the smuggler’s bible


Thick, hazy clouds of smoke pour through the transom window over the door. Pirouette can hear voices and heavy footsteps in the corridor. She wedges a chair under the handle to slow them down if the bolt doesn’t hold.

It’s four twisting flights down the fire escape, then a dash through the city’s high-walled alleys—as far as she can get before dawn. Being generous, she has fewer than ten minutes until they realize what’s happened and the chase truly begins.

It’s slapdash, Pirouette thinks, but it’s something at least. A lot of people don’t even start with a plan.