the smuggler’s bible

Showalter

Showalter steps off the elevator and pirouettes, taking in the shadows and curling wallpaper and mounds of dust.

“I don’t think this,” he says, finishing his spin in time to see the doors slide shut, “is the lobby.”

He prods the call button a few times with his thumb.

“Doesn’t work,” someone says behind him. “Those things are there just to make people feel better.”

A trickle of sweat runs down Showalter’s back. “I thought that was crosswalks,” he says.

“Just because some of the bait is convincing—” The voice is closer now. Quieter. “—doesn’t mean it’s safe.”