At the same time I was thinking about the black chicken, I was looking, as I often do, at a copy of this map of Kekionga which I have taped to wall in the studio. I really like this map, and I think it reflects story reality as it stands. No major changes have been made since this version was finished more than a year ago, although I have a copy with enough notes on it that I should probably make new “final”. But the major issues are clear: it’s a long way from campus where Iowa and the Professor explore arcane secrets in the basement of the Noakes Library, to the junkyard where Bud renders assistance to distressed strangers and helps train an unexpected apprentice. There are ways to get from here to there: the University shuttle runs between town and the campus during the day and into the evening, and a Kekionga town bus will take you past the junkyard if you’re patient. Iowa has a car, a little MGB, and of course Jack and Bud have access to assorted cars and trucks in various states of repair. The Professor can run through the Woods in his Moondog form, and anyone can walk if they’ve got the time; it’s probably only 5 or 6 miles.
But still, when you’re in the middle of an exciting story, it might make things even more exciting if characters could move between the two main settings a little more quickly. Not all the time, maybe not reliably, maybe not at no cost, but hey, Kekionga is a mysterious place in general, and these two places are extra mysterious. Maybe it’s not pushing logic that they should be connected in a mysterious way that is also convenient to the narrative.
Maybe the black chicken gave me the next idea.