Qanat - An Underground Valley

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Qanat is a fiction written keeping historic Egypt in mind. It is about a young guy, bringing trouble to a mythical land and the people living there. And how he escapes from Qanat, after meeting the new master.

Fantasy / Adventure
Mahesh Mahi
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

1. Faham

Faham, a young boy in his early 20’s with ash grey eyes, wheatish skin, about 5ft. 5 inches tall, dressed in a rugged linen kamiz* and trouser, head covered in a litham* started walking into Qanat desert with his only best friend and companion, a camel. All he could see ahead of him is the horizon over the desert, in the glory of the setting sun. It is going to be dark soon; he has no clue as to where he’ll camp for the night. As the elderly people said about the desert “It’s not safe to travel alone, in this vast sandy desert.” He knew every step he is going to take further is into danger, he had no other way out... to survive he must walk past, the pyramid and everything else on his way. He thought, “Anyways it’s all a myth, nobody ever saw or found anything strange.” He was always curious about the pyramid in this desert, ‘Why did the pyramid’s peak shined and glowed at certain times?’ ‘What’s up there, which makes the peak shine and glow?’ Nobody dared or had the guts to go up there and check what was it, that’s making the pyramid’s peak shine and glow… the ones who dared to go up and check never made it back.

As it was getting dark, fright was setting in, in him, because he knew venomous snakes and scorpions were living in the desert. All of a sudden, his camel stopped, he got terrified his eyes turned darker and face pale, he felt his blood gushing throughout his body, he could hear his heartbeat, sweat dripped down his forehead, he started shivering as different thoughts crept in, into his mind ‘What if, it’s a snake?’ ‘Is the myth, really true?’ ‘Is this desert, really dangerous, as said by the elderly people?’ He couldn’t see anything yet he knew his camel sensed something. His camel bent down and Faham got on the camel’s back. He could vaguely see the pyramid, as his camel stood up. He thought ‘Why didn’t I see it earlier and what did my camel sense?’

litham*: a cloth, used to cover the head and the lower part of the mouth.

kamiz*: a wide garment with very wide sleeve.

It was breezy as they moved ahead in the moonlight; stars were shining bright in the night sky. He was still afraid of what’s going to happen ahead. Faham is somebody who’ll forever enjoy the beauty in anything and everything. He thought for a moment, ‘it was the sun giving the light an hour ago, now the moon’ he looked up in the sky and all his fear flew away with the cool breeze. Suddenly breeze changed to a gust, he quickly covered his face with the litham* to prevent sand hitting his face. His camel kept moving ahead slowly.

He kept thinking, as to why was he in the middle of this lonely desert and the only reason he could recollect is ‘stolen princess’s jewels from the cart’. His mind drifted away to the other day when he was keeping the jewels in the cart to take it to his uncle’s jewelry shop. Greeting him with a “Hai !” a young lad stopped by, the lad shook his hand and ran away in a jiffy taking away princess’s jewelry. The guards caught Faham instead of the young lad and took him to the king. A trial was held, Faham was convicted of theft. Faham’s uncle was called in, his uncle started explaining how long Faham has been working with him, about his good nature, innocence and uncle also mentioned about Faham’s mother who used to be a dancer for the king at the palace. The king wasn’t convinced, he ordered the guards “Put him on his camel and lead him to Qanat desert.” Then the king said to Faham, “If you survive the journey through the desert, you can live in any neighboring country you want to.”

Faham was a son of a graceful belly dancer. She had dark brown eyes like dates. A true beauty, who danced at the king’s palace. He knew the palace very well, as he used to go to the palace every time with his mother. His father was one of the king’s guards, in the king’s main fleet and died fighting for the king in a war. As Farham grew up, his mother too died of snake bite. Since then, Farham was raised by his uncle, who owns a jewelry shop in the market. His uncle took good care of him. At a very young age, Faham learned the craft of jewelry making and skills of stoning precious stones, from his uncle. Impressed by Faham’s hard work and perfection, uncle gifted him a camel who became his best friend and a companion later.

…and finally, he reached near the pyramid, the wind started blowing like a sand storm. His camel lost its balance and fell.

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