the smuggler’s bible

Young Cheops

Young Cheops practices with the batons every day until their wooden handles are smooth and worn into shapes just like his fingers and palms. Still, when they spar, his master walks right through the whirling mahogany.

“How do you do it? You’re like a goddamn cloud of smoke.”

“The serpent doesn’t trouble himself about where danger will be,” his master says. “He simply slithers where it is not.” Then he clocks Young Cheops a good one right across the mouth.

The old man sure doesn’t pull his punches. Young Cheops wonders how he might improve if he weren’t constantly concussed.