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Unformatted text preview: to notice a most unique thing.
I was carrying the charred soul of a teenager when I looked gravely up at what was now a sulfuric sky. A group
of ten-year-old girls was close by. One of them called out.
Her arm extended and her finger pointed out the black, slow object, falling from above. It began as a black
feather, lilting, floating. Or a piece of ash. Then it grew larger. The same girl—a redhead with period freckles—
spoke once again, this time more emphatically. “What is that?”
“It’s a body,” another girl suggested. Black hair, pigtails, and a crooked part down the center.
“It’s another bomb!”
It was too slow to be a bomb.
With the adolescent spirit still burning lightly in my arms, I walked a few hundred meters with the rest of them.
Like the girls, I remained focused on the sky. The last thing I wanted was to look down at the stranded face of
my teenager. A pretty girl. Her whole death was now ahead of her.
Like the rest of them, I was taken aback when a voice lunged out. It was a disgruntled father, ordering his kids
inside. The redhead reacted. Her freckles lengthened into commas. “But, Papa, look.”
The man took several small steps and soon figured out what it was. “It’s the fuel,” he said.
“What do you mean?” “The fuel,” he repeated. “The tank.” He was a bald man in disrupted bedclothes. “They used up all their fuel in
that one and got rid of the empty container. Look, there’s another one over there.”
Kids being kids, they all searched frantically at that point, trying to find an empty fuel container floating to the
The first one landed with a hollow thud.
“Can we keep it, Papa?”
“No.” He was bombed and shocked, this papa, and clearly not in the mood. “We cannot keep it.”
“I’m going to ask my papa if I can have it,” said another of the girls.
Just past the rubble of Cologne, a group of kids collected empty fuel containers, dropped by their enemies. As
usual, I collected humans. I was tired. And the year wasn’t even halfway over yet. THE VISITOR
A new b...
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2014 for the course ENG 99 taught by Professor Michal during the Winter '13 term at CSU Sacramento.
- Winter '13