the smuggler’s bible


Bernt trips on a canted slab of pavement and nearly pitches over. The backpack is playing hell with his balance the way it keeps sloshing around.

A woman waiting at the corner sees him and fixes him with a cool stare.

“What?” Bernt says.

“Why are you so wet?”

“It’s hot. Big deal.”

“No, your bag is leaking. And something splashed when you fell.”

“I didn’t fall.” Bernt jabs the button for the crosswalk. “My bag isn’t leaking, it’s spilling.”

The light stubbornly remains red. Bernt’s bag quivers as something shifts inside.

“You’re sort of weird,” she says, “aren’t you?”