My name is Charles Spencer, archaeologist and explorer. You may have heard of me, or at least caught wind of my notorious adventures. Unfortunately this is to be my final exploit, and I apologise if this letter you hold is recovered in a fragile state, or if my hand writing is erratic. I’m afraid my mind has become fragmented and my faculties are rapidly departing, for I have spent the last three days sweltering at the bottom of a well.
You need not ask. I climbed down in search of much needed water, and although the ruined city I have found is bleached by the sun and its ancient paths baked dry, I believed I would find sustenance down here amongst the shadows.
How wrong was I. As soon as I descended I realised my folly, for I lacked the constitution to climb back out. Now I lie amongst the dust of eternity, scraping cracked fingernails into the parched soil without any conviction or sense of hope. I have lost my comrades to freak accidents, now I am also lost.
So . . . do I reflect on my journey in these final hours? It has been entertaining. Long did I seek this ancient city, once lost beneath the oceans of the world. Now, with a new Ice Age at hand, the seas have retreated to reveal treasures no longer protected by immense blue mantles. This discovery will be my epitaph, this well my tomb. Yet I find the entire situation rather ironic, for I lie amongst the bones of the city of Atlantis, a city that has long been a fascination. World changes shaped its destiny and kept its secret well hidden. Now, when chance suggests its identity be revealed to an unsuspecting world, the unexpected has occurred. I will die here, in the shadows, whilst my hopes and dreams remain above.
I have sunk below my dreams, submerged like the city I sought for so long. A city destroyed twelve thousand years ago by the element I so desperately crave.
A city destroyed by water.