the smuggler’s bible


Artemy buys his ticket and wanders through an exhibit on ancient Babylonian clay tablet shards before (carefully nonchalant) taking a seat on a bench in front of a battered old fresco from Reims. A woman steps quickly out of the crowd and sits beside him. She’s wearing dark glasses and is bundled in a trench coat.

“You look like a spy,” Artemy says.

“What a coincidence.” She slides an envelope along the bench. “You look like a grandpa.”

“It’s camouflage.”

“Sure,” the woman says. “It just seems sorta conspicuous for a grandpa to be out here doing a secret rendezvous.”