Can’t draw, not even a straight line. Nope. Love this digital age. Sometimes I like to visual parts of the world I create, on paper, and not just in my head. It helps to know if someone is moving in a southerly or northerly direction, as it does to know the environment my characters must contend with.
In Captivity, for the location of Lord Sarratin’s compound, I used a desert environment. In Chapter One – The Expectations of an Intimate Servant, we get a glimpse of not only Orion’s past life and previous environment, but also a sense of the desert enviroment that now surrounds him, and the contrast of the two environments. His world has completely changed.
Once a savage creature of the wild, without a name, without a home. Untamed, untutored. Uncivilized.
Beautiful women had gifted him with presents so that he would breed with them. He’d had no desire for civilization or its rules. His needs had been simple. He’d nested in the thick jungle that surrounded Bendar City, slept when he wanted, ate when he was hungry, and bred when he desired. Orphaned as a babe, he’d had no name—the ones who knew of his existence called him wild thing. There was no other on the planet exactly like him.
And that had been his downfall.
Lord Adolpho Serratin, high master of the Kalamadur Oasis compound located in the middle of the deadly black desert, was now Orion’s master, with the power of life and death over his slaves, his possessions. He also held the coveted position of Planet Mediator. He was a powerful man of untold wealth, with an army to secure his province. No one escaped Kalamadur—not without death as the consequence, in one way or the other. Either they were claimed by the black desert with its hidden traps and monsters, or excruciating death at the hands of Lord Serratin if they were tracked and recovered. One was simply slower and more painful than the other.
The erotic flash fiction prequel, “Wild Thing,” can be read for free on my website.
The map. To visualize the layout of the compound, since at the time I did not own a cartography or mapping program, I used my WordPerfect program to create a sense of the basics of the compound. There were the usual questions, which also helped to draw out character personality and traits. Where would Lord Serratin house his collection of creatures? What sort of garden might he have? Thus, I arrived at this description for the desert compound, taken from Chapter Five – The Aviary.
“Come with me,” Lord Serratin said. Orion followed the master out of the private suite and into a corridor. Days before, the birdman had been escorted by Kasheesh, the Menagerie Senticle, on a tour of the general layout of the compound. The house itself seemed more like an octopus, with corridors snaking out from a center court. The glass aviary, or conservatory, was a sparkling hexagon shining at the heart of the compound, but Orion had not been allowed inside the room.
Lord Serratin’s private suite of rooms was located in the northeast quadrant of the strange building. The upper northwest quadrant was a special place reserved for Lord Serratin’s living possessions with access to outside cages for undomesticated creatures. This secured quadrant was where the master kept his priceless collections—those animals and items that were rare and considered to be his special acquisitions. It was an area that was more menagerie than residence, and where a room was already prepared and reserved for Orion. Even those prized possessions who acted as servants within the master’s household inhabited rooms in the collector’s wing.
Although Orion was assigned a room, in his capacity as intimate servant to the master, he was told he would rarely use it. Instead, a pallet was available for his use in the master’s private apartments and as long as Lord Serratin was in residence that was where he would sleep.
Orion followed the master down a corridor, curious as to where he was being taken, when his master stopped at the door of the conservatory. When Lord Serratin drew a gold key from his pocket and opened the wrought iron doors, Orion’s eyes widened with surprise as he caught his first glimpse of the impressive room. It was almost as though the house had been built around a section of the oasis itself.
Thus, this rough map helped to ground me as I began to navigate the world of the Kalamadur Oasis.
This map, of course, lays out the upper floor, not what’s below the surface. Such as the room to which Kasheesh takes Orion to receive his “reminder” of place and position within the household, as evidenced in Chapter Eight – Beneath Master’s Firm Hand.
“You’re to come with me, slave,” Kasheesh said as he attached the leash to Orion’s chest chain and roughly tugged him forward.
Orion glared at him. “Where are we going?” He tried to stand his ground, but the leash pulled the rings through his tits and unwillingly he followed the senticle out into the corridor. He was surprised when Kasheesh turned and walked past the dining rooms, heading to the back corridor that led to the kitchens contained in the separate building at the southwest corner of the compound.
“You’ll see soon enough. It’s about time Master took you in hand.” Kasheesh increased his pace and Orion was required to trot to keep up with Kasheesh’s long, quick stride rather than have the rings torn from his nipples.
Kasheesh stopped at a door in the back hallway. He pulled a heavy key ring from his belt and inserted an iron key from the assortment on the ring into the lock. The door squeaked when Kasheesh opened it.
Orion felt the first fingers of misgiving trace along his spine. He’d heard gossip from others that there was a dungeon located below ground. Could that be where Kasheesh was taking him?
“Wait,” he said, trying to halt Kasheesh’s progress toward a darkened set of descending stone steps. “Why are we going here?”
Kasheesh turned to look at him, a hard smile on his lips. “Master’s orders, spoiled boy. Time to learn your place.” He tugged on the leash and Orion had no choice but to follow him down the dangerous steps that ended in a cold, dimly lit corridor.
Torches flared along the tunnel. He heard the keys jangling at Kasheesh’s waist. A steady echo in the murky environment. They walked for about ten minutes, taking twists and turns until Orion had no idea where he was. He shivered in the clinging moist cold air. The musty smell filled his senses.
Kasheesh stopped at a thick iron door, unlocked it, and led Orion inside. Orion’s eyes widened when he saw the interior. Why had Lord Serratin wanted him brought here?
There was a table with implements laid out on it. Whips and paddles of numerous varieties. Large iron rings were embedded into the stone facade and into the stone floor. There was a barred cage at one end of the room.
“What is this place?” A tremor passed through Orion.
More about Kasheesh and envisioning characters…later.