nearly) year-long summery Sun, enjoying the seaside view of the Atlantic. I might just make a trip downtown, maybe I’ll feel something. Even if it is the blistering heat and frizzing humidity of the Magic City.

Still, I wonder: could it be possible, that all of these party-going, cortadito-drinking, bad-driving Miamians…sit on the legacy of this mystical city? I thought I was looking for Atlantis, I was not expecting to find it right in front of me, or in this case, right below my feet!

I will be uploading a short preview of the story I’ve been working on for the last few months. It is the main reason this space has been so neglected.

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