Quinn, a ghost of a woman who wanders the unending desert landscape, searches for a way to save herself from the truck driving highway (wo)man tasked with ferrying her to the land of the dead. She is the victim of an unsolved murder at a roadside motel, and has spent years roaming the desert and avoiding the dangerous creatures that lurk there, often unaware of the way these seemingly separate stories entwine with her own. After a perilous journey that brings new knowledge about the dangers of the desert and what is both buried and living there, as well as awakening old memories, which prove almost equally dangerous, Quinn arrives back at the site of her death to wait for her partner, Ava.
Quinn and Ava must evade capture and true death as they weave through the path toward a simple life together, but eventually discover that they are missing a few sentences from their collective narrative, a startling realization which threatens to break them entirely as they learn the unerring truth behind Quinn’s murder and the actions surrounding it.
This debut speculative fiction desert gothic novella from career poet Monica Robinson, thematically set along Route 40 in the American Southwest, loosely retells the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice through a queer women’s lens. Ava and Quinn find themselves at odds with the strange specters that haunt the desert during a roadtrip-gone-wrong and must fight across the dangerous landscape to find one another again.