By Dolores J. Nurss

Volume 1I: Tests of Fire and Blood

Chapter 44




“Starlight Gardenia” first came from one of my random Photoshop abstracts that prompted me to name it that.  But then I dreamed of gardenia-scented soap soon after, like a confirmation, sold in an outdoor market.  So I added the soap into General Aliso’s scene.  Honestly, that’s the only dream link there.

I dreamed of making my way through the early morning streets with Fatima, long before I had any clue as to where we came from, only that the place burned behind us.  I didn’t know then why Fatima wore rags of chiffon, till she got a chance to change, but it all made sense later.

I wrote the dialogue questioning Deirdre’s perceptions to show that etiquette-correct Sr. Assunta’s rude commentary never happened in the audible world, but reflected Deirdre’s dyslectic telepathy breaking through by way of her drunkenness.  In my dream, though, I gave no thought as to what happened before I found myself dodging pursuers, alongside a Mountainfolk girl who traded salacious rags for modest boy-garb.  Yet whenever I caught sight of those that I thought pursued me, they turned out to be on my side. Isn’t that the way of so much that we fear in the process of growing up?

I suppose Fatima’s costume-change mirrored issues that I faced in my teens and twenties.  I had many male friends.  I didn’t want to jeopardize those friendships with romance, so I made myself  “one of the boys” as much as possible.  Thus I evaded the whole virgin/whore confusion of the female image.  But that which I strove so hard to evade—romance—would soon turn out to be my friend.

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