Qanat - An Underground Valley

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Chapter 24

24 Rituals

The day has come. Everyone was gathered around the stairs just below the pyramid. All snakes were crawling around from steps and to down to the pit. Four masters were standing toward the wall, praying to the elders and dead kings and others of the Qanat. “Bring the girl”, masters said together. Ishas mom came up holding Isha in her hand, pale face with her heart beating like fast drums. On the contrary baby, Isha seems to be happy, chuckled along all the way being on her mother’s lap. Saying Hai to everyone she sees with her cute little face.

Ishas mom handed the kid to the master. Her father stood by master looking at Isha. Isha was still laughing and making sounds. “May God bless her,” said the masters together holding Isha up in air. Then lowered Isha down to the pit which was there for years. “She will be alright,” said master Nasar looking at Ishas mother.

Snakes started to crawl down to the pit one by one and then they stopped. Master Nasar closed the pit with a cover and told everyone to move back. They all moved back and went to their own houses. Ishas mom too walked away looking behind in every step she made ahead. Ishas father was holding Ishas mother’s shoulder, said: “Don’t worry she will be alright. it’s a ritual and our girl Isha is a survivor. She will survive. She had done it in your womb now she’s going to do it in that pit”.

As time went by Ishas mother stood nearby the doors with, she could feel the heat going out of her body she was restless, walking around, looking up to the color of light and waiting for it to be the time so that she can reach to the life she brought to this world. She knew Isha would survive but she’s a mother, she knew it’s a ritual and almost every baby survived, Isha would do the same too, still, she was tensed cause she’s a mother.

Time went by the moon was directly at the top of the pyramid, a music coming out from a flute was in the air of Qanat. It was master Nasar with flute. Calling everyone to the pit. “So, it’s time to know the truth, is Isha one among us or the people who live in land. Let’s open the pit and find out what our gods had decided for her”. Master Nasar opened the pit.

Isha was playing with the snakes, chuckles and talking to the snakes in her own kiddish language. There was not even a single bite mark on her body. “This is not possible,” master Nasar said trying to take her out of the pit. All the other three masters too searched Ishas body and could not find any snake bite. They all were wowed. In these many years, there has not been a single incident like this. Every year a baby is born and it goes through the same rituals, some survived some didn’t. But all of the kids had bite marks at least one.

Ishas mother came running in front took Isha and kissed her all over “m….a…...ma” Isha called out for the first time. Isha called her mother “ma”, what in the world can replace that happiness for a mother -- Nothing. Tears started to flow out of Ishas mother’s eyes, she hugged Isha tight, kissed Isha all over again. Ishas father was looking at the mother-daughter duos love standing near them. Meanwhile, all the masters were discussing about Ishas fate.

Master 1: This can’t be this can’t happen, at least one snakebite should be there.

Master Nasar: I have examined her full not even a single bite on her body.

Master 2: But how can this be, what is she now, we all are friendly with snakes but they do bite us.

Master 4 (oldest): Master Nasar does this remind you about something that our elders have taught us ??? About our first master Radames great grandfather of us all ??? He was also not bitten by a single snake till the day he died. The one who started the ritual to make sure all of us survive here. The first one to turn light brown eyes to dark blue eyes, the one was blessed by our gods.

Master Nasar: So, what do we do now master. Rituals are to be followed. Wait did you mean she will be somehow related to him???.

Master 4: There are two more tests to confirm it one should be done tomorrow and another will be done once she is 4 years old. Bring the scorpions masters all the dead ones and the scorpion King, master Radames pet.

Master Nasar: what do you mean master, scorpion King??? That is too dangerous, she passed the ritual she is one among us. But I can’t give her to death like this. Scorpion King is the one where all the scorpion feeds get their venom from.

Master 2: Master Nasar he’s the elder one he knows what’s right. Let’s just follow him you should let know Ishas parents about the test.

Master Nasar just nodded his head and walked by.

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