the long goodbye

for gen_drabble challenge 7: empty
She was a city, once.


The Alterans leave Atlantis in dribs and drabs, a corridor here and a tower there, until a scant handful remains. After a few months it seems almost normal; if they stay inside, they can pretend everyone else is still there, and they do for a while, until it’s no longer a joke.

(She knows better, though: their few life signatures fill her vastness like a handful of coals in the ashy hollow of a burnt-out bonfire.)

Slowly, system by system, they shut her down, until all that’s left is a sleeping shell buried beneath the ocean, dreaming of the sky.
Indexing: ,
Oh wow, so haunting. You really gave the city a soul here.

Edited at 2010-03-20 08:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Atlantis is so often treated as simply a stage--which is a shame, because there's so much potential there for writers to play with.

I like the imagery you use as Atlantis being the container / protector for her people... Following line of progression from Atlantis being a nearly burnt-out bonfire pit to being an empty shell, it was the thought of the Ancients as snail-goo that really made me laugh, though. Of course, there's also the possibility of them being bonfire-sludge, but I really enjoy the thought of them being snail-goo.

I also enjoyed the implementation of the four elements with regards to Atlantis: fire within, earth without, water buried/under, and air soar/over -- all combine to make her spirit. Very beautiful.

Thank you!
*laughs* I must admit the image of snail-goo never crossed my mind--I was thinking of sea shells, since she was hidden in the ocean.

Glad you enjoyed it anyway. :P

Actually, the snail-goo association was completely by accident... I swear! LOL! Whenever I think of Atlantis, the spires are the first to pop to mind, and somehow spires slipped over to spirals when I thought about shells - perhaps aided by the fact that my nephew has been talking non-stop for the past 3 weeks about hermit crabs - and the bigger shells are sometimes spiny.... *shrugs & grins*