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When that summer ended, Brazilians felt nothing but joy. Flying cars were finally here, and as nobody could afford one, they happily rented them, in the colours of their favourite brands. The flying cars drove themselves; pedestrians now had the streets to themselves. Everything was perfect. The future was now.

By next summer’s end, people were overflowing with happiness because renting flying cars gave them coupons and discounts. Supermarkets and apparel stores had been integrated with the flying-car rental system. People felt they were making money on their way to work and appointments. What else could people want?

A third summer ended. Some people started getting frustrated. Of course, there are always those who can’t be satisfied with the status quo. They complained that the flying cars were creating a bigger gap between poor people and those who could rent a vehicle. But who couldn’t rent one, if the hoverers never saw anyone walking anymore? Pedestrians complained about the plants growing on the streets below; why didn’t they just rent cars, too, those hippies?

The fourth summer was marked by vandalism. Flying cars all around the country had slogans scratched into their hoods. Some were even set on fire—and with that, the elite could not cope. “Private property (and Brazil) above all,” they screamed from their high-rise windows in the evening. The police couldn’t keep the vandals in check, so the companies replaced them with drones. Rumors spread that the companies planned to fix the health system next, which brought immense relief to the elite, who couldn’t stand bland, hospital-like hospitals anymore. Anything without ads seemed pretty boring to them.

The fifth summer came and with it revelations: not only had the companies bought all the hospitals, but also every single school in the country. Libraries were remodeled and rebuilt with appropriate, business-focused books, and the curriculum now offered a greater variety of options for pupils, to become employees or bosses depending on how much their parents spent on the flying-car rental system. The new schools reached even the hidden indigenous populations in the Amazon—maybe this would finally allow agribusiness to turn that idle forest into useful land.

Everyone got vouchers for everything, and those who didn’t soon starved or froze in the streets, which had become new forests of bushes and tall grass. Vandals and terrorists were arrested and made to snitch on their accomplices.

On the tenth summer, the anniversary of the Flying-Car Revolution as it was called, the terrorists made their final move. Hackers attacked the network which controlled the vouchers and car rentals. While the police tried to track them and the companies’ programmers tried to fix the network, the attackers dared to strike a lethal blow: servers throughout the national territory were burned down. Many insurgents didn’t make it out of the data centers, staying behind to guarantee the fires would do as much damage as possible. Drones killed many of the rioters; those caught by the police ingested poison before they could be made to talk. The police hid the numbers, embarrassed by the scale of the attack: more than twenty thousand people had rebelled that night. Over fifteen thousand didn’t come back home. There has been no news, no communication networks, no internet since then. No flying cars, no vouchers. Everything is chaos.

When the elite demanded answers from their ruling directors and CEOs, they were told to stop being disruptive, that the most affected by the attack had been the very few richest among them, the poor, poor richest.

Maybe now that the people and the elite have to walk the forest streets together again, they will understand. Maybe they will fight to govern themselves, to give power to the people instead of companies. I can’t say that has ever worked perfectly before, but now we have a chance to make it right. Even if it’s a small chance, I want to believe they will join us in the real revolution, with both feet on the ground.



Kali de los Santos is a Brazilian horror, fantasy, and science fiction writer and MA student in Creative Writing, researching Brazilian identity in speculative fiction. Contact can be made through Twitter @kalidelossantos or through the page shroudcontos.wordpress.com.
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16 May 2022

we are whispered into this new land, this old land, whispered anew
i tuck myselves under coffin nails. and then i am the sun like a nairobi fly, burning spine and skin.
The last deer in heaven flees, and Sestu pursues.
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We would like stories that are joyous, horrific, hopeful, despondent, powerful and subtle. Write something that will take our breath away, make us yell and cry. Write unapologetically in your local patois and basilects in space; make references to local events and memes to your heart’s content. Write something that makes you laugh and cry. Indulge in all the hallmarks of your heritage that you find yourself yearning for in speculative literature, but know that we will not judge you based on your authenticity as a Southeast Asian. 
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