Back when I was working on Arise I needed something terrible to have happened to Wilford to explain why he is the way he is. Basically, I needed a monster, something that his DHS team stumbled upon and it shredded them. I wanted it to be a native New Mexican monster but aside from Navajo Skinwalkers and La Llorona, I was pretty uninformed about most of the critters that roam the New Mexico darkness looking for flesh.
Believe me, when it gets dark in New Mexico it gets really dark.
I started digging around, looking up the myths and legends of New Mexico and came across the old story of Coco. A bogeyman was a perfect thing for Wilford’s team to run into and made for a nice backdrop to the story. I love the idea that not only do certain people know there are monsters out there, they fully understand there’s really not much guns and body armor can do against the supernatural. That kind of knowledge drove Wilford and even though he’s portrayed as kind of a bad guy, he’s really just more of a dick than anything else. It’s his understanding that he wants to save the world from the monsters but can’t effectively fight the monsters that causes the schism in his psyche. He ultimately does gain the ability to fight back and begins to see everything but people as a bad thing. He’s got a story in the upcoming Clock Man that should be out in a month or two that will serve as a setup for Henchmen 3 which will be released at some point; I’m still hammering out the plot details in my head right now.
Anyway, back to monsters of the paranormal kind. A lot of our traditional monsters evolved from Native American myths and Spanish intermingling. The tragic story of La Llorona is a classic example and so is the story of Coco, the bogeyman of northern New Mexico. I’ve covered those stories in earlier blog posts, as well as a few others, but since most of the stories are oral, it’s difficult to suss them out on the Internet. Likewise finding things at the library was difficult. Apparently the paranormal stories of New Mexico that don’t involve aliens are considered something of a niche market.
We spent this last weekend in Taos, one of New Mexico’s many art towns, hiking and generally exploring. While we were wandering around I found a book store and was pulled in by its gravitational field. I find it difficult to avoid bookstores. The one in Taos was nothing compared to the Southwest Book Trader in Durango, CO but SBT is in a class all its own. Somewhere, buried in the depths of SBT (50000+ books in a maybe 1500 sqf store), is the recipe for the Universe. I didn’t find the recipe for the Universe at the book store in Taos, but I did find this:
And it is chock full of stories of vampires, werewolves, La Llorona, bogeymen, brujas, and all sorts of things that go bump in the night.
If Wilford wants to rid the world of monsters (including Steven and Eve), he’s going to have his hands full. His solution to that problem is covered in a novelette entitled “The Hunt” that will be part of the Clock Man collection.