the smuggler’s bible


First of all, they check his apartment. Outside, leaves blow red and orange across the sidewalk. Someone down the street is yelling. A dog barks, stops, barks again. Kriemhild crouches in the back of a van while the formation builds around her.

There’s no car on the curb, but they are cautious. Sometimes he parks on the next block. Two men wait at the front door, three on the stairs that twist down to the alley.

“No answer. Acknowledge.”

Everything is quiet. The world inhales, waits, exhales in unison when the answer comes.

“Acknowledge. Push the lock,” Kriemhild says, sweating.