The lost village – a fictional short story

Mikaela Bradford

A full moon shone brightly in the inky sky, beginning to dip beneath the horizon. Surrounded by stars, it outshone them all. Below the fluffy white clouds, a small graveyard sat, squat and still. The air hung heavy, weighed down by the desolation of the nearby village. The haunted silence rode the quiet wind, bringing with it whispery moans and feathered cries. The sound of hooves interrupts the holy peace. Four horses appear over the horizon, each approaching from a different direction. They ride with the dawn, the rising sun illuminating the cloud of dust the horses kick up. By the time the men reach the village, the sun is high in the air, just before noon. The riders screech to a stop as they enter the destroyed crossroads. As they dismount, the riders groan. Different colored plumes sit on each head, signifying where the rider is from: Blue plumes pay respect to the ocean, standing proud upon the rider from the east. The rider wears the traditional garb, a white tunic, bleached by the sun, with a purple vest adorning his chest. His skin is a sun-kissed golden, paying tribute to his years on the sea, and combined with his blue eyes, he is the picture of Poseidon. His tunic ties between his legs to allow him to ride.  The horseman from the west wears a sandy yellow feather, representing the desert. He wears a cotton cloth with an indigo turban and a matching vest. His skin is almost black, stunning ebony that breaks when he smiles, with teeth like ivory. He pays tribute to Set, who watches over the dunes. To the north, a white ruffle sits upon the head of a large woman, honoring the majestic snowy mountains. With her brightly patterned underclothes, she seems kind though the heavy furs that frame them speak otherwise. Her face is wrinkled with age and wisdom, but her size spoke of incredible amounts of strength. And finally, to the south, the rider wears a thick band around his head, with a green plume flying high. His coconut-fiber covering contrasts with his beautiful caramel skin. His eyes, golden like the sun, seem to glow. They come together in the middle and place their hands on top of the others. Their pride is palpable. 

“I am Koykon.” The woman speaks. “I represent the mountain tribes.”

“I am Orion, and I represent the ocean tribes.” The man from the east almost growls, his words tainted with a slight accent.

“And I, Atacama, stand for the desert tribes.”

“As I, Kaa, for the jungle.”

“You all know why we are here then?” Orion breaks the silence that follows. The other three nod in agreement.  They split apart to begin the summoning. The first thing they need is a body, which wasn’t very hard to find. The second thing they need is spoils of war, for which each brought a single coin from the other regions which their people stole. Dragging the body to the village square, the men place their coins under the dead man’s tongue. Chanting, they each cut their hand and allowed a single drop of blood to fall on the man’s forehead. Finishing their chant, the men waited. Silence fell upon the ruins. No soul would dare disrupt this ritual. A wave of air rippled through the given space. Then another. And another. Wave after wave, the body began to shake. Writhing, his eyes flew to the back of his head. The four living fell to the floor, feeling their life force drain. Cries of fear and despair were left unheard as all movement stopped. The dead body became enveloped in darkness and, when it dispersed, a child was left sitting there, wrapped only in a thin black blanket. 

Upon awakening, the men expected to be blinded by the light of a glorious god. He would be dressed in shining armor, ready for bloodshed. When no light came, the men sat up. Looking around, they were stunned to find no god and no dead body. The only thing that had changed was the little girl, shivering and crying, wrapped in a tiny blanket. The woman from the north was the first to speak. 

“Tiny child, Why are you here? Ar-“. 

“We summoned a god, and all we get is a sniveling wench!” Roared the man from the west, his yellow feather waving as he cursed in his native tongue. The child recoiled, taken aback by the loudness. The other two began to moan at their loss, crying out to Zeus to save them. She looked down. When she returned her gaze to the three men, her eyes were ablaze with an icy fire.

“You summoned me. The god of war and I have answered! Be grateful I did not strike you where you stand.” She stood, and the ground shook with the rumble of her voice. The blanket fell from her thin shoulders, dropping to the floor before the corners began to waver. The child continued to cry as her back began to shake. Giant black wings erupted from her back. 

