the smuggler’s bible

Erlend

Erlend sets his jaw and heads toward the wine bar, trying not to make eye contact with anyone through the street window. It’s awkward if you see each other too early. And god forbid it’s the wrong person.

Inside, he orders a glass of red and scans the crowd in his peripheral vision. There’s a soft movement of air behind him and the scent of perfume. “Smooth so far,” a voice says. “But what if I didn’t show? Did you have any fallbacks?”

He shrugs and plucks at his beat-up cardigan. “Lonely intellectual,” Erlend says, terrified but also immensely relieved.