the smuggler’s bible

Edgar Barton

He falls asleep out back wrapped in a dirty military surplus blanket. Doesn’t want to spend the night in the house. Can’t bear the thought of it.

Birdsong at first light. Later, a mower coughs and dies. Somebody’s dog barks at the paperboy. He wakes up damp with dew when a shadow falls across his face.

“Missed you at the jail, Edgar.”

“Sure.” He’d rather not talk. There’s a terrible taste in his mouth. What the hell is he supposed to say to that anyhow?

“They told me you left yesterday.”

“Sorry, Danny.”

“Goddamnit. You could’ve called. You know that.”