the smuggler’s bible


Long after the feast has ended, Lanford slips quietly out of his room and creeps down the back stairs into the kitchen. He carries a single candle with his hand cupped gently around the flame to dim the light.

A few of the lesser cooks are sleeping by the ovens. “Pssst,” Lanford says, nudging one with his foot. “Hey, get up. Is there any of, uhm, is there any of the strawberry—”

“What? The cake? Yes, loads.”

“Well, perhaps—I mean, if you don’t mind?”

The cook groans. “Of course, your majesty,” he says. “Please, allow me to fetch it.”