the smuggler’s bible


Palomides is in the scrum of the tournament melee when he sees someone he recognizes. He has an instant to register the face, then spends the next few moments contemplating the rotating horizon and the air whistling in his ears. When he crawls out of the mud, it dawns on him—this kid’s got a grudge.

He stomps back through the crowd and shouts, “Try that again. I dare you.”

It seems like maybe the kid says something back. But if he does, Palomides can’t hear it over the ringing sound of a sword beating his helmet like a gong.