Riyaz was very excited with his discovery. If only he could take a video, he would become famous instantly. He started swimming in the direction he thought the creature went. He was hoping his guess was correct. Just when he thought he saw it, he heard Goutham shout on the top of his voice …
“Riyaz…I want you to come out NOW? Is it clear?”
“Sorry da. I do not work for you. I decide what I want to do. Got it?”
“Did you actually hear what I told? There is something in the water. Unless we find out what it is, it is not safe. Please listen to me”
“Can you at least tell us what you jumped for?”
“Well, I will say. But don’t get any ideas that I will share the fame with you people, when I show you what I found”
“Cut the crap and tell us what it is”
“OK. I believe I saw a type of Coelacanth fish. Do you even know what it means?”
“Are you crazy? They were supposed to be extinct millions of years ago”
“Yes, but only to be rediscovered in 1938 by a South African museum curator. Seriously, don’t you people read?”
“Are you sure about what you saw?”
“Just turn on the video receiver. You can also enjoy the sight.”
Goutham switched on the receiver. They saw a structure which was probably the remains of some building. It did not have any roof, implying the rest of the building did not survive the Tsunami. They saw a staircase leading to some underground passage and Riyaz was heading towards it. They felt there was something unusual in the sea, but no one could explain exactly what it was.
Suddenly they heard Riyaz let out a wail and the camera tuned off.
All were rooted to the spot unable to move even an inch. They became dumbstruck seeing what happened. But that lasted only for a few seconds. Tilak recovered from the shock soon and was ready to dive in when the camera turned on again.
“Hey guys, can you hear me…”
“Riyaz…For Gods sake, this is not a joke” Goutham was clearly annoyed.
“Sorry guys, if I freaked you out. I lost my balance and slipped. It was unintentional”
They realized Riyaz had entered the passage. It was so dark in there. It could have been some underground tunnel previously.
“Riyaz…Try to be safe” said Mona in a worried voice.
“Don’t worry…I know how to take care of myself” replied Riyaz in a very ignorant manner.
All were equally eager to see the extinct fish.
“Where is the fish da? I don’t see it?” questioned Goutham
“Yeah, me too. I think I missed it. I am still searching for it”
“If you cant find it, just come back.”
“Hold on, I think I saw something” replied a slightly excited Riyaz.
Meanwhile Jessi barged in
“Hey, you have got to check this” She pointed at the video receiver.
“Look at the speed at which he is swimming. This is not good”
Though she detested him, she could not think of anything bad happening to him. She sounded genuinely concerned.
Tilak was deeply disturbed. He tried to appear calm, but his voice trembled as he spoke.
“Riyaz…I need you to slow down. Is that clear? You are moving too fast.”
“Are you kidding me? This is my usual speed” Riyaz replied
“No buddy, we can see you here. I understand you are all excited about the fish. But just try to stay focused. Understand?”
“Wow…this is amazing”
“Are you even listening to me?”
“Guys, check the video, quick”
They stared at the video receiver, but there was nothing other than water.
“What do you expect us to see?”
“I just can’t believe this exists. This passage leads us to a yet another bigger building, only this was not destroyed. How the hell did it survive?”
Riyaz sounded too excited. He did not even listen to them. All looked puzzled not knowing what to do. The video receiver still showed nothing but water.
“Riyaz, just listen to us”
“Yeah, this place is so great. It looks like an underwater Palace. I love this place”
They did not understand what was going on. Just then Mona found something and signaled the rest to check the video.
“What is that? May be some…stick?”
“No…it is not a stick. Ummm….the video is not clear. Looks like whatever it is, it is far...far away”
“Hey…it is getting nearer and nearer. It looks like some fish”
“Guys…it is not a fish…it is Riyaz” shouted Goutham.
Riyaz was showing his back to the camera.
"Looks like Riyaz is not having the camera" whispered Jessi.
“What the heck is going on? Riyaz are you with us?” cried Mona.
“Yes, yes. I am standing here, spell bounded by its beauty. I…”
“Where is your camera?” questioned Goutham
In the video, the image of Riyaz was getting closer with every second.
“It is with me obviously. Just allow me to enjoy this moment for some time. You should…”
“There is someone behind you Riyaz”
“Turn back…there is someone stalking you. Oh God, turn back you idiot”
Riyaz tuned back slowly. Precisely at that moment, the movement in the video also stopped. They could clearly see Riyaz now. There was only two or three feet distance between the stalker and Riyaz. No one dared to speak a word. They observed Riyaz closely.
Tilak gained some courage and spoke in a very low voice.
“What do you see Riyaz?”
“Whatever it is, do not move. Just stay still”
“Listen to me carefully. You are going to be fine. Stay calm, and do not move. Don’t even try to speak Clear?”
“Did you say something Riyaz?
“The creature is not going to understand you Riyaz. May be it saw you as an intruder in its territory. Once it understands that you are not a threat, it won’t harm you.”
“I am telling YOU. …GO BACK…GO BACK…”
Riyaz suddenly became hysterical.
The movement instantly resumed in the video feed. Whatever it was that stalked him, moved swiftly towards him. The last image they saw in the screen was his blood and the video turned off forever.