Qanat - An Underground Valley

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Chapter 15

15. The Return

Isra just jumped in front of him. The whale’s eye met with hers, the whale stopped, its fin was down, it looked calm after seeing her. She dragged Faham back to the boat. “What were you thinking!?!?, I warned you it’s guarded by whales. You can’t go in, they are whales, more dangerous than sharks, they are there not to let anyone in, they are killer whales, they would have eaten you!” She screamed at him in anger. And sat there with a hand on her head.

“How did you find me?” Faham asked, she stared at him, exhaled a bit, “She told me” pointing towards a dolphin, Isra said.

“I told you it’s not easy to get in there, they won’t let any of us get in there ever, you are lucky that they left you alive, out of there. Nobody can know about that place.” she continued.

“But I want to go in there again. That place is like heaven. Beautiful, I want to go in, I am going to try again. I won’t come back with you, you can leave” Faham said.

“Ok die here then, I want my boat back and yes I won’t be responsible for anything happening to you, from here and now on,” she said nodding her head to the dolphin. And the dolphin disappeared in the water.

He sat there in the boat for a while got up and said: “Ok, you take your boat and forget about me, I am responsible for my doings and nobody else.”

She looked at him, his face was determined, she nodded to him. It was dark as it was night. It was crescent moon night so the visibility was low. He took a deep dive, down towards the entrance. This time he was confident about the place but afraid about his life, and the killer whale. He didn’t know what to do this time. “Isra might just come to save me, again.” he thought. Meanwhile, he looked up, saw the water moving and the shadow of the boat going ahead. His rope with red cloth was not to be seen.

Faham closed his eyes, remembered the days he spent in the pool trying to swim underwater, holding his breath, Isra’s advice about swimming underwater, the tricks she taught to move underwater without moving the body much, the movements to save breath and strength, to go with and opposite to the flow of water. When he opened his eyes, he was almost near the entrance of Qanat.

He went further down, he could see the shadow figure of the whale in that low light, as Faham neared the shadow, he saw the whale with the same fins. Going round and round in a specific spot. The whale sensed movements in water, it stopped and turned around. Looked at the side where it sensed movements, opened its mouth, wide to gulp anything comes ahead, its teeth were perfectly lined and sharp but it was just water ahead of it, nothing was there in the direction where it sensed the movement of water.

Faham moved further down soft and swift without making any movements in water controlling his breath. The whale was just above his head, he waited for a while, as the whale’s mouth was still open. He got a little afraid but controlled himself and got himself ready to make his move. He acquired all his strength from his legs to hands, tilted his head and he went up in full speed, the whale looked down as it saw him just below it, and went down. But Faham swam straight towards the entrance at full pace, that’s when the whale saw him and moved towards him.

Faham saw a red glow, moving towards him from a distance, and the whale was behind him is full speed. “Ok, this is not good, I am going to die but I won’t stop trying, I want to go inside,” he thought. He was confused thinking about what to do, “I will make it to the river” he kept telling himself. “But what’s that red glow? Another whale? Or any other sea monster which guards the river? Let it be anything I am going to do what I can do to get myself in!!” The whale almost got to him and the red glow too. Faham swam sideways all of a sudden, the whale went straight passing by him and glow passed by him, it was something small and familiar. It was a dolphin with a red diamond-studded on its fin, it came from Qanat.

The dolphin came back to the whale and hit the whale, the whale was still at the same place. He heard a whistle-like sound, it was that dolphin, it’s hurt. Then all of a sudden it went all silent, nothing moved. The dolphin went in the same direction it came from, it was fast gone. Faham had no clue about what happened. He was still, and the whale went to its place, passing Faham, started to do his rounds. He looked ahead and everything seemed normal then he realized the whale was not going to hurt him anymore, it was death which passed by and the dolphin came in like a god, a lifesaver from death.

“Yes, I did it, I should find that dolphin and feed it someday, I can tell it’ll help,” he thought. And then it struck him, the dolphin was long gone, it disappeared through the river. He started to swim towards the river, the direction from which the dolphin came. He swam with all the energy he had with joy inside. “I will make it in, I will!” As he moved he started to feel the cold water, he started to see lights above, it was not as much light as he had seen last time, but there was light, the rays of hope for him. He started to swim upward to the surface, looked up and he could see the limed ceiling. He took a deep breath and he inhaled the aroma of Qanat.

“Finally!’ he exclaimed.

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