The events of The Caretaker take place in our modern day world. What you see outside or on the street or in a grocery store is the everyday world the characters inhabit.
In reality, the events of the story take place in places such as Western Oregon, Nebraska and Pennsylvania. Philadelphia and Atlantic City are prominently featured locations in this story.
While these locations exist as story settings, they have particular meaning and familiarity to both the protagonist, William, and for me personally.
Setting in “The Caretaker” is about much more than physical locations in our real world. Beneath the surface of the every day, there exists a powerful undercurrent twisting and shaping the objective reality the characters – and you – exist in. This adjacent reality is inhabited by the influence of psychological concepts. Pain, Hatred, Bliss, and Terror each have their own physical place, as well as inhabiting our own.
Dangers, power, and influence exist in every corner of our world, and that occasionally sinister world – separated by a hair’s width from objective reality – is where the story truly takes form.
As humans, we crave the familiar and predictable. As a story, knocking the reader off the familiar rail and onto an unknown path fraught with the unknown and unexpected is what makes this story resonate. Human emotion is universal – we feel love, pain, joy and sadness throughout history and space. The setting for The Caretaker is meant to explore these fundamental human traits in a world where the intensity of human emotions is cranked up to an almost incomprehensible level.
It is in these alternate realities and these alternate worlds where the true dive into human emotion takes place as part of the story. On the surface, there are locations and landmarks we know, but just past the veil of reality exists worlds of terror, wonder, and mystery.
William’s gift is the ability to navigate these alternate realities in time and space outside the tapestry of the world as we know it – at a great cost. These alternate realities may be familiar or they may be unpredictable. William has been gifted with the ability to drift between our world and others as if a cherry blossom on the wind; certain of the direction, less certain of where he will land.