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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Great Fictional Characters: Perdita X Dream

Continuing with the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2015

Ok, I'm cheating slightly here, but X is for Perdita X Dream, the alter-ego of Agnes Nitt.

"Inside a fat girl there is a thin girl and a lot of chocolate. Agnes's thin girl was Perdita."

Agnes has good hair: it's long and glossy, never splits, and is extremely well-behaved, except for a tendency to eat combs. Her voice is amazing, and not just for the fact that she can sing in harmony with herself. She's kind; she's funny; she's clever. She also has a lovely personality.
Artist credit

"Agnes had woken up one morning with the horrible realisation that she'd been saddled with a lovely personality. It was the lack of choice that rankled. No one had asked her, before she was born, whether she wanted a lovely personality or whether she'd prefer, say, a miserable personality but a body that could take size 9 in dresses. Instead, people would take pains to tell her that beauty was only skin deep, as if a man ever fell for an attractive pair of kidneys."

Perdita, on the other hand, is vain, selfish and vicious- and, unlike Agnes, she doesn't care two toots for what anyone else thinks. She also isn't real- at least, not in a flesh-and-blood sort of way. She's the voice in Agnes' head, the wicked thoughts she doesn't want to admit to, the urges she doesn't dare carry out.

"How does Perdita work, then?" said Nanny.
Agnes sighed. "Look, you know the part of you that wants to do all the things you don't dare do, and thinks the thoughts you don't dare think?"
Nanny's face stayed blank. Agnes floundered. "Like... maybe... rip off all your  clothes and run naked in the rain?" she hazarded.
"Oh, yes. Right," said Nanny.
"Well... I suppose Perdita is that part of me."
"Really? I've always been that part of me," said Nanny. "The important thing is to remember where you left your clothes."

Where Agnes is good-natured and sensible, Perdita is dramatic and rebellious- and mean. She makes sarcastic comments (often aimed at Agnes herself) and, occasionally, even takes over in an emergency, or where she believes Agnes is ill-equipped to handle the situation with enough style and flair. She's bold, brash and great fun, in small doses...

Do you have a Perdita? What does she tell you to do?

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