One of these days, I’ll apply myself to creating a map of the Magnificent Devices world, which as you may have deduced by now, does not look like the one we live in. One of the areas my characters travel through more than once is the Texican Territories, a vast landscape comprising what we modern folk might recognize as Texas, Oklahoma, Mexico, and the American Southwest.
Being so large and virtually unpoliced, the scope for weirdness (both of the imaginary and of the strictly human kind) is, happily, just what I’m looking for in a landscape.
My husband and I recently took a ramble in the Silver Zeppelin through the Four Corners area, and there was enough natural–stunningly beautiful–weirdness to make the creative side of my brain begin to bubble.
Lower Antelope Canyon, near Page, AZ
One enters the wonderland prosaically called Lower Antelope Canyon through a crack in the earth no more than two feet wide. What if one were evading pursuit and in desperation, slid sideways into such a crack?
Lower Antelope Canyon 2
What if one had been drugged? Or believed one had been? I became very disoriented in the canyon because there isn’t a single straight line in the place. The walls are made of stone, but they seem frozen in an undulation that–disconcertingly–still seems to move with every step.
Lower Antelope Canyon 3
Our guide, a young woman named Brianna, told us that 12 tourists had been killed in the canyon due to flash floods. Now there are escape ladders built in … but in 1894 there would not have been. Would such a flood have meant death … or delivery from it?
Ravens drinking after rain. Lower Antelope Canyon.
For there are always those who wait.