the smuggler’s bible

George Bailey

It’s something in the ice cream. Two men go to the hospital after sneaking to the dessert table before dinner. Bailey dashes into a stairwell just ahead of the police. He’s cornered on a balcony overlooking the river.

“There are places you can’t imagine,” he says, eyes wild. “Whole other worlds where you never existed. I’ve seen them.”

Barraclough and Pontchartrain spread out, blinking through the snow.

“You have to leave your mark. Do things to make people remember you.” Bailey looks down, shivers. A church bell peals nearby. “Hear that?” he says. “Somebody got their wings. Maybe it’s me.”