The seven elders walked solemnly into the shrine, each bowing his head in reverence to Eguologo. No one dared spoke a word; each hoping the lot would not fall on them. They sat on their goatskin mats in a semi-circle, facing the god.

Finally, the oracle spoke.

“Elders, I salute you,” Aduloge greeted, also looking solemn and melancholic. “It is customary for a virgin to be sacrificed annually to pacify our land. This year, the lot has fallen on one of us.”

The others’ hearts throbbed agonisingly, beads of sweat trickling down their faces.

“Akuela, my daughter, has been chosen.”

[100 words]

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