This is a contest made possible by @freewritehouse and @wakeupkitty.

Amalinze, the greatest wrestler the Land has ever known stood outside his hut, his arms folded across his chest. His gaze was fixed on the ominous grey clouds gathering in the far distance.

At the flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder, he felt his adrenaline pumping through his veins. He had faced many formidable opponents in the course of his journey as a wrestler but none was as frightening as this drought that faced his people. He was so helpless against its furious fist.

As the first drops of rain hit him, he let out a large yell of joy but just as soon, a sudden gust of wind blew across the village, dispersing the clouds and the rain. Amalinze clenched his fist in anger. It has happened again, he groaned loudly. He let his gaze sweep across the horizon once again, beholding the barren landscape as the relentless Sun turned everything to dust, a Land that was once fruitful and lush green was now a brittle brown, and a Land which produced enormous harvests and envied by the neighbouring villages, now a shadow of its former self.

It's been two years since the last rains, it's been two years since the village was blessed with the soothing touch of raindrops , it's been two years since the village had not received answers to their supplications to the goddess of fertility. They have made sacrifices, they have prayed, they have carried out many rituals, all to no avail. Even the priests of the Land have resigned themselves to fate as the godess continued to remain dumb and silent in the face of such a calamity.

Amalinze couldn't sleep that night as the weight of responsibility pressed down on him, he couldn't just sit by and watch things go so wrong. But mortals he could fight, how was he to fight the elements or even the gods of the Land? With which weapon would he fight them? He eventually felt into a troubled sleep, feeling a heavier weight than he could ever imagine.

Suddenly there was a flicker of visions through his head, a shimmering river, teeming with life and untouched by the dryness that was now a part of his life. He woke up at pre dawn, trying to understand the message behind his vision, he knew it was a message alright, a puzzle needing unraveling. Could this point to the solution they have been seeking? If the river was a solution, where could he find it? Then he remembered the 'Nsiko' trees lining the banks of the river in his vision.
"This should be the 'Nsiko River ', I'm very sure of it", he muttered to himself.
Nsiko River was famed to be the home of the gods and goddesses and the trees were very particular to that place because they emitted a very foul smell, which kept man and animals away. It was a seven days journey into the jungles and Amalinze was very sure that his answers lay in its bed, the solution to the drought would be found there.

And so he prepared to travel alone, he kept the vision to himself. He was Amalinze the great and he feared nothing, he would go to Nsiko alone, he would thread where man dreaded, he was not afraid.

Amalinze followed the echoes of his vision, through mountains and valleys, through dangerous forests with wild animals but he came well prepared and nothing could stop him. Then finally, after days of a perilous journey, he arrived at the bank of the river, it was just as he saw it in his vision, beautiful and shimmering like silver, serene, the Nsiko trees stood in elegance round about, their leaves swaying to the gentle breeze of the thick jungle. Then the smell, the very sickly odour hung heavy in the air, it became denser until it was almost choking him. He was fighting for air when suddenly the ground gave way beneath him and he stumbled down a narrow hole, landing with a painful thud on what felt like a ground. Then right there before him was a flicker of light, and then a flood of twilight, a woman appeared, unlike any he had ever seen, her purple linen swirled around her like an ethereal mist, in her eyes were a purple glint.

This must be a goddess

Amalinze overwhelmed by her presence, fell to his knees, his head bowed in reverence. When she spoke, her voice was the voice of thunder;

"What brings you here mortal? And why do you disturb the peace here?

Amalinze, still bowed, spoke of the predicament of his people, their sufferings, and their offerings and sacrifices to the goddess of their Land. He spoke of the young children and the animals suffering for what they do not really know about and how he had come in search of a solution.

"I am the goddess of your Land, the goddess of fertility. I saw in you the strength and the bravery I needed hence I gave you the visions. You are a man of honesty but a dishonest man presides as the priest in my shrine and all the elders of your Land conspired to send my own priest into exile. They installed their own, to attend to my matters? How's that possible? There will never be rain until Dinka is fetched from exile and placed in his position", her fury was evident in her voice.

"But Dinka slept with Elder Okija's wife, was caught and sent into exile ". Amalinze was now confused.

"No that's not true, Elder Okija, his wife and all the elders conspired to do this evil. I would have struck them all with Thunder in my wrath but I'm waiting for the appointed time, when I will make a waste of them", the goddess answered bitterly, the glint in her eyes now icy.

"So what do I do, goddess?

"Do you ask me Amalinze? Right the wrong, do it and you will again be blessed with abundant rain and harvest", the goddess thundered as she faded into the shadows.

A few weeks later, Amalinze stood outside his hut, watching as the dark clouds gathered in the horizon, then suddenly a large drop of rain splattered onto his cheek, followed by another and another. And then the rain picked up its pace and there was a heavy release. Amalinze fell to the ground as the thirsty floor took in gulps and gulps of rainwater, he could not believe this as he heard songs of joy from all quarters, men, women and children dancing to the clatter of the rain upon their Land once again.

Thank you for the contest.

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