Oganda could see the lake in the distance. She swallows her fear and walks towards it, like a cow led to slaughter. Singing quietly under her breath Oganda ignores the prickling of her skin as she makes her way through the sacred land. When at last she reaches the lake Oganda breathes a small sigh of relief, she is so thirsty, and her journey would be over soon. Just as she’s about to step a foot in the stretching expanse of the water a voice shouts from behind her.
Startled Oganda staggers back, searching the treeline for who had called out. “Who’s there?” She shouts.
There is a pause and all Oganda can hear is the whistling of the wind through the brush and her own pounding heartbeat. At last the child from the village emerges from the trees, head held high as she strides towards her.
“The Ancestors have given me a sign.” The child says.
Oganda looks down at the small girl before her, “Am I to be sacrificed?”
The girls eyes are midnight sky black, unreadable in the fading light. “No.”
Turning towards the water the child smiles, “I am to be with my sister.”
Holding out her hand Oganda wordlessly hands her the earring, fingers brushing against her rough palm.
The child doesn’t hesitate, stepping into the water without a backwards glance. She wades in until her head disappears under the waves, and then Oganda can watch no longer.
She runs back towards the village with all her strength, ignoring the branches and vines whipping her as she goes. As the sun sets above her head Oganda falls to her knees.
Looking up at the sky Oganda closes her eyes, and the first raindrop falls with the tears on her cheeks.