the smuggler’s bible


Gisela braces herself and gets ready to bring the sword down hard on the first thing that breaks the surface. It’s a hand, pale and delicate like a child’s. The gunwale splinters where the fingers bite in near the oarlock.

“Bastard,” Gisela says through gritted teeth. Her blade shears the fingers at the second knuckle, and they part from the hand with a hissing noise and flash of sparks. She sees something just under the surface—teeth and yellow eyes—before it vanishes.

One small splash is all the warning she gets before the second hand latches on behind her.