the smuggler’s bible


The stuff on the walls oozes down in long, syrupy tendrils, branching and rejoining, leaving damp, dark stains where the deltas spread. The substance is slightly cloudy, its origin completely mysterious.

“Haunted houses, generally, drip blood.”

“That isn’t blood,” Dixie says.

“Exactly my point.”

“I see. Produce another one, please. I do not find the current insight helpful.”

“Hmm. Are you cursed?”

“I am hardly in a position to diagnose such a matter.”

“Quite right. Perhaps there is a particular activity that—”

“When my activities become your business,” Dixie says, scowling, “I intend that you will be charged for them.”