the smuggler’s bible


The crawlspace is somehow both dusty and damp. The grit sticks to Ratko’s skin in messy clumps where he’s sweating. It is powdery and fine, piled against the boards in dunes that shift and collapse as he slides past on his belly.

Something’s in the walls, the owner said, something with more heft than a termite. Old houses have their quirks, of course, but he thinks this is something unique. He’s worried about the foundation.

So he called Ratko, and Ratko came and put a knife between his teeth and slithered alone into the musty darkness to find the trail.