Secrets of the Nile

We were up to our chests in water which was grey-green and murky in the torchlight. It gave off a scent of dead things – not fish but something bigger. Something deader. The walls were black, the ceiling high – too high to even think about climbing back up. The drip, drip echoing around the room rapidly doused our happy moods.

We spread out to search for an exit. There didn’t seem to be one.

“Is it a dead end?” I asked Riley.

“There’s no exit I can see above water,” he said. “But there might be one below.”

“Below the water?” Oh, please no!

Riley took a deep breath, then dived.

Drip, drip, drip.

“Do you think he will find anything?” Fear made Lisimba’s voice a higher pitch.

“Oh, yes,” I said. “The water got in here somehow. There has to be some way for it to get out.” It sounded logical enough, but I’d just made it up to keep everyone calm. To keep myself calm, mainly.

Drip, drip, drip.

Like a clock ticking away the seconds remaining in Riley’s life. And ours. What would we do if he came back with bad news – that there was no way out?

Or if he never came back at all?