A group of people are camped out in the desert under a cloudless sky. Suddenly a girl exclaims that the moon has disappeared. Minutes later a grotesque terror descends out of the night. Had it been summoned by the old Hopi Indian, running coloured sands through his hands for an intricate painting? Black for death, red for blood. “I’m going to end the world, ” he tells Youngman Duran, a cynical ex-convict who the Hopi have made deputy sheriff. Youngman understands his rage at the humiliations of his people and the desecration of their land, but he smiles and asks, “When?” ‘Today.’ The next morning the old medicine man is dead, bled to death in the centre of his painting. Every night, from then on, Death stirs on gossamer wings, with teeth sharp as knives and an insatiable appetite, a carrier of the most virulent diseases, a tide that threatens to sweep man from the American Southwest. The burden of defeating this scourge falls to Youngman who alone has understood the words of the painting, and on the obsessed scientist, Hayden Paine, whose life is eaten up by its pursuit. Cover art by George Smith.