the smuggler’s bible


Quingenti opens his eyes. He’s lying on a couch, staring at the ceiling. He considers that briefly before being distracted by the notion that somebody said his name. What a dumb idea, he thinks.

Well, better at least have a look. He sits up. It takes character and grit. It takes determination. Waiting at the end of the climb is a glare that threatens to knock him over again. He blinks and swears off wild hunches forever.

“Great start,” somebody says from the doorway.

“Thanks, but what now?”

“It’s brave of you,” they say, “to lead with the tough question.”