the smuggler’s bible


The mall, unfolding in front of Giosetta as she enters through the sliding doors near the food court, shimmers and twists, surrounded by a halo of soft pink light reflecting off the faces of all the happy people.

“It’s beautiful,” she says.

“Just so.”

“Like one of those desert flowers that blooms at dusk once every ten or so years, for one night only.”

“Because of the colors. There is also something, perhaps, in your simile which echoes a sensual promise.”

Giosetta breathes deeply, then exhales. “It’s dying,” she says. “And unlike the flower, nobody will bother to remember it.”