the smuggler’s bible

Rumble

Juliet squats down and touches Rumble’s cheek. Her fingertips leave behind two small streaks of blood. He wheezes as she lifts the cannon out of his hand and sets it aside.

“I have a few broken ribs, at least,” he says. “But it might be worse than that.”

“How much worse?”

“I didn’t know if you’d make it in time.“ He taps the jack behind his left ear. “So I booted it up.”

He pulls out the small black plug and drops it on the sand. The plastic is smoking and half-melted.

“I don’t think my heart is beating anymore.”