the smuggler’s bible

Thornquist

The phlogiston lamps get dimmer as Ossian Thornquist descends. Weak flames glimmer behind frosted globes caked with soot that nobody has bothered to clean. He slides between doorways and alley-mouths, following the chittering group of men—and their prize.

The girl is unconscious, not dead. He’s sure of it this time. They’ll save her for the ceremony at the crumbling factory they call a temple. But that will take time. Precious time which they have squandered already.

Thornquist will lead with the pistol like a gentleman, but after that—oh! his mouth almost waters in anticipation of the close work.