September 25, 2012

The Serendipity of Maps

A while back, the in-house group wrapped the first season of Greasepaint, the DramaSystem series set around a traveling carnival in the dustbowl era, with supernatural doings going on at the margins. When deciding where to set the first episode, I typed “West Texas” into Google Maps and discovered that there is a town called West, Texas. This seemed like a sign and so I went with it.

When Jo-Jo the Cat Boy got arrested for a murder he didn’t commit, the group wound up stuck in West. After several episodes and a deal with the devil later, they decided to go south to the next town, which turned out to be Waco. They left that in haste, pursued by the Klan because they’d taken in a teenage girl who can move things with her mind.

This took them to Abilene, where again they decided they wanted to make tracks—this time after (falsely, as it turns out) deciding that Dixie, murderous ex-wife of the carnival magician, had set the carnival on fire and would soon be back to finish them off. Deciding to head west, they asked how far it was to the state line, and what the nearest decent-sized town on the other side of it might be.

Google Maps supplied the answer once again: Roswell, New Mexico.

The final scene of the season concluded with the carnival rushing out of town, hot on Dixie’s trail, as strange lights flashed in the sky overhead.