the smuggler’s bible

Pontchartrain

The alley is dim under the heavy grey clouds. The street lamps are shattered globes on top of iron poles wrapped with greasy ribbons.

“It’s going to snow later,” Pontchartrain says.

“This wind plays hell on my molasses.” Barraclough turns his collar up. “Spread out,” he calls back, waving arn arm, “cover the street on both sides.”

There’s no number on the door. Pontchartrain knocks once, then again, louder. “Do you hear that?” she says, leaning in.

From inside comes a faint thudding and small sounds of someone in pain. And with every muffled groan, the silvery rattle of bells.