"My grandmother had been a priestess of vaudun. Her Humfo had not smelled like corpses. The line between good and evil wasn't as clear cut in voodoo as in Wicca or Christianity and satanism, but it was there."
Grandmother Flores or Grandma Flores is a vaudun priestess (one of the good ones) and Anita's maternal grandmother. We have never met her in person. She is presumed to be alive as her death hasn't been mentioned, although it's unclear if Anita would learn of it happening.
Anita usually calls her grandmother 'Grandma Flores', or 'my grandmother Flores', although 'Grandmother Flores' has also occurred. Flores is presumably Anita's mother's maiden name, as the paternal grandmother is called 'Grandma Blake'.
Grandma Flores was born in Mexico but was already living in the U.S. when Anita's mother was born, and presumably still is. It's unclear at which point in Grandma Flores' life she was trained as a vaudun priestess, and we don't know anything about her daughter's potential powers or religious views beyond that she married a devout Catholic. Grandma Flores wasn't as close to Anita's family as Grandma Blake, and isn't quoted casually. The only mentions of Grandma Flores are about the time when Anita was sent to her when she was fourteen, to learn just enough control to not keep raising the dead by accident but nothing further. Grandma Flores recognized Anita as a budding necromancer and in fear for her soul told her father to cut contact with the Mexican side of the family. When Anita speaks about her grandmother without mentioning names or vaudun, she means Grandma Blake.
Grandma Flores is a Mexican vaudun priestess, not scary one like Dominga Salvador, but... interesting. When Anita started raising the dead by accident, she was sent to Grandma Flores to learn control. Like Dominga, Grandma Flores tested Anita's powers, albeit very differently, and agreed with her father that she shouldn't be taught in vaudun. Grandma Flores could tell that Anita was a necromancer, and feared she would go evil as most necromancers do. It was better for Anita's soul to stay Christian, and to stay away from the temptations of vaudun. That's why Grandma Flores only taught Anita the bare minimum to keep the accidental raisings in check, and encouraged her father to cut her off from Grandma Flores' side of the family. Anita's father brought her back home and the accidental raisings and her visit to Grandma Flores were never mentioned again, at least where Anita could hear.
Before Grandma Flores, Anita was taken to a therapist in her early teens, to deal with her latent issues with her mother's death and her dad's remarriage. The therapist didn't believe Anita was raising the dead by accident, and eventually told her father that she is evil. Afterwards her father contacted Grandma Flores to get Anita some help that at least understands her powers.
Grandma Blake opposed Grandma Flores teaching Anita to control her powers and wanted to solve the situation with praying instead. It's clarified that Anita was sent to learn control after raising her dead spaniel when she was fourteen.
Grandma Flores worried Anita would grow up to become an evil necromancer and only trained her enough to not raise the dead accidentally, after her dead childhood dog Jenny crawled into her bed when she was fourteen.
When she trained Anita to control her powers, Grandma Flores didn't know what really gives zombies back their personality if it's not their soul. Anita still hasn't found the answer.
Grandma Flores isn't mentioned at all, but we learn that her daughter was the first generation born in the U.S., so consequently Grandma Flores must have moved to the country at some point before Anita's mother was born.
↑The Laughing Corpse, chapter 05: "My mother was Mexican."
It was a charm, a gris-gris made of black feathers, bits of bone, a mummified bird's foot. I thought at first it was a chicken until I saw the thick black talons. There was a hawk or eagle out there somewhere with a peg leg.
"My grandmother on my mother's side tested me, but not with that." I pointed to the still flexing foot. It looked like one of those fake hands that you can buy at Spencer's. Now that I wasn't holding it, I could pretend it just had tiny little batteries in it somewhere. Right.
"She was vaudun?"
"Why did you not study with her?"
"I have an inborn gift for raising the dead. That doesn't dictate my religious preferences."
My grandmother had been a priestess of vaudun. Her Humfo had not smelled like corpses. The line between good and evil wasn't as clear cut in voodoo as in Wicca or Christianity and satanism, but it was there. Dominga Salvador was on the wrong side of the line. I had known that when I came. It still bothered me.
Grandmother Flores had told me that I was a necromancer. It was more than being a voodoo priestess, and less. I had a sympathy with the dead, all dead. It was hard to be vaudun and a necromancer and not be evil. Too tempting, Grandma said. She had encouraged my being Christian. Encouraged my father to cut me off from her side of the family. Encouraged it for love of me and fear for my soul.
And here I was going down the steps into the jaws of temptation. What would Grandma Flores say to that? Probably, go home. Which was good advice. The tight feeling in my stomach was saying the same thing.
My father finally took me to meet my maternal grandmother. She's not as scary as Dominga Salvador, but she's . . . interesting. Grandma Flores agreed with Dad. I should not be trained in voodoo, only in enough control to stop the . . . problems. "Just teach her to control it," Dad said.
She did. I did. Dad took me back home. It was never mentioned again. At least not in front of me. I always wondered what dear stepmother said behind closed doors. For that matter Dad wasn't pleased either. Hell, I wasn't pleased.
↑Incubus Dreams, chapter 27, Anita to Ronnie about therapists:
"I mean, my dad took me to one when I was in my early teens. The therapist tried to help me with my latent issues with my mother's death and my dad's remarriage, but he wouldn't believe that I could raise the dead by accident. He kept trying to tell me that I was doing it on purpose to get back at Judith and my father."
"You never told me that," she said.
"It was after the therapist told my dad that I was 'evil' that he contacted Grandma Flores and got some help that at least understood what I was going through."
↑Blood Noir, chapter 24: "Remember, I saw ghosts in elementary school; by my early teens I'd accidentally started raising roadkill. I raised my dead spaniel from the grave at fourteen. My dad took me to see my mother’s mother, Grandma Flores, so I could learn to control it. But Grandma Blake didn't want me to learn to control it. She was convinced that if we prayed hard enough, the evil would just go away."
↑Kiss the Dead, chapter 02: Smith shivered beside me, and Clive Perry actually took a step back from all of us. He didn't really feel anything, but I'd learned that his grandmother, like mine, had practiced as a Vaudun priestess, except his had been a bad person and mine hadn't been. It had made him skittish around me, but not have a problem with Smith.
↑Dead Ice, chapter 06: I'd seen my first ghost at age ten; by age fourteen I'd accidentally raised dead animals, including my childhood dog, Jenny. My dad had contacted my grandmother Flores and she'd trained me just enough not to have roadkill follow me home, or my dead pet crawl into bed with me. She'd worried I would grow up to become not just an animator, as in to give life, but a necromancer, which usually meant you'd gone evil.
↑Dead Ice, chapter 15: To raise a zombie, even a recently dead one, that looked as alive as the women in the videos, the animator had to be damned powerful. There weren’t many of us who had the juice to do something like this, and fewer still who could capture souls. Hell, I didn’t even know how to do that. Dominga Salvador had offered to teach me, but I’d told her I didn’t want anyone’s soul. I hadn’t then, and I didn’t now, but watching Thomas laugh and joke with everyone made me wonder, if it wasn’t his soul in there, what was it? Was it just body memory? The last flickers of personality, caught in the flesh like the traumatic events that get caught in the walls and floors of a house, so they play over and over again—not a true ghost, but the echoes of emotions so strong they leave images behind? Was that all I was seeing in the tall young “man”? I didn’t know and Manny hadn’t known either, because I’d asked him. My grandmother Flores, who taught me how to control my power, hadn’t known either. As far as I knew, no one knew the answer; maybe there wasn’t one.
↑Rafael, chapter 02: Rafael was like my parents—first generation born in this country.
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