There’s a trail through the low desert –where the scrub brushes still outnumber the cacti and there’s life under every shadow– but it never leads the same way twice. No one knows who made it, or how it stays made as it wanders between the sandstone cliffs, but there’s plenty of guesses and theories and legends about what waits at the far end of the path. It helps that no one’s ever come back, that way speculation has free rein on what might or might not live where the sidewalk ends.
Every so often someone heads out, with supplies and compasses and all the trappings of civilization bundled on dog sleds. Because horses don’t last a day in this desert, but the slim brown forms of the desert dogs, who trace their blood to coyotes and foxes more than shepherds or labs, are made for this. But no matter how well-stocked or well-funded, they never come back. The trail eats them all: man, dogs, sleds… or hides them just far enough out that no one has found them. Because there’s only so far folks are willing to go, before the trail catches that fatal spark of curiosity and before they can blink, they’re burning with wanting to know.