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The Blood Stained Hands

The village will forever carry the burden on its shoulder with no healing suspected to happen soon. Unless the whole generation stained with the blood of murder is fully wiped out.

They usually had those grandfather-grandson walks every evening whenever he visited. Otworo's grandfather, Mzee Ajuaga, was a herbalist and a future teller. He would take advantage of the opportunity to collect more herbs and to have a deeper understanding of the forest. As it is a norm to pass the talent to someone in the lineage, Otworo was the next. On this warm evening, they took a different trek-only path, meandering in between trees, shrubs, and bushes. They took a right turn and then a left one, their faces coming into contact with the sunset. They continued with the path until they came to where it was descending the hill into another village. After a long journey of sweats and thirst, they finally came to their destination_God Mesa. 

In a hush and steadiness, he pointed to the village of Agulunyume with his old walking stick. It took him a moment to find the right words to say what he had at heart. They sat down under the big eucalyptus tree that its shade had now fallen at the deep ends of the other village. Over the lake, the sun was setting, sending its beaming rays to reflect in the water, so the surface appeared somehow between orange, red, and yellow. Several boats were still dancing to the rhythm of the waves. Maybe the borders were still casting their nets ready for the overnight catch. It was such an amazing view to behold. It was up-calling. Just after the lake towards where they were standing were scattered homes whose owners mostly depended on fishing and small-scale farming. Some homes looked deserted, rumours had it that they had been lost in the lake's drug addiction in Sianda island. A place of its own where people exchanged their bodies with fish and a few coins. There, anyone was anybody's partner when darkness befell. 

Their eyes ran all over the view before them, having a little history or comment about each. From Sango, Nyanam and finally to Agulunyume. Then they stopped at the one that was right close to them, and the pinch could be seen on Mzee Ajuaga's face. He took in some deep breaths, shrunk his face, and shook his head in grief, for what had happened in that village had caused it more curse than good. The entanglement was so adhesive that no one could escape the wrath. The blood was still dripping, and the land could bear no yields at all. The land was arid and cracked. The vegetation had withered, and the animals became pale.

Once upon a time but not so long ago, there were two siblings, namely Ajiko and Okombe. Ajiko was older than her brother; thus, she led the way most of the time. They could play, collect firewood and watch on their herds at the same time. On this particular day, they met a middle-aged man, black and huge enough to scare any child. Ojuka was a well-respected man, having spent most of his lifetime in the city. Generally, there was this type of respect that the village people accorded the men from the city due to their prominence, and Ojuka's was not any different. Ojuka called Ajiko in request to send her to the shop as every child was available for any task given by the elders. He led her into one of the deserted houses nearby. Minutes rolled, and she was not back yet, so Okombe took it upon himself to go see what was going on as he had not seen her go to the shop. He called out her name numerous times, but there was no response. He decided to peep through the keyhole, and what he saw would later become a police case and lead to the loss of lives. 

He ran to the nearby home to call for help before rushing back to their home, which was a few meters away. He got home screaming, and crying, for what he had seen was tormenting. He banged on every door,  calling out on whoever was at home who could be of help. His mother rushed towards where the sound was coming from. Amidst pants and fears, Okombe told his mother what he had witnessed.  She came rushing to the scene, but by bad chance, Ojuka had already cleared and escaped the scene. The broken mother met her daughter by the deserted field, all confused and crying. "Mum, I saw them. Ajiko was on the ground while Ojuka was on top of her. He had covered her mouth." Okombe said having shivers in his voice 

As if that was not enough harm already, Ajiko's mother lost her son in a mistaken identity circle. While coming back home from school, her other son had gone missing only for his decomposing body to be found around for days later in a thicket next to their home. Reports indicated that the young boy had been tortured to death. He was hit by a blunt object on his head, strangled with a rope then a liquid acid poured on his face. It is said that Ojuka had used another woman and her husband to abduct the young boy on his way home and took him to their house, where the young boy met his untimely death. All these were in an attempt to do away with the sexual assault witness, but sadly, the young boy died in Okombe's place. Okombe remained to see justice prevail for her sister. 

That was never the end of this painful twist. The relatives of the late boy, together with some of the young men in the village, went to the suspected woman's home to demand an explanation of what had transpired on that fateful day. They, too, shed blood. They beat and cut the woman to her death with a soon-to-be-born baby. The young men who had been involved in the act ruined their lives on that day. Words in the street have it that one of the village church elders had stiffly pressed the expectant woman's neck to the ground with his feet as others cut her with machetes and axes. One of the young men took a big stone and, with all his might, threw it right in between her legs. She never breathed again. It was horrible. It was painful; hence the land would not have missed crying for the woman and her unborn child. The perpetrators immediately flee the village for fear of being arrested. Well, some of them tasted life behind bars as the arm of the law caught up with them on their exit routes, but they were later released, stating lack of evidence. Ojuka's name was again mentioned as one of the people who had been present at the scene.

The woman's husband, who had gone around confessing the name of the person who had murdered that innocent child after his drinking spree, threw himself into river Nyakio and disappeared after learning what had happened to his wife while he was away. As the assault case continues at the court, Ajiko's father has since become best friends with his daughter's abuser and mastermind behind his son's death. The broken mother has been left on her own to fight for the justice of her two children. 

In her confusion and agony, the village of Agulunyume still bleeds, and nothing good is going on in her. She has sunk, and nothing can ever pull her out of her mystery.

In the same village, a boy had been pulled out from a night vigil and killed. He was suspected of cattle rustling even though he pleaded innocent at the teeth of the many pangas that were anyhow landing on him. The young orphan boy had been in and out of the village as he had no home to stay at.  The young men of Agulunyume had found a place to show their masculinity yet again. Around twelve hours after the incident, the young man's heart was still beating, but his flesh was all over the place, hanging. He severely tried to ask for drinking water from the passersby, but nobody helped, so he tried crawling to the nearby home for shelter and to quench his thirst, but he never made it. He passed on while on the mission, on his belly. The sun had burnt his wounds beyond the pain in itself, and the bleeding had drained him of his blood. He passed on next to the village square of Agulunyume, where justice was once being served by the village elders.

As the village of Agulunyume struggles with the sins of her generation, she remains cursed and barren. Mzee Ajuaga, the renowned sorcerer in the region, told his grandson that it might take forever to heal her of the committed sins as blood never leaves the ground. They walked back home feeling empty and broken, sadness was written all over their faces with few leaves for their herbs. Their steps could loudly be heard as their village had gone to rest. The dogs barked as they passed by different homes, but none attacked them as they meant no danger. 

Agulunyume! 

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