the smuggler’s bible

Gisela

“What is it?” A child’s voice. Furious. “What is it?”

Gisela echoes the words herself a third time. “What is it?” she murmurs.

The dark glass shimmers. Movement on the other side like grey smoke in an updraft coalesces into light and blue sky and dogwood trees in bloom. Vortigern stands in a courtyard with his arm outstretched, palm up.

“He’s told me to give you this. A special gift.”

“His gifts are poison,” the child says, batting at his hand.

An object bounces across the paving stones, flashing in the sun, and rattles to a stop at Gisela’s feet.