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Najja stared intently at her grandmother’s corpse lying numbly in a casket. Bagamba was sheddin...

Najja stared intently at her grandmother’s corpse lying numbly in a casket. Bagamba was shedding abject tears. He could barely look on. Najja walked closer to the casket and began to talk as though she was addressing her grandmother. “My knees are weary but they will not bend. My spirit is sad but not shattered. My body is weak but not defeated. I have tears in my eyes, but I refuse to be overtaken by sorrow. The enemy has laid a trap for me…a trap to beat me down and weaken me; a trap designed to crush my spirit and destroy Bitalo. Falling for such trap would spell the end for the Dambas…the good people of Bakuli. We are the custodians of our people. We did not choose that role, instead we were chosen for it. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. This is no time to bend or break…doing so would be terrible for our people. I look up with strength and courage…I will miss the smile, the guidance, the warmth and love of my wonderful grandmother who became my mother after mama passed away. I look forward to seeing her on the other side. She would not want me to lie in hopelessly bed; crying and brooding of her passing. She would want me to fight like a roaring lion, wiping our enemies like a raging fire. That is what I will do. Rest in peace grandma. I will love you till my dying day. Someday, I will stop to mourn you more deeply; for now, I will rise and fight a battle that has struck me where it hurts the most.”

Soon after Bernadette was laid to rest, Najja entered her room and tucked herself into bed. She made sure to lock the door behind herself. Bitalo knocked on her door but there was no answer. “Don’t bother her Bitalo. She is lying there, but her spirit has left on a mission,” Sanyu explained to him. “Left for where?” “They have awakened the sleeping giant. I have worked for the gods, and in the spirit world, everyone talks about the power and might of Najja. Her grandmother’s killing has stirred that part of her to life. She hears, feels and sees things you and I will never understand. Right now, she is unleashing fire on the evil ones. “Is she going to be alright?” Bitalo asked. “She will be absolutely fine,” answered Sanyu.

Like vapor rising to the skies, Najja’s spirit rose and shot into the air. Like a whirlwind, it rocketed its way to the prison where Onzia was awaiting sentencing having been found guilty of abetting kidnapping. Onzia woke up to Najja’s presence. She looked dazed. “Najja, what are you doing here?” She asked. “Sanyu meant to kill you but she had to return after my grandmother was killed. So, I am here to show you who I am…what I am truly capable of. You will not rut in this prison…you will burn in it,” Najja answered. She raised her hand and an unseen fire began to burn Onzia. She could not see the fire, but she could feel the blaze raging all over her body. “I did not mean to kill you Najja,” she pleaded, but Najja’s spirit had begun to fade. Onzia reached for her, pleading desperately for her life. “Please don’t let me die Najja. It hurts!” As soon as Najja vanished, a raging inferno began to consume Onzia’s prison cell. She shouted frantically for help, but by the time the prison security got hold of the keys, her cell exploded like a bomb. The entire cell went up in flames, with a ball of fire hitting the roof. Prison staff ran in all directions in search of water to douse the flames. Onzia’s baked body was picked up nearly an hour later after the staff managed to stop the raging fire. 

Lucy stood on the porch waiting for a taxi. Soon, a taxi driver pulled up at the taxi bay in front of her hostel. She dashed across the street and hopped in. She shouted out instructions to the driver, who sped off in the direction Lucy had instructed him. Soon, they were in front of a mansion on the outskirts of Kampala. She paid the driver, made a mad dash to the gate and pressed the bell. The gateman looked at the camera and saw her face. They were expecting her. He opened the gate and Lucy walked briskly in. Inside the house, she was faced by six men and three women in a small conference room. “We are the last surviving custodians of the Kamoga shrine, and you are supposed to be our angel of death,” said a grey-haired man who was probably in his early sixties. His voice was husky, and concern was scribbled all over his face. “We hear that Najja has fully embraced her powers. We hear she is storming across town with rage. You were supposed to kill her. What happened?” The man asked Lucy. “I can’t reach her directly. She is circled by forces that you people cannot see. I tried, but her defenses are impenetrable. If she has fully realized her powers, then I suggest we all run,” Lucy explained. “I thought that killing her beloved grandmother would crush her spirit,” she continued. 

“That was the wrong move!!!” Shouted a younger woman, who was most likely in her early fifties. “The loss of her grandmother seemed to have turned her into the fierce warrior that she is. You should have known better.” “How was I supposed to know? I was acting in the best interest of the Kamoga shrine.” “Rather than arguing about what happened, is there a chance that there could be a solution to this? Can we find an antidote that could neutralize her powers?” Asked another man. There was deafening silence in the room. No one seemed to have any answers. Lucy shook her head gravely. “We should all run for our lives,” she emphasized. “What if we kill Bitalo? Asked another woman. “That can only intensify her anger. Besides, Bitalo is heavily protected too. We should all run!!!” Lucy warned. “Run to where? This is our home? Kamogas don’t run. We have to find a way to regain spiritual control of this land!!” Another man said ebulliently. Then, there was a sound on the roof as though it was raining. It had been dry and hot seconds ago. They could see the outside through the window. They all looked around and then at one another. 

