The Deep Hole
It all happened one quiet summer’s day. I was swimming in a beautiful crystal lake, and it was so still and so calm, I could see to the bottom of the lake, where it was teeming with colourful corals, swaying seaweed and friendly fish that darted in and out of the rocks.
A little way up ahead I heard a very faint gushing sound. But, as I swum closer and closer, it began to get louder and louder. It sounded almost like a massive waterfall, though beneath me. And it made the ground tremble very, very slightly.
And then, all in one moment, a brilliantly colossal hole appeared in front of me. It looked like a huge water plug, sucking all of the lake water down into it.
But, before I had had time to realize that the pull of the current was too strong, it was too late. The current was so strong, I didn’t have the time to even try and turn back. Soon, I was tossing and tumbling into the depths of the hole below, screaming with all of my might, though no sooner my mouth was filled with water, and tones of it was pushing me or pulling me down, down, down. It was a horrifying moment. I couldn’t even open my eyelids, so it was terrifying for me to not even know what was happening.
It felt like hours to me, though it may only have been a couple of minutes, until all that had stopped, but was replaced by seemingly sizzling and crackling noises. The water, strangely, was beginning to get warm. Then, too soon, it became hot. A little too hot for me. Then, very hot.
As quickly as I could, I scrambled out of the water onto whatever land there was at the side (it looked almost orange to me, though a dull colour), and lay down. I was gasping for air and my clothes were positively dripping with water.
It was then that I realized that the ground felt warm, though not as hot as the water. And it was then, that I realized that the ‘water’ that I had been floating in, looked very bumpy and thick, like soup. And it was a dark crimson sort of colour. Where on earth was I? I asked myself.
At that moment, something came slithering up to me, and hissed as it was doing so. I gasped and tried to turn my head towards it, but it was too bright to look at, and I had to look away.
“Pray, why iss the creature of the Overworld here?” It hissed. It had a whispery sort of voice, and sounded very much like a snake trying to speak. In fact it looked very much like a snake.
“I-I fell in, by accident. Through the hole, I mean, over there. Oh, it’s ever so hard to explain,” I tried to explain. “But, but, where am I?”
“You are in the deepesst realmss of the Underworld, in one of the biggesst chassmss that you’ll ever live to ssee,” it spoke, wriggling around as it did.
“And, and, what are you?” I asked fearfully. I’m pretty sure you would know what if feels like to have been told you are in a chasm in the deepest part of the world. No? To be honest, I didn’t think so either.
“I am a ssalamander,” It said in a shivery voice, its forked tongue wriggling in and out of Its mouth.
“And what do you do here?”
“We are the creaturess of the Underworld. Those ‘mines’ you call are mere sscratches in the Earth’s crusst. Those ‘jewels’ you Overworlders find are not real. They are dead jewels. If you come here, you will find real jewels, alive jewels. I can give you bunches of rubies (very much like grapes) that you eat, and with the seeds you can grow new oness. I can peel off the skin off a diamond and squeeze you a cupful of diamond juice. You will ssoon not care much for those dead jewels when you have tasted these oness down here.”
“P-please, Mr Salamander,” I asked, for I was getting a little afraid of the place now. “I very much would like to try them, but I what I would really like, i-is to go home, now.”
“Home? Into the Overworld? Very well. All you need to do is dive into that lava down there,” and with this it pointed towards the river from which I had come from. I didn’t know it was lava!
“W-what?! I can’t! I’ll die!” I shrieked with horror.
“Do not be afraid. You will not die. Once you have fully emerged into the lava, you will be back home.”
I hesitated, but then said timidly, “Alright.”
I approached the edge, before sucking in a deep breath, closing my eyes, and suddenly plunging into the fire river. For a small hesitation of a moment, for a fraction of a millisecond, I felt the blazing red hotness of the lava, but then it was all gone.
And the, I was back, swimming in the river.
The hole had gone.