the smuggler’s bible


The hallway is bright white with a broad, olive stripe running down the wall at waist height. Aloise  reaches out, trails a hand lightly over the paint.

“Do you know why they design things this way?”

“Contrast, I think. Or maybe to give a sense of motion, you know.”

“The stripe is here because it’s where people touch the wall. Elbows, hips, and,” she wiggles her fingetips, “these, of course.”

“Doesn’t the stripe just encourage that?”

“The idea of a self-fulfilling prophecy is ten thousand years old,” Aloise says, “and nobody has yet managed to come up with anything better.”