the smuggler’s bible

Pontchartrain

Pontchartrain meets him at the scene. She walks through the rain and crosses the police tape to hand him a coffee.

“Watch your step inside.” Barraclough’s frosting tilts into a frown.

The elf is naked on the floor beside the bed. Her blood is, generally speaking, elsewhere in the room. Pontchartrain gasps.

“Interrupted during a midnight snack.” Barraclough picks up a mug from a side table and sniffs. “Eggnog,” he says, “with almond milk. Must have been a health freak.”

“Suspects?”

“Just one.” He points to a wall mirror. Smeared across the glass in red is a single word: “Krampus.”