READ THE TERRIBLE TWELVES VIA TAPASTIC!

READ THE TERRIBLE TWELVES VIA TAPASTIC!
A YA fantasy by Emily Devenport and Ernest Hogan

Thursday, June 13, 2013

ROCK-HUNTING THROUGH SPACE, TIME, AND MONSTER COUNTRY

We made a pit-stop at a gas station up in Payson, while looking for places where we could gather rocks legally, when I saw it: a piece of graffiti in the men's room, dated 2073. It was corrected to 2013, but . . .

Was this evidence of time travel? But then, it was next to a medical marijuana center.


Not much farther down Highway 87 we grabbed some rocks near a large, abandoned NEED WATER sign.

Later we spotted some roadside datura. I've read a number of stories where hallucinogenic drugs are used as a catalyst for time travel.

Sometimes there's science fiction scattered around. All I have to do it pick it up – like the rocks we were gathering for Em's garden – and assemble it into an workable composition.

But then, is this sci-fi, or is reality just stranger than we'd like to believe?

Soon we came to Forest Road 300, the Mogollon Rim Road Scenic Drive -- monster country. It's unpaved, and twists through a lush forest of ponderosa pines with an undergrowth that gives it a prehistoric look. Monsters could be lurking there and we would never see them from the road.


I once read an article by a reporter who thought that the Mogollon monster was a guy from his high school. I've heard Arizonans talk about how they can't deal with civilization, and just want to get away from it all. It could happen.

El Troque performed like a champ, but ATVs and one strange, unidentifiable vehicle whizzed past us.

None of this stuff is on the map,” said Em.

Terra incognita. It's still out there. And not far away. You just have to be on the look-out for it.

Finally, the road began to skirt the rim, giving us a spectacular view through an apocalyptic landscape of dead trees -- some standing, others chopped down and piled high – of miles of green, forested hills. Not what people usually think of as Arizona. Plenty of room for monsters and humans-gone-wild.


By the time we were headed back to Phoenix, El Troque was loaded down with all kinds of rocks of a fantastic variety of colors and textures. The next manifestation of the Venusian Garden will be impressive: an inspired construction of odd pieces of Arizona.

. . . with some sci-fi and weird reality thrown in, just for the hell of it.

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