GRAZIA’s ninth biannual print edition: Through The Hourglass
Sequence four: The Sands of Time
Photographer: Paul Morel
Model: Kristine / MMG
Creative Direction: Dané Stojanovic
Fashion Direction: Marne Schwartz & Anna Castan
Make-up: Manuel Losada
Words: Alissa Thomas
He told her it was the jinns. The demons of ancient beliefs. That she should be wary of venturing towards it. He said he wouldn’t get closer than a mile in any direction. She thanked him for his advice, for his warning, and paid him accordingly. The loose gravel was beginning to corrode beneath her comrade as she reared him towards the vacant city, so they walked slowly. Al Madam, it was called. The Ghost Town. Their perilous journey had lead them here. They would find refuge, for a night, for two, perhaps. Wild, spirited, desolate. She’d heard the stories. That the people had fled something supernatural, something unspoken, years ago. But she felt no resistance. No fear. Instead, she felt a calling. She felt a homecoming.
Before the fall, before the desert, in the time of order and complacency, the measurable moments of her days and nights were etched into an expected existence. It was all so fleeting, so repetitive, so replaceable. Fill the cup, fill the cup. She’d been a willing servant to its alien necessity, to all the modern rationale and to the logical mutation she’d been powerless against. Realism had whirred inside its relentless mouse-wheel, deflecting the foreboding, existential gravity that taunted at its sides. It was a realm she could only realise in the quiet of the deepest night. Because, by the madness of day, it retreated, nocturnal to ubiquitous daily farce.
Only five more miles now, she whispered, but her steed was weary. They paused. Trudging the sand, her boots grated as though they were searching for a pedal ignition. She placed her brow upon his coarse, flushed muzzle as he bleated and nickered toward her, flicking his mane of loitering flies. With a calming slide, she stroked his cheek. He dipped his head to caress her shoulder. She felt the well of warm tears begin to form. The days, the nights, the heat, the cold, they had navigated this expanse together. This journey had broken them. It had made them. (…)