IN THE MOUNTAINS OF FIRE
By Dolores J. Nurss
Volume 8: THE FINAL CONFLAGRATION
A RELIABLE BASE
Zanne's conversation, proud of being both a glam-girl and a badass, came from that dream mentioned before, or the gist of it did. As did the luxurious, abandoned mansion, in all its gorgeous details that Dayin's aunt was trying to fix up. Dayin himself appears in several dreams. But more of this unforgettable dream will come later.
As for Zanne's attitude, these two contradictory traits both reflected contradictory expectations from Grandma's different personalities, each strictly forbidden by the other. Elsie Florence wanted me to be a lady. Elsie May wanted me to be a tomboy. In the end all that I felt like was a failure, wondering why I could never please Grandma and why I could never seem to get her middle name straight, often angering her by my not knowing. Only well into adulthood did I finally piece together that she suffered from DID, that in fact I probably contracted it in part from trying to please different aspects of her. (There was also the kind, wise, self-educated, lyrical and inspiring Allie who, with a few exceptions, only came out late at night, and Tilda, who was a holy terror of frustrated perfectionism, obsessive housekeeping, prejudice, ignorance and rage--but even without fully understanding why, I discovered in childhood that I could bypass Tilda by communicating through written notes; I think Tilda couldn't read.) Later when Grandma died I found papers signed different ways, confirming that she really was both Elsie May and Elsie Florence, and in fact the latter was her official given name, though she more often signed herself as the former. Maybe she needed Elsie May's toughness for artsy Elsie Florence to survive.
Anyway, Zanne, as my Shadow, managed to be both glam enough to disgust Elsie May and rugged enough to appall Elsie Florence, and carry it off with an insolence that would have gotten me slapped. For this she had to suffer.
Deirdre's part I wrote mainly to position people according to who appeared where in upcoming dreams, with one rearrangement to come.