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Family Circle 2009 Fiction Contest Winner: "Our Atlantis"

I did come home some weekends, at least for a while. Madge and I would drive down to the docks and eat French fries and rainbow Italian ices, and watch boats come and go in the bay. We didn't mention the sinking of Atlantis, or that Kiri's letters and calls had become few and far between.

Eventually, my weekends home dwindled to once every few months. At school there were dances and parties, overnight excursions to the city and hours spent in the art cottages stroking paint onto canvas.

Sometimes, though, I painted Atlantis, mixing shimmering golds and oranges beside the colors of the sea there on my palette. I painted it in its glory, light shining on marble columns, arches that glittered gold beneath the moon. And I painted it there below the surface of the ocean, its structures distorted by the swells above, a phantom city, a memory. Sometimes I painted us there: Kiri, Madge and myself, perpetually seventeen, our faces tanned, our hair sun-bleached, our smiles contented.