By Neel Anil Panicker
Stella, her eyes struggling to pierce through the stilting darkness, the only sound being that of her nimble footsteps echoing several times over and stinging into her ears, her heart beats ala massive iron fists slamming onto her slender teenaged frame, painfully wormed her past the mouth of the cavern, past near crumbling archways of stalactites and stalagmites, the fast fading out beams of the standard military issue, her only guide trough the labyrinth that she had waded into.
It was then that she spotted it__the faint flickering of a lamp__, and around it the silhouette of what seemed to her near delusionary eyes a human figure__long, shaggy loosened hairs on top of which lay, in a curled up fashion, a King Cobra__its ferocious jet black hood staring out into her frightened eyes.
It was at that precise moment, and unmindful of the fact that her bones had turned white with fear, Stella realised that she had finally found the proverbial pot of gold that legions of sea farers believed lay buried in the middle of the ocean.
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