the smuggler’s bible


Disease is loose in the city, moving quickly through the dim and creeping places. The places where people land when they have fallen between the cracks. Cremuel’s master has decided that the only cure which will satisfy him is surgery. But, of course, he has always preferred the scalpel.

“Cremuel,” he says, shaking his gloves so that blood sprinkles the cobblestones, shining like oil, “I want you to follow the Burgrave.”

Aha, he thinks, already there are answers. “They have named him.”

Behind them someone swallows a groan in the darkness.

“No,” Thornquist says, “but they were able to point.”