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GONE AGAIN (standard:drama, 1454 words)
Author: DAVID TUMUSIIMEAdded: Feb 26 2003Views/Reads: 1961/1215Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
story i have just began and really need comment on whether to continue it.


The house stands in Kampala's most exclusive suburb, far from other
houses. It stands on top of a hill. To see it to its best advantage, 

The tour guide's voice drones on. Arac is barely listening. She does not
need to. She knows this room so well. 

The tour guide is an old woman. She is dressed in a brown chequered
gomesi, black flat rubber-soled shoes. Her black dyed hair has streaks 
of sharp grey. Her attempts to look youthful make her look much older, 
a bit ridiculous, a bit sinister. 

Some things have not changed. The use of the elderly is one of them.
When she was a child, it was the same. Once they had gone in a class 
party to see how Buganda kings were buried in the Kasubi tombs. For 
weeks after they had been told they were going to see those tombs, she 
was almost delirious with anticipation. She had stocked up with film 
and cameras, picnic treats. 

All she could remember afterwards were the many tomb attendants. 

She had never before seen so many old people in one place. They were
outside in the wide, circular, dusty courtyard. They were in the first 
inner courtyard where the royal spears and drums leaned against the 
corn-yellow reed walls in silence. Beyond the gold-brown bark cloth 
curtains shielding the actual resting places of the dead kings, in the 
faint light in long corridors leading to places outsiders were never 
taken, they could been seen, bent over, hobbling like creatures from 
another world. 

Their fingers were gnarled in twisting shapes she had only ever seen in
tree roots. Their black and brown skins folded and folded into each 
other like crumpled bedsheets. Their eyes were almost always yellow. 
Their mouths curved inwards. Their voices were harsh and rasping. And 
they stared. They stared. Could these things be human? 

Somehow, it had not felt right to her that they should be there. She
could not explain then why she had felt like that. She only knew it 
made her very uneasy. Made her feel it was the dead watching the dead. 
The dead watching those to die. 

She had gladly never visited anymore of her country's historical sites.
In London, the second capital city of Uganda for Ugandans not wanted in 
Uganda; loneliness and easy access had rejuvenated her interest again. 
Although modestly. 

She was back in Uganda visiting when she learned the house was open to
the public. It had taken her three agonised days to come. But she had 
had no doubts she would go to see it again. How could she not? All her 
life had been leading to these moments when she would pass from the 
outside in again. 

The tour guide was speaking. 

“This was the dinning room. He had the room specially constructed
circular so that when those to be interrogated by him and then executed 
emerged from the cellars, they thought they were stepping onto a stage. 
The stage where he was playwright. A literal man of letters whose death 
scenes had no equal.” 

She says all this with savage relish. Her dramatics are perfectly timed.
The group of tourists huddles together away from the long oak table in 
the middle of the room as if it is still splattered with the remains of 
those murdered so long ago. They look at Arac furtively, accusingly. 

She is the only black in this group. The other five men and seven women
are Britons, Germans, Swedes. 

This is not how she remembers this room. Time and her mind have played a
trick on her. 

She remembers this room forever as if she eternally is suspended
entering it from the patio, running in to it's dark cool shade from the 
scorching sun outside on an eternally hot, bright afternoon. She's 

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