WHEN GRAVEYARDS YAWN
The Apocalypse Trilogy
G. Wells Taylor
Copyright 2002 by G. Wells Taylor
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Second Printing: 2008
Cover Design by G. Wells Taylor
Other Titles by G. Wells Taylor
The Apocalypse Trilogy
WHEN GRAVEYARDS YAWN - A Wildclown Novel
THE FIFTH HORSEMAN
MENAGERIE - A Wildclown Novel
THE CORPSE - HARBINGER
Gene Spiral Stories
6 - PORTRAIT OF A 21ST CENTURY SNUFF FIGHTER
1 - HISTORY OF THE MOONCALF
THE LAST CAMPING TRIP
Check wildclown.com for publishing updates.
Part One: Changeling
The dead man looked at the clown and smiled. The clown was draped over a chair and desk across from him in a semi-intoxicated state of contemplative repose and was too busy studying his reflection in a hand mirror to notice the nervous gesture. The clown's small black eyes studied the image in the mirror with something like the concentrated discipline of an astronomer. They squeezed into tight whirls of flesh and pondered, peering at the silvery surface from cavernous sockets in a right then left canted head as though such contortions could help him fathom what the eyes saw. A hazy border of greasy fingerprints obscured the issue more giving the reflection a dream-like quality. The clown could easily make out the dark spiky hair that grew to his shoulder and the tip of his nose painted black. By lifting his chin he revealed a wide grin scrawled across his white-powdered cheeks, by dropping it he showed scripted eyebrows swooping up and over the tall forehead in exclamation or terror. They wrinkled, gleaming with sweat. Perhaps they posed a question.
An ill-fitting coverall hung on the big man's frame with all the sophistication of an oily tarp thrown over discarded car parts. The apparel was decorated with faded colored spots that vied equally for notice with stains of various sorts. His boots were black and heavy, better suited to combat than office work. They were crossed on the desk, and threatened to upset the telephone where it had been pushed with a pile of papers and overflowing ashtrays.
"What?" The clown drifted from his reverie. His gaze fell evenly on the corpse that sat across from him. "What?"
"We was talking," said Elmo, always reluctant to prompt his boss, "about the Change."
"Oh." The clown's eyes did an inward turn, pupils flashing for memory. He dropped the mirror in a desk drawer, slammed it. "You remember the earthquakes, Elmo!" He leaned back in his chair with an air of authority, but a thin quaver in his voice denounced it. "Airplanes fell from the sky. There were riots and civil strife! And that millennium bug..."
"True," rasped the dead man, exhibiting a rare display of assertiveness. "But could'a been coincidence, could'a been anythin'." He gingerly nibbled a yellowed fingernail. "Could'a been the ozone, or the greenhouse gases!"
"Rumors of war-nation rising up against nation! And all that cloning...oh that was bad!" The clown suddenly animate lurched forward, pounding the desk. "It's not coincidence! It's all there in the book, that Bible! John saw it didn't he? And it wasn't any hothouse effect!"
"But the Bible talked about seals and lambs and such. I ain't seen no lambs nor seals." Elmo's hands shook, almost overwhelmed by his own bravado. "I seen hardly any animals at all."
"That's where we let ourselves down. It's not going to happen like a TV show. The world won't end after the closing credits or following a commercial break." The clown swept his legs back onto the desk as he tapped his forehead with index finger. "We're going to have to think about this one, Elmo. Think about it! A lamb might not be a lamb, so to speak. Could be a man or a thing. Could be a lamb."
A stream of derisive air shot from between Fat Elmo's pursed lips. "Still ain't convinced," he hissed. "Nations is always rising up against nations. And a lamb is always a lamb where I come from! And seals, I ain't driving to the coast just to see them." He drew a curtain of silence as he crossed his arms.