When Denver was 7, he thought that the city of Atlantis floated. Denver’s family bought tickets to board a luxury liner for his birthday. Upon arriving, Denver thought he was in a floating city and misread “Atlantica Ship” for “Atlantis” like the timeless city hidden under the sea. His mother slathered on spray tan and muttered, “Take twenty bucks and do whatever you want.”
Denver blazed with charisma the way the sun blazed with fire. It was as if the decks of the ship would never run out of land despite Denver discovering every little nook and cranny. Denver, grinning, accepted the twenty dollars and placed a stuffed dolphin and some chocolates into his little fingers. After taking a splash in the pool, he dried his drenched cinnamon brown hair and gazed at the sky thinking that there weren’t enough lucky stars to thank for this place. His heart beat like thunder as he played ping pong, Connect 4, bowling, and mini golf among the other children. Giggles and happy screams filled through his ears accompanied by jovial music.
The sky began to transform from baby blue, to orange, to bubblegum pink, and then a wintry purple and black night. Denver stepped out to see the now desolate swimming pool and realized that it was nearly midnight. Behind him, empty rooms were lit up and looked like stars in the sky. Forlorn and clutching his stuffed dolphin, he began to run to find his mother. The ship really did seem like it would never run out of land. The more he ran to find his mother, the more he saw what was left behind from other passengers. Purses, toys, wallets, employee name tags, his mother’s bottle of fake tan. Somehow, he was the only boy left on the Atlantica.
Denver was abandoned. His eyes, blurry with tears, longed for someone, anyone to take Denver to safety. Instead, something that seemed to be a monstrous thunderstorm latched onto the ship. As the water burst through the bottom of the ship, bolts of lightning aimed for Denver with no success. He kneeled and looked down at a puddle and gingerly touched his face. He saw his seven year old self metamorphosing into a young man. Denver’s little brown cheeks thinned into high cheekbones, he became many inches taller at once, and his clothes became extremely tight as he was too big for them. It was the last thing he saw before the ship was inhaled by the storm.
Denver, currently 15, woke up in a cold sweat.