End Times: The Prophet Emerges
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Carbon County, Wyoming is like a current running through Daphne's heart.
When life gets too tough to bear in Detroit, Daphne flees to her Uncle Floyd's home, where she believes she'll find solace in the silent hills of her childhood summers. But Daphne's Greyhound bus pulls over in downtown Carbon County and it's not silence that welcomes her. It's trumpets.
Daphne's desire to start again in simple country comfort is instantly dashed as the townsfolk declare that the End Times are here. And incredible occurrences soon support their belief. Daphne does all she can to keep her head down and ignore the signs. She works a job at the local oil rig, helps around the house, hangs out with her pregnant cousin Janie and gets to know Owen, a mysterious motocross racer and fellow roustabout at the rig. But soon a startling discovery shatters her resolve and calls into question all her doubts and fears.
Daphne landed in Carbon County for a reason. She only has to read the signs—and believe.
mean?” she asked. “Is it a sign?” “Whatever, no,” Doug laughed. “Stop being so superstitious. It’s just a big-ass stupid snake.” Doug was no help in situations like these. The Good Lord Jesus Christ himself could probably show up on his doorstep requesting an invitation for dinner, bloody palms and all, and Doug would call him a dirty hippie and turn him away. He was a believer in his own way, of course, but he didn’t always see the meaning in things like Janie did. She turned to her parents
Personnel Only. The flashlight jiggled in Daphne’s hand as she approached, sending the scene into a wavering underwater dance. She reached, trembling, for the edge of the tarp. Her fingertips brushed the surface, which was slick and frigid with dew, and the darkness crouched closer. Gripping the tarp firmly, she pulled the corner back, bracing herself at the plastic crackle that shattered the night’s silence. A large black spider, disturbed in its nocturnal activities, ran across the back of her
and fury, the storm of accusations a potent outlet for their misplaced, unprocessed grief. They shook and sneered, lashing at her with their eyes and words, a pack of wolves surrounding their prey. Pastor Ted took stock of the situation. He approached Daphne cautiously, like a cop about to put down a rabid dog. “I think it’s best you leave,” he said solemnly. “This is a delicate time for our congregation, and we’d appreciate it if you left us alone to take care of our own.” His eyes were the
fending off his unwanted advances. The Peytons were good people, godly people who would have taken her at her word, who would have been happy to give her a fresh start. If only the truth hadn’t stuck in her throat when they asked, gagging her with its repulsive magnitude. If only she’d trusted them enough to let them into her past. But she hadn’t, and now she was paying the price: a price that stung so bitterly it caught her with a sharp jab and she doubled over, gasping by the side of the road.
long, loud belch that echoed dankly through the night. Daphne and Owen ducked under the ropes. “Are you sure you want to do this?” Owen whispered. “We can still turn back.” Fear and need pounded through her. She knew that seeing the tablet again could reveal truths she didn’t want to see. Its meaning had been cloudy and incomprehensible the first time, the words mere echoes in her head. Back then it had spoken in riddles. But now, with the death of a firstborn, everything had changed. The