the smuggler’s bible


They shut the city gates at sunset and drop the heavy beam across the posts. Then it’s patrol time.

Valli watches from her room over the inn’s courtyard. The lamp is shuttered so that she doesn’t cast a shadow against the leaded window.

She pulls the catch soundlessly once the guards have dispersed. A short hop and three careful steps on the sloping tiles. She pauses to listen, turns north and moves toward the merchant quarter.

It’s foolish, Valli knows. The guards have crossbows. They’ll shoot her like a pigeon if she’s spotted. But anyway, a bet is a bet.