Out of nowhere, a mighty storm ripped through the window shattering the glass. The Kamogas ducked quickly under the table. “It is her,” shouted Lucy. She was under the table reaching for the exit door. As she reached the door, she invoked her own powers to protect herself. Then she sent bats with big, sharp teeth at Najja’s spirit that was entering the room through the shattered window. Najja sent a fire that fried up the bats in seconds. Like ants, they all dropped to ground, charred up and in smoke. Before Lucy could react, Najja was in front of her. She held her down with one hand and held a sword over her with another hand. “This is for my grandmother!!” She shouted as she gorged out Lucy’s eyes. The other Kamogas became fear-ridden. Lucy was their most powerful asset. They were shocked to see her manhandled like a puppet by Najja. Three of the Kamoga elders darted out of the room through the window. As they landed outside, the ground opened and swallowed them up.

Lucy shouted in pain as blood oozed out of her eyes. She clutched her right eye in pain. “You should have thought about this when you killed my grandmother, woman!!!” Najja said. She struck her again with the sword, this time in the leg. Then she stepped back and looked at the others. They were all shaking in fear. She closed her eyes and raised the sword. Smaller swords sprang out of nowhere and hit each of the Kamogas in the chest. They fell to ground and bled to death. “You will burn here on earth before you begin to burn in hell,” she said to Lucy. As her spirit left, a massive fire engulfed the entire building, burning everything in its path. Lucy died painfully in a blaze of fire. Najja appeared next at late Okwayi’s compound. No son or daughter of Okwayi or any Kamoga will leave to be a thorn in the flesh of the Dambas. This is the end!!! This is the end!!! The Kamogas shall live no more!!!” She shouted loudly. Fire dropped from above and consumed Okwayi’s compound. His surviving children and wives burned in it. One of Okwayi’s wives was not home, but she was not spared from the fire. She caught fire in the middle of the street in Kampala and began to burn. Okwayi’s children who were not around met the same fate. A raging inferno consumed every soul that was remotely related or connected to the Kamogas. 

Then, Najja woke up. A dense wave of tears straddled her eyes. “Rest in peace grandma…rest in peace,” she said. “No Kamoga shall live to trouble us again. Your death was not in vain.” “Are you okay honey?” Bitalo asked from outside. “Come in sweetheart. It is okay now…it is okay.” Bitalo dashed into the room and Najja melted into his arms. “I will love you till my dying day. These attacks will no longer trouble us. It is over now,” she said through tears. “I am here honey. Stop crying. We will be alright,” Bitalo answered. “I know we will be alright. I made sure of it,” she answered. Sanyu knocked on the door. “Can I come in lovebirds?” She asked. “Yes, we are not naked,” Najja teased. “Well, you never know with boys and girls of these days,” Sanyu responded playfully as she entered Najja’s room. “I came to pay my respect Najja. You are a true daughter of Namono and today you realized your full powers. I do not need to protect you anymore. Your powers are way above mine. I am honored to have been given the privilege to be your guardian spirit until this afternoon. Your beautiful grandma’s death was not in vain. As sad as it was, it allowed you to look within and find who you truly are, our queen,” Sanyu said. She bowed her head slightly. 

At this point, Bagamba walked in. “It is your birthday in two days sweetheart, but I don’t mind if you read your mother’s last letter today. I have been dying to hear from her. I miss her so much that her letter will serve as some form of reconnection with her,” he explained as he handed Najja an old-looking envelope. She ripped it open and began to read aloud. 

My beloved Najja,
I wonder what you would have gone through before your twentieth birthday. I can only imagine a young, confident, smart and wise girl at twenty, who has fully come into her own. I expect that by twenty, you would have fully come to understand who you are – a queen born of the Namono lineage. I mean that literally. Also, I can only imagine that you would have found yourself an equally handsome and well-raised young man. I am sure your father will not give him too much of a hard time…just a little. The day I had you, I had a vision – an angel or shall I say some spirit came to me and told me that you were special. It also revealed to me that I would not be there to raise you because a place had been prepared for me to do other things to help protect our people from some evil forces. I was also told that grandma would not be around for your twentieth birthday, but not to worry, she will be in a much better place. I have little to offer you from now on. You are a woman of your own now. The world is at your fingertips. Do not hold back. Live to the fullest, using your talents and gifts and powers to help those who are not able to help themselves. Love fiercely and loyally, be bold and brave, yet humble. Be happy each day as if it were your last. Worry not, for worry solves no problem. Forget what you cannot change and change what you can.  Never let that smile that you had when you were just one year old depart from your beautiful face. The world is tough…it can be horrible; people will let you down and others will haunt you down…but remember, you will always triumph if you give it your all...your best shot. Above all, it is still a beautiful world. Always look for the good in every situation…it may not be glaring, but if you look harder, you will find it. That is the same with people too. I love you to bits, my child!!!

Your loving mother,

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