the smuggler’s bible

Gisela

The kids are in trouble. Gisela knows as soon as she opens the door to a cringing stillness and dust settling over January cold.

She follows a trail of ash three inches wide across the kitchen floor and down the stairs through the basement to a window that looks out over the lake. A pane of glass in the corner is shattered, and Gisela can hear the waves lapping at sand.

After that, there isn’t much to decide. She digs her father’s sword out of the closet. It’s still sharp, and the blade gleams bright and warm like a torch.