Birth of Jagombaka

A slender young girl of twenty is writhing in her bed, her brow dripping more successfully than an open tap. She is ill with no known cause, and worse, no known cure. It has been two weeks, and no respite seems forthcoming. A terrible cough turned into a cold, which turned into consistent vomiting and now the fever from Hades.

Her mother is both confused and bewildered, having used up all her sanest options. With apprehension, she has finally given in to the hushed suggestion that has been nagging at her. She called the mganga, hoping with all her might that this would work. There is a knock at the door. She goes to open it, to reveal a post middle age man in an old fashioned brown suit.  It seems as old as he is, with his light dusting of coily salt and pepper hair on the edges of his crown. He follows her up the stairs, with as much energy as her feverish advances toward her daughter’s bed. As he sets eyes on his patient, he is assualted by the powerful sense that she is only partially with them. The girl whispers something barely audible.

“Music. Too loud.”

Music blares in the background. Some raspy voiced dj is attempting to entertain his inebriated audience, shouting commands to dance and cheza. His words are sometimes punctuated by a song, sometimes by his lazy attempt to sing/ rap along to the song on his turntable. The dancefloor is awash with sweaty bodies and alcohol, young girls and women gyrating their backsides for all they are worth.

One woman in particular, with skin the colour of a ripe pawpaw and hideously drawn eyebrows sits in the corner, watching the movement of the dancers around her. Her clothes are anything but warm, her small leather white dress gripping her body fiercely, and covering only that which is necessary. She takes a full bodied swig of her Smirnoff Black Ice, watching and waiting for a mark to approach her. A little dribbles on her chin, and nearly falls into the deep v neck of her dress. She throws a glance down there to make sure there is little damage to her presentation, inhaling to emphasize her semi flat chest.

Tonight is a slow night. She hasn’t had one of those in a while… It seems rather odd, considering she can feel someone’s eyes on her. The sensation took her back to her old days… when she had been working in town, in the back streets of River road, the forgotten clubs of Nairobi. She shivered. It was not a pretty story. However, that was too long ago to matter now anyway. Life had changed in five years, and it had been a beautiful whirlwind of money since it had. It was worth enduring the loud, occasionally torturous music.

The terrible style choices, no… style atrocities committed in places like this were another story. Atrocities….she wondered whether or not the things she had been hearing on the grapevine were true. Two twilight girls had been found mysteriously dead the past two weeks… Both of them in the back of clubs like this one. Their lives had just been taken… She caught herself. She was brooding. It would be best not to brood. It wasn’t good for business… she would not find a good catch if she was not hunting. Besides, she could hold her own against one attacker. Those karate classes she had started had to be worth something. Might as well move seats, find herself a position with better visibility. Even if that meant she could see the rubbish going on downstairs on the dance floor more clearly. In her opinion, this is not anywhere near dancing, rather it is the rude meeting of bodies…something akin to her trade.

The eyes moved with her. As she got up, she made a point of subtly searching the fairly large upstairs seating area. The dim light notwithstanding, she could clearly see the faces of all that her gaze fell upon. No one was watching her. And yet, no, maybe it was all in her head. It would not be the first time she was mistaken. She made her way to a rare empty seat next on a higher table than that which she had just left.

The first five minutes were uneventful. The first ten, found her accompanied by one very handsome dark skinned fellow. He smelled too good to be a simple club goer. Yet he seemed to have quite abit of influence here, as well as a disarming smile. She later found out he was the owner of the place…one of the owners, anyway. And he wanted her. Lust was in his eyes, in his manner. She got the feeling he would not take no for an answer. And so she did not refuse when he suggested they go to his office to “continue talking in private.”

He had failed to mention, however, that in his office were waiting two of his partners. Or that his office had a secret room where these kind of transactions took place. As soon as she walked in, she heard the door lock in place behind her. And then she realized what was going on. She had fallen into the paws of those damned wild dogs…. without any protection.

Her terriified screams were muted by the blaring of music all around her, in concert with the screams of another, several kilometres away. One other who felt every knife wound as it stabbed through her chest, neck and abdomen, as she was violated by a pool cue. One other who felt the agony of her head bashed repeatedly against the wall, compelled to tell the tale of a macabre scene as it happened. The only who could see and hear her suffering amidst the throng of inebriated fools around her and her murderers. A single soul that was her, and with her at the same time. As she closed her eyes for the final time, her watcher collapsed in a sweat.

The mother and mganga watched in shock and horror as the young girl began to bleed, with wounds from nowhere. The tale she had just told correlated with each wound, but made little sense. The energy she had summoned to tell it seemed to have drained her of energy as she lay there in a slump on the bed. If they had not acted quickly, she may have had the same fate as the woman in white.

 

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