Once upon a time, there was a place where only real women lived. There were no men and no objects; their world had no roads, buildings, schools, books, nor computers, only the sky, the ground, and flowers. Their only possession was their imagination, and through it, they were capable of creating accurate representations of their fears and anguishes. Pastel colors reigned over this land; their wishes, fears, nightmares, and fantasies were represented with those colors. That beautiful, yet odd space remained a secret until today.
These women lived in some sort of commune in a land by a pink lake; they were about 100 inhabitants. They relished their nakedness and their hair grew with wild abandon. During the nights they gathered around a bright fire to share stories and cry together.
These stories came out from the nightmares they had during the day; they slept when the sun was shining in the sky, and woke up when the moon took the place of the sun.
The leader of this commune was called Layse Almada, a young, wise, and extremely beautiful woman. She was the one that coordinated the spiritual sessions around the fire –she was called the "fantasies' distiller"–. These sessions worked as a ritual to purge all the horrors from these women's hearts. Each would take a turn to share her bad dream, and by doing so, the nightmare would be expelled. When the story was over, the nightmares and terrible thoughts were released from their bodies and thrown into the fire.
These tormented dreams took on different shapes: two-headed cats, decapitated bodies floating in the air, and gigantic vines that would get lost in the starry skies. When these daily hallucinations came out of their bodies, they sang a painful anthem to the gods they worshiped. After this ceremony, they danced in harmony and as the beat of the music thrummed through their bodies they slowly collapsed into a mass of passion and ecstasy. In this pinnacle of pleasure their bodies were forever transformed.
These women had been touched by love in the past and before immersing themselves in these bacanal rituals they had to abandon their lives. All the threads tying them to their past were cut, they said farewell to their families, children, and partners all for the pursuit of power. In this pastel world they rule supreme.
Heartbreak spurred this transformation and after a night of tears their resolve was hardened. They would leave everything behind and face their biggest fears only to finally expel them in a heart wrenching ritual.
End of fiction
These illustrations were created by the Brazilian artist Layse Almada; take a look at her work here.
Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards