the smuggler’s bible

Wendy Betancourt

She sits for a long time in front of the mirror looking over her own shoulder to watch the tree limbs sway outside the window. The sun glints off small white flowers among the leaves, hurting her eyes. The day threatens to be a hot one. It promises and swears. She is exhausted just thinking about it, but she knows better than to beg. Instead she tries to imagine snow, and even that is impossible.

A car door slams. She hears Danny’s footsteps, his keys in the lock and—somehow, miraculous in a way—the icy tone of his voice.

Edgar Barton

Danny takes him to the place down a few blocks closer to main street. It doesn’t have a name, really, just grey-white neon piping that reads “EAT” but never lights up. They both ride in the back. Danny has a new driver—fresh white cuffs, dark glasses. Or maybe it’s the same guy. Hard to be sure after so long.

The coffee comes in white cups, eggs and toast afterward. They’ve still barely spoken.

“Seen Wendy?”

“You know I haven’t.”

“That’s fair. She said as much anyhow. Do you still think I’m a son of a bitch?”

“Maybe forever, Danny.”