turned to one of his gunmen. No call from the desk! It must be
Authority. Go quick! Get Miles and Stephan in here fast, and armor up.
Get the others ready. Tell them to play it cool. Youve got two minutes.
Adrian pulled his own gun and checked its action,
there were some medical breakthrough or in the event something
happened to him, an injury, whatever. Anyway, I always thought he
began his work with genetics in an attempt to solve the problem. She
paused. Then her voice honked. What does this have to do
moaned. Leaves whirled. Approaching all around
me was the silent motion of madness. But I could feel an unusual magic
now. The clown was here. He had arrived. There was more to the
darkness this time, the moons light, to the shadowy forms that crept
too far from your phone.
You bastard. But I cut him off. I smiled. That felt good. I had half
a mind to call him back, just to hang up on him again.
Now, the Twelve Stars Group. That was how they were listed in the
phone book. They actually had an ad in t
Ill fill you in later. Thank you, Mrs. Cotton. Im sorry to disturb you. I
listened to muffled honking noises. Ill keep you informed.
Suddenly Edwards voice came on the line. Mr. Wildclown. I must
ask you to make your calls earlier in the day. Mrs. Cotton
Really, she smirked looking me up and down. May I see your
I slapped idly at my pockets. Oh, clearance, right.
She frowned. Mr. Demarus occupies the penthouse suite. Im afraid
no one is allowed to visit any floors above seventy-five without a s
I climbed to my feet and watched it all with keen interest because as
the sky lightened the pieces had started to fall into place. I had plenty of
motive. I had suspects. I even had culprits. I had only two problems left.
I had to find someone I could tel
Adrian cannot see to it himself.
Thank you, youve been a great help. I looked across the desk at
Elmo. We were in Greys office again. I crossed another name off my
checklist. I had already looked up Victor Davis place of employment. A
concept of justice? Someone, say, in a position of authority. Oh, at this
point, Id take just about anything. An irate meter maid or school
crossing guard with a chip on his shoulder?
Mary Redding laughed, then sobered. Itll cost you another date, but,
Funny, I said. I dont think so. Just tell him I called. Ill get an
appointment. Just tell him Ill call again.
Very well, Mr. Grey. She hung up. She had sounded so curvy and
officious, I could have listened to her all dayjust smile and count the
We got back to Greys office at around midnight. I was going to give
Tommy his body back after I made a call. For the first time in a long
time, I actually wanted out. I didnt desire any more of the physical
world. I wanted the peace my intangib
Hey, hey! Willieboy spoke up, agitated. The bidding hasnt started
True. But thats what it will cost to enter the game. Adrian finished
his drink, and then motioned for one of his men to fix another. He
smiled at me, then at Cane. You gentle
I was not willing to cut them in. They no longer represent a single
Treating the dead is a multi-million dollar business! I threw in.
They wouldnt be greedy enough to shut you down. You must have
been making payoffs already. Wha
the low hum of power gather at the doors before they rumbled open. I
was not surprised by what I saw, merely satisfied. There is definitely
something gratifying about having a hunch play-out correctly. At least for
WHEN GRAVEYARDS YAWN
a detective. I
I knew of a place, where Tommy had taken me once, when I had
been nothing more than an irritated afterthought. He had approached
three tall buildings in Downings. The one in the center was ancient, and
the shortest. It was a flat-topped number with all th
his presence as I often didlurking there beneath my consciousness like
a Freudian nightmare. I tried to remember the dreams fleeting images.
Flickering lights and red motes like incandescent blood cells danced and
sparked inside my skull. I remembered a m
pool and poker tables and dartboards. A wall bearing three dark doors
ran the length of that. Various paintings, either original or copies of the
masters hung on the plain beige walls.
Sorry about your boys. I mumbled behind the towel referring to
Adrian was out of Blacktime. Standing, his corpse took the withering
blast in the abdomen. Bones and blood burst in a wide upward gash, the
body toppled back, the hole in his chest ate into his face. The heavy
caliber bullets pushed him as they tore h
smiled. A few bullets whizzed overhead and knocked out pieces of
glassbegan to eat into the mattress with harsh chuffing sounds.
Willieboy pulled his transceiver out of his pocket turned it on, then
smiled at me again. Id cover your ears if I were you.
aluminum hobo hut that had been erected beside them, opened the
bottle of whiskey, set a pack of cigarettes down and let go of Tommy. He
immediately mumbled something about Caesar, then attacked the bottle
with a vengeance. I watched apprehensively as he
flung his head back and drank from the bottle. When your day be long,
your heart be strong. He cackled like a drunken witch, then sat down
on the tiles. He fumbled around with the bottle, and slowly tried to
regain his feet. The receptionist hurr
What do you mean? His eyes flashed fire. I saw my incisor print on
his fist whiten.
Youre not in control of the situation. You faked your own death. I
tasted my drink. My lip throbbed immediately. I took another drink.
After you visitedI realized that the
Authoritythe whole thing works with loosely formed alliances, Im
told. Whoever has something to lose calls in favors, gives out favors or
threatens the right people. Oh, I have no doubt that the Twelve Stars
were working on the mystery of my disappearance
when the light hit iteven Greasetowns weak rain-swept facsimile of
sunshine. It rose one hundred stories on the North end of town where
Main Street entered New Garden. The lower floors held offices; the
upper reaches cradled expensive apartments. Its gian
Adrian smiled again. You are a savant!
And you were just lucky. That was all it took. You were there. You
shot Cotton, then you stole whatever it was that he was selling, and left
before his prospective buyers arrived. I lit a new cigarette. I think it
here to get us. Were both dead if they do. I have a way out. Join me. At
least dont stop me!
Wheres Van Reydner? I choked as his forearm slid across my
Suddenly Adrian smiled. He had managed to push my right shoulder
under the bed, pinning it. The
know. Maybe he doesnt have a choice. Whatever, he incorporates this
young woman into his project. Now, I know that Cotton had some
frozen sperm, in case he and his wife ever could have had a baby, and I
believe he used this to fertilize Julie Hawksbridges
Inspectors looked naked and uncertain without their weapons. Still, I had
to admit that neither looked scared enough. They had some wild cards.
You clusterfuck! Willieboy exclaimed by way of greeting me.
Glad you could make it, asshole! I said, but fell s
that he would cling to such a battered and run-down excuse of a body? I
caught myself, remembering the body I had borrowed. The King paddled
around his shallow pool, alligator-style. My guts jumped when he
unconsciously drank a long draught of the liquid.
He had to talk to someone in Authority. It was just his bad luck that
unscrupulous men who abuse their positions work there. I think Cotton
was trying to call someone in Authority who could help. And he got filth
like you Willieboy, and Cane. I dont know