By Akut Francis

(Story inspired by NYARUACH’S hit song – GATLUAK)

The translucent feeling of joy inside of Galuak’s heart had made the world outside the same as the world inside. This is not new, for the heart that has been inhabited by grief of war and conflict since time immemorial. The only comfort Gatluak had felt in his heart was perhaps from the lungs hugging it in support.

Late in the night, near Malakia, Juba’s summer weather was experiencing chronic heartburn, making it soar at 42°C. Perspiration ran down the backs of the half-nude teenagers, the heat of the night showing itself on the glisten of their backs. A fire glared at them, its flames licking its chops in the hopes that an unlucky, careless foot or hand would fall in for it to relay a painful bite. Half naked women danced in a circle around the bonfire in a rolling, almost lifeless dance as if led by a puppeteer that no one could see.

But what controlled these women was no puppeteer, but a ringleader. A ringleader who danced with her subjects that went by the name of Nyaluak. Although all the women were beautiful, no one was quite as beautiful as Nyaluak. Her dazzling hair flowed like creamed black chocolate pulled by centrifugal production force to its concrete end. She must have been the masterminding charm behind Ade’s best love libretto ‘Lemonade Love’. Her eyes glowered and seduced the men that watched them as evenly as the bonfire in the middle of their dance. Men, including Gatluak watched them dance, their eyes filled with lust and want. They all wanted the women that danced for them, their beauty undeniable. Nyaluak wanted them too, she drank their lustful gazes in, and felt confidence in long strides run through her core.

Juba moon was generously full that night, out and about, seducing a bunch of nocturnals. It was yellow and large in a cloudless black night. Nyaluak made eye contact with each and every ‘well crafted man’ that watched her and stopped her dance. One by one, the other women fell in a halt next to her. She grinned, her teeth sharper than before, her eyes glowing in the night. The men took a step back, and the women took a step forward – as though sheeps were about to lock horns.


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