“Do you see what your war has done to me! Look upon the ruin you hate has brought down upon me!” she screamed. Large black feathers began to fall and burn as they watched. What little of the wings they could see became nothing but bone. Her flesh thinned out, and her eye sunk into her skull. Massive wounds tore down her fragile little body. The earth began to shake more violently, bringing the horrified people to their knees, their eyes alight with terror. The child fell to her knees, exhausted. 

“Ares is the god of bloodshed. I am the voice of true war. Look upon me and see.” And they did. Through her eyes, they could see the sufferings of their people. The pain they went through. The girl fell unconscious to the ground.

As the little girl was swallowed up by the darkness, the ground stopped shaking, and the fear in the emissaries subsided, and they agreed. 

Whatever it took, there would be no more suffering thrust upon that little girl.

Once Upon a Time in a “Great” City

By: Pedro Venancio

She ran rapidly to the scorching stairs of her neighborhood. As she reached the downhearted street, each minute carried the poignant weight of an eternity. It was summer, and the heat sizzled off the rocks, the narrow street was suffused with a muggy air heavy with emptiness and sorrow. Hopelessness traveled through the city’s polluted air in a vicious cycle like a widespread illness. The cacophonous sound of ambulances, machines, and industries, discreetly infected the atmosphere. Meanwhile, this quiet venom stretched through every building, surreptitiously contaminating each inhabitant. Everyone in the city felt lonely, dead inside, and the melancholy weakened their already damned souls. The depressive heatwave struck the famous city of China, Beijing, in 2072. The atmosphere reeked of spoiled air. For the first time, people roughly tried to breathe, and when they did, they tasted the acidic and bitter taste of pollution. The woman stood by a trashcan whose repugnant stench corrupted her sense of smell as she found herself at a loss for words. She looked solemn and thoughtful; something was deeply provoking her, but she could not express the pain of feebly watching as the world fell apart around her.

The lost woman, after wandering thoughtlessly, came upon a curious finding. At her feet, in a small heap of tattered bones was a dove, which she would have mistaken for a pigeon were it not for the few white feathers sticking out amongst the otherwise grey ruffled plumage. A symbol of hope, uttered a small voice in the back of her mind. Although the dove smelled like a corpse, it’s chest rose and fell with what she presumed were the shallow breaths of a being who toed the line of death. It probably used to be beautiful, full of white feathers, like soft clouds, bright as it crossed the light blue sky, spreading its wings and delivering hope to people who were neither worthy nor appreciative of it. She tried to rescue the hopeless bird; she tried to share her dry saliva to keep the bird hydrated; gave a little bit of her skin and blood to prevent the bird from dying from starvation.

The unbalanced and disoriented woman ran down the narrow street with a bundle of the bird clutched to her chest as if being chased by her own worst nightmare. Desperate to keep the dove safe, she ran until she felt like her bones were melting, and a migraine repeatedly hammered her already crammed head. All she could feel was her leaden guilt, mischievously whispering from thought-to-thought. It was all she could think was, How did I lose the war to recover Earth’s dignity and naturality? The exhaustive guilt on her unhinged mind caused the woman to lose faith in the nanoscopic fraction of humanity that wasn’t yet extinct. Just the idea that the sudden death of the implacably lustrous soil was her fault was indigestible. She began to realize that her sweat evaporated even before it touched her dirty, scarlet cheeks. 

The impotent woman questioned the dull integrity of the city, How could they even do this? How could they suddenly turn clean air into fume? I feel blinded by the thick smoke covering society’s eyes like a blizzard; I smell the hypnotizing oxygen fill my lungs as it shrinks and darkens by the second; I feel the heatwave on my skin as if the sun was getting closer and closer to the atmosphere. As the pollution increases, hurling my hope off a cliff to the bowel of misery, I feel increasingly unavailing. My death-wishing migraine becomes part of my inhumane soul as the venomous oxygen I inhale furtively possesses me. How can I live? How am I supposed to walk through this never-ending narrow street and not let my spirit escape my body forever? I wish I could have overpowered the closed-minded murderers who unregretfully ceased every piece of green left on this alienated land.

