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Dylan Clarke has become obsessed with Atlantis
All Dylan needs to complete his PhD is to write his dissertation, but he is preoccupied with Atlantis. Then his former girlfriend Holly shows up. She has been working for a non-profit that drills community wells in the Sahara. Dylan signs up. This would put him closer to Holly and to the Eye of the Sahara—a site he believes was the location of Atlantis. But when he arrives in Africa, Holly is no longer there! Her contract ended, and she returned to the US. But he’s contractually stuck there for six months. Will he at least be able to visit the Eye of the Sahara while he is there?
Follow Dylan from campus life, to Egypt, Algeria, Mauritania, and home, again.
Vella is an old idea with a new twist.
Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, notable authors Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, George Elliot, Truman Capote, Hunter S. Thompson, and many others published major works in serial installments before releasing them in book form. Serialization of a novel or novella meant breaking it into “episodes” which were published in a periodical of their day.
With the internet displacing newspapers and magazines these days, Kindle Vella is reviving serials for our constantly mobile society. Vella lets readers enjoy an episode or two during their morning commute, while waiting for an appointment, or between classes.
The first three episodes are free to read. Thereafter, you use “tokens” to read additional episodes. But Vella gives new readers 200 free tokens, so you’ll be able to read much of Atlantis Obsession at no cost.
You can read Kindle Vella stories on any computer, laptop, tablet, smart Phone, and Kindle Fire tablet. You can even switch between them and continue where you left off.
Dylan Clarke’s phone alarm was thumping “Afterglow,” Taylor Swift’s breakup anthem—well, one of them. Groggy, he snatched it off the bed stand and fumbled for the off button. Not a good song to wake up to, especially in the middle of the dream he was having.
He rolled over and snuggled back into his pillow, determined to finish.
Holly, his former girlfriend, never looked better. She had eyes you could lose yourself in and a smile that stole his heart the first time she’d turned it on him. It didn’t hurt that she had red hair like his, though hers was darker, a shade of red so deep it was almost brunette. And then he was back with her, in the dream, standing together on the rim of a caldera, where he was pointing out the circular canals surrounding Atlantis. . .
He jerked awake. Why hadn’t the alarm gone off? He picked up his phone.
He was already an hour behind. Dammit.
Dylan stumbled into the bathroom, splashed water on his pale, freckled face, and ran his hand over his chin. The stubble was prickly, but didn’t show much. It took a few days for a five o’clock shadow to develop, one of the advantages of being a natural redhead. Shaving could wait.
He donned a light blue dress shirt, a clean pair of khaki slacks, black socks, and tassel loafers. Around his neck he draped an orange and blue striped tie with the university mascot embroidered on it—a birthday gift from Holly back when they were together. Normally, he didn’t wear a tie, but his department was hosting a symposium on Worldwide Desertification of Arable Lands with scholars from around the nation and the world. As a doctoral candidate in climatology, he was expected to dress like them. Besides, he could make meaningful contacts this week. He brushed lint off his navy-blue blazer and put it on.
He checked the time on his phone, and found instead a series of texts, the gist of which were: “Where R U?” His duties included helping organize the conference. He’d been there until after midnight doing just that, one reason he’d slept so late. Of course, the other reason was, instead of going to sleep when he came home, he’d stayed up reading a book on Atlantis. He’d been doing a lot of research on the reality behind the myths, and he wanted to be sure of his facts for the day.
No time to eat. He dashed out, locked his apartment door, and jumped into his Honda. Dylan turned the key. The starter groaned, then whined, and then went silent. A second and third try resulted in a series of disappointing clicks.
No point calling road service. Who knew how long before they’d get here? The symposium was being held at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center, which was only about fifteen blocks away. He raced back into the apartment and wrestled his bicycle from the laundry room where it had been stored for months. The tires seemed a little soft when he put his weight on the bike, but at least they weren’t flat.
Halfway through the ride, he was sweating. He stopped, removed his blazer, folded it neatly, and tucked it into his backpack. So much for looking professional.
Fifteen minutes later, Dylan peddled up to the redbrick conference center, hungry as hell and hopelessly late. He locked his bike to a signpost, wiped the sheen of sweat from his face, and opened the glass door to the brightly lit, mostly empty, reception area. The attendees were already in the first sessions. A couple of undergrads tending the registration desk sat scrolling their iPhones.
It didn’t matter. He’d helped prepare the agenda and knew which conference room he wanted. He pulled his blazer out of the backpack, shook out the wrinkles, sort of, and put it on.
Two busboys were clearing away pastry platters from the continental breakfast. “Wait!” he said in a stage whisper. They paused, but he was too late. Ravenous students had left nothing but crumbs.
Dylan carefully opened the door to the conference hall, slipped inside, and closed it slowly, so it wouldn’t bang. Dr. Gujarat, his professor of paleoclimatology, was just concluding his introduction of Dr. Porter, the main speaker for this session. The room was full and the only remaining vacant seats were in the front row. Damn. No way would he slip in unseen. Oh well, better do it before Porter begins. At least he hadn’t missed the lecture.
Episode continued on Kindle Vella, where you can read the first three episodes for free.