This isn't a fully formed story idea, but something I wanted to write down for later. Today is my birthday (and if I weren't so tired, I had a completely different post I wanted to make but now I'm just going to go watch "Repo Men" instead). For my birthday, I went up to the White Mountains and went horseback riding. There is a ranch I've been to before (Rocky Ridge Ranch) and a horse I enjoy riding (Buddy).
We were walking along in the hotter-than-expected heat and I thought some people might feel bad for Buddy, having a few hundred pounds of saddle and human on his back. It wasn't like we were going much faster than I would have on foot. We're walking after all. But back in the day, it wouldn't be just me. It'd be all my gear too. Buddy was a Beast of Burden.
And that got me thinking. Where is Burden? Who are these beasts that live there? Are there any other similarly named locations? Could you be a Beast of Obligation? or a Beast of Obsession? Or do all the beasts come from Burden and you get something like trolls in Obsession? And why are these communities so homogeneous? Is there a segregation law that prevents beasts from living somewhere besides Burden?
And what's it like to live in Burden? It doesn't sound all that fun, really. Why doesn't anyone leave? Is it because the housing market is depressed? Or are beasts low wage-earners versus neighboring communities?
And for that matter, is Punishment a penal colony? It makes sense, given its name and all. But why do they only send fat people there? Or are they taking the broader definition of gluttony where the object is non-specific and it's simply the appetite that matters. Do the Greens from Envy take issue with how broadly gluttons are defined? Or do they have a summer home in Envy but winter in Punishment?