In that single minute of continuous running, pure fatigue, and death threatening migraine, she felt like her life passed before her eyes. The once-called beautiful day was now bleeding, permanently staining the Earth’s soil. At that moment, she wanted to be six feet underground; she lost all hope. So, she flashed back to the time when the city was great. Inside her head, she pictured the Green city with nostalgia, I remember when I freely walked through this same wide street, the sun was sparkling and radiant. The shimmering rays and the vivid, colorful trees were in perfect juxtaposition; the increasing shadow throughout the day danced upon each house and every nest, and protected the population from the tropical sun. The contrast between the soft rain and sharp heatwaves forced people to see the natural beauty as if drops of melted gold were falling from the sky, and when it finally touched the rough earth, it was like miraculous enchanting sparks which gave birth to the Green City. The doves quietly flew high above the sky and smoothly charmed its way through the soft clouds, surrounding the city with charm and hope. The same hope that humankind knowingly and forcibly exterminated. It used to be beautiful; people’s gaiety was contagious. If that were to happen right now, it certainly would be a miracle. I tried warning everyone that this abundant endless path for urbanization was leading to an apocalypse, and worse, it was not meant to happen; ignorant humans were unjustly treating the environment as a natural dumping ground.As the woman was at death’s door, crossing her empty heart and yielding for demise, she saw someone else in the same situation. The world was tearing apart like thin paper in water, but she could feel a glimmer of hope. The attenuated bird kept his eyes open for once; it started to move a bit as something told him to wake up. Although the poisonous air formed a fog that blinded the poor woman, she could see the big, soft, dirty, blond hair of which she guessed pertained to a tall man. She tried to hide under her despondency, but her curiosity got the best of her. She cautiously approached the lost stranger and spoke with a weak, tremored voice as if she was asphyxiated due to the unbreathable air, “Sir, are you okay?” The inanimate man did not respond. He just softly laid down on the same flaming and narrow street; closed his eyes, accepted his destiny, and sent a bullet through his skull. The transient hope disappeared in a second. The dove drew its last breath there as the sound of the gun stopped his weakened heart. The woman took a deep breath for the last time, smelled the putrid smell from the burnt trees, and, as the unfaithful, helpless man did, accepted her faith, desisting to fight this inane war. After all, it already was a lost cause. The monster lived for many years, persisted to slowly kill every human, and finally completed his mission: to reign the world. Humankind was eliminated by its own idiocy.

No Place Like Home

Carol Khorramchahi

I remember the days when I’d speculate

That school from home would simply be great.

I’d only dress up when I’d be meeting on Zoom

Then I’d just have to clean a little part of the room.

But now that it’s happened, my dream hasn’t come true

’Cuz working from home is like life at the zoo.

Oh what a dream it would be

To leave these four walls and flee

The weeks go by, the fourth, the fifth,

And normalcy’s become a myth.

I want to hug, I want to hold,

I want this deadly scourge controlled.

COVID 19 is its name

It knows no boundaries or lanes

No figure can match its fame

Like a roaring flame it engulfs all on its path

Both the poor and the rich feel its wrath

We all have a common enemy, I admit

So, lower your guns and focus on it

The only way of surviving, is by joining heads

For the hate present in the world fuels its hunger for the dead

Vintage Clothing: Understand The Hype

Fashion is always fluctuating. But what explains the industry obsession with the past? 

By Fernanda Ferreira 

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Meghan, the ex Duchess of Sussex, was at several times spotted on vintage clothing or accessories. Not only her but also the phenomenon family the Kardashians, which are known for their highly expensive outfits, are often seen on some pieces from earlier ages. Vintage clothing is indeed trending now more than it has ever before. One of the world’s greatest stylists Coco Channel once stated: “Fashion comes and goes, but style lasts forever.” Why does fashion come and go? Why is there an obsession with the past?

Vintage is a word that has a wide variety of definitions. Specifically, when it comes to fashion, it is a quite personal concept since what is considered vintage by someone born in the 70s is not that same as what a Millenium would consider. Fashion experts Scarlet Eden and Stella McClure would refer to any piece that is dated more than twenty years as vintage. Others would consider anything from the past century as vintage. The general idea can be summarized in two main traits of this type of clothes: uncommon and second-handed. Those traits touch on deeper and current issues, mainly sustainability and originality. 

