the smuggler’s bible


Lilac opens the door to the basement stairs and heads down. The lantern’s globe pulses and grows dimmer. When she steps onto the concrete, the light looks like it’s wrapped in thick gauze.

“Did you bring us something?” the darkness says. “Some squirming morsel?”

“All we have left is pears,” Lilac says. She digs in her bag and tosses the can onto the floor. It rolls until it bumps into something she can’t see.

The darkness hisses. “Do pears squirm and writhe? Do pears … beg?”

“No,” Lilac says, turning to go. “but like I said, it’s all we got.”