the smuggler’s bible


Hoyt leaves the door open when he goes for the last time so that the gauzy night air will be drawn in to feed the flames. There aren’t any sirens—not yet—just crackling wood and the sound of the wind moving the gate hinge.

“Hey,” somebody says, “your, uh, stuff is on fire.”

“Oh yeah?” He looks over his shoulder. The glow is striking through the front windows, the whole house shines like a jewel against velvet. “No, you’re mistaken,” Hoyt says, finally, “that isn’t mine. Tell them they can keep it.”

“Tell whom?”

“Anybody who can stand it.”