The socio-environmental relevance 

Screen Shot 2020-03-04 at 7.32.57 PMAs consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of fast fashion, they are looking for a more sustainable way to shop. This is the perfect timing when thrift stores and all the vintage fashion arrives at the scene. According to ThredUp’s annual resale report, last year, 64% of women were willing to buy pre-owned pieces compared with 45% in 2016. This represents a behavioral change that begins a necessary revolution in the industry that mostly harms our planet: the fashion industry. Choosing to buy pre-owned vintage clothes is extremely relevant to the 21st-century reality and represents a total match to the growing eco-friendly mindset in the fashion field.

Unique, original and hyped: 

Vintage clothing became highly popular in the past few years more than it has ever been before. Brands such as Brandy Melville – known for its particular vintage style – or even huge fast fashions such as H&M or Forever21 are showcasing mainly pieces that are just like the ones worn decades ago. However, the classic vintage clothes, sold in old thrift stores, are pieces that actually belonged to someone else before. Those types of stores usually sell only one piece of each cloth, making it extremely original. Yet, even though vintage is now more accessible and less unique, it still represents a peculiar and authentic style. As issues such as identity, self-esteem, diversity, and ancestry are currently appearing on (mainly) women’s daily basis, being original is key. 

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Even more, there is the hot word of the moment: hype. It is a slang term that comes from the word hyperbole, and it relates an exaggerate promotion and publicity of some product or idea, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. 

Not only in the vintage field, but Fashion, in general, has felt the impact of the hype concept. So many brands are now doing “product drops”, according to Fashion United, as a sale strategy, that it has even become a culture.

In vintage fashion, the hype is more related to its strong popularization which can be attributed to social media influence and affordability. Social media directly impacts popular demand. If any It girl, for instance, Bella Hadid, is spotted on the 5th Avenue on Floss heels, the next day a thousand 17-year-old teenagers will be desperate to have it. With that, popular and affordable brands – the fast-fashion- start producing more of it, which makes other consumers start buying it, creating a cyclical process until it becomes a real trend – just as it’s happening right now. 

VINTAGE CLOTHING INFOGRAPHIC

From its aesthetic hype to its environmental importance, the vintage style popularization is changing the Fashion industry, apparently for good.

Highlights of first sábado legal of the semester!

The first EAB “Sábado Legal” occurred on August 31st, from 9 AM to 1 PM. The whole school community was involved: students of all ages, families, teachers, and staff were all invited to both enjoy and collaborate with the event. This time, Sábado Legal had as its theme “Service and Environment,” including many activities for the kids, which taught them about sustainability. There were different sale booths run by the student’s clubs and some local sellers. Moreover, there was a soccer practice from the EAB Varsity girls and JV Boys team, plus some great music!  

The EAB student-run clubs such as BCS, GIN, EGG, Medlife, HS MUN, EAB moments, Bullseye and many other students were contributing at the event whether selling drinks and food (snacks, candies, Mexican paletas, açaí) or recording the event. The Juniors, Seniors and the Cheerleading team also had their booths. The proceeds went to each club, class, or team to help on further projects. To name a few, the GIN club was funding money to Creche São Francisco;  the Cheerleading bake sale was for their competition trip, and so on. 

As for the children, many activities allowed them to enjoy and learn about service and environmental issues at the same time. Including the peace dragon drawing, gardening lessons, reusing PET bottles, paper making, and a blanket making activity for an animal shelter in Brasilia in which kids were making by themselves blankets for the pets. Of course, kids could watch the soccer practice and enjoy all the delicious types of food that students put for sale.

Last but not least, there were very talented local sellers offering a great variety of high-quality products. The sales booths were: William Queijos and Queijos Cabra Queijos (local production of cheese), Gengibre da Zazá, Do Cerrado Produtos alimentícios, and Distrito Natural (all three were foodstuffs booths),  Artesanatos Indígenas (indigenous handicrafts), Celiandra Papel e Arte (papercraft) and a honey production called Mel Abelhudo.

Although it was the first one of the semester, the “Service and Environmental” Sábado Legal was a huge success among all the EAB community. 

Photos by  Fernanda Ferreira with a collaboration of the EAB Moments team.