Dusk

A fictional story about female genital mutilation...It had probably been lying around the house all along, pushed about but resisting cracks and worse, breakage.

Had fulfilled his purpose, and his insides felt like cobwebs and dust but not today. Bola had been born in the late eighteen hundreds, a decade ago. She was finally going to get initiated into womanhood; as much as she looked forward to becoming a woman and being able to bring happiness to her household the way Iya did, she, in fact, had anxieties. The night after the initiating festival was held, shrill cries could be heard from the huts of the young girls who had participated in the ritual, followed by long hours of whimpering till they eventually fell asleep.

She couldn't understand why people who had danced all day, had been decorated brightly and celebrated would end the day in tears, she sometimes had nightmares about it, and whenever she told Iya, she would just wave her fear away and tell her, after that night you would become accepted as a woman in society and what more pleasure was there to anything? Bola knew her time had come; she was jittery that night as she waited for the women to assemble in her hut; the cries from the other girls in her age grade who were initiated drew closer when finally the mat that acted as her door swung open and women came in, sat around her with determined faces. Her mother comforted her and left.

As he was being washed, he felt alive again; he glistened under the moon, finally, a purpose when abruptly his lower end was bashed against the hut's wall leaving him in a jagged half. Bola wanted to run the minute she saw the broken bottle in the lead woman's hand, but almost simultaneously, she was pinned down by the other women. He wanted to feel alive again, to give life the way he once did when men swayed after some swigs from his essence in exchange for their warm, callused grips. But not anymore, not when his jagged edge was dyed red and folds of skin lay helpless on the floor, not when Bola's voice echoed louder than the girls' before her.

He hated himself, slid out the lead's hand, and shattered. Bola couldn't move, paralyzed by the pain, fear, and blood loss. The voices all took on a muffled note. She felt her eyes close slowly, she willed them to stay open, but she didn't have the strength to. Their shutters came down, never to see the sunrise again.

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