IN THE MOUNTAINS OF FIRE
By Dolores J. Nurss
Volume VI: The Rift
I dreamed of trudging down a slushy
road as Zanne, within an aimless crowd of refugees, choked on the smoke in the
sky and the throat, of burning cities, slowly losing myself. I drew the sense of perceiving from multiple
viewpoints from several other dreams.
I also dreamed of using the box to
navigate. That box has appeared in other
dreams, as well, in different worlds, and it always has a mysterious quality to
it, more than just a simple piece of electronics. It resembles an old-fashioned portable radio
before portable radios became pocket-sized, and before they expanded again into
boom boxes. It symbolizes, I think,
I almost have a memory, something
connecting that radio to my father. I
can't quite grasp it. I think it had multiple dials, and could pick up more
than radio stations. My Dad was a
powerful telepath, by the limited measures of Earth standards, and had some
oracle-like qualities—what he called his "fey sense".
Deirdre's part opens up with pure dream,
starting with a jumble between Til's shoreline cliff and the mountains of the
Charadoc till it resolved into the latter.
The first few paragraphs, in fact, come verbatim from my dream notes—even
the dialogue, Cyran saying that e knew I didn't like the leaf, and me saying
that the problem was that I do, now. Except
I did gradually splice in new stuff with the old, such as Makhliya being the
one to beg Cyran to ground Deirdre (in the dream e just knew that e ought to,
but couldn't) and a few of the references to events of recent chapters. I did dream of Cyran reminding me that Lufti
couldn't be one of my "lieutenants", but at that time, on waking, I didn't know
why. I feared then that he might have
died, and that the dream referred to this.
And Kiril did come up to us limping, and I did ask Cyran for that second
leaf. Only years later did I dream of
Lufti going mad, explaining the cryptic reference to Lufti not really being
At the time I was exhausting myself
with a junior college workload three times the recommended maximum. Ashamed of not attending a full-college, I
wanted to expunge the brand of "underachiever" that I bore, by seeing just how
much I could learn if I pushed myself to the max. I learned that my physical and mental health
would buckle long before I reached an intellectual limit. More to the point, I learned that these also
count in determining one's potential. I
didn't use greenfire or any other stimulants; otherwise I probably would have
Although I didn't dream of Suleya's
departure, I did dream of why Sanzio D'Arco would have to believe the sincerity
of Cyran putting someone under St. Dymphna's protection, and also why Cyran
could never abuse this.
In my dreams later on the timeline
Sanzio had that scourge. So I wrote of
his plans to acquire it. More on that
Daba'oth I have dreamed elsewhere, just
the one long and vivid dream at the end (so far) but I know his nature very
well. So I have added him in as a
character, portraying the sort of person I knew in the dream's memories.
of Damien speaking to us about the dead.
But I wrote the words.