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Unformatted text preview: ve changed everything.
1. Alex Steiner wouldn’t have suffered the same punishment as Hans Hubermann.
2. Rudy would have gone away to school.
3. And just maybe, he would have lived.
The cruelty of fate, however, did not allow Rudy Steiner to enter the kitchen at the opportune moment.
He’d returned to his sisters and the dominoes.
He sat down.
Rudy Steiner wasn’t going anywhere. THE THOUGHT OF RUDY NAKED
There had been a woman.
Standing in the corner.
She had the thickest braid he’d ever seen. It roped down her back, and occasionally, when she brought it over
her shoulder, it lurked at her colossal breast like an overfed pet. In fact, everything about her was magnified.
Her lips, her legs. Her paved teeth. She had a large, direct voice. No time to waste. “Komm,” she instructed
them. “Come. Stand here.”
The doctor, by comparison, was like a balding rodent. He was small and nimble, pacing the school office with
his manic yet business-like movements and mannerisms. And he had a cold.
Out of the three boys, it was difficult to decide which was the more reluctant to take off his clothes when
ordered to do so. The first one looked from person to person, from the aging teacher to the gargantuan nurse to
the pint-sized doctor. The one in the middle looked only at his feet, and the one on the far left counted his
blessings that he was in the school office and not a dark alley. The nurse, Rudy decided, was a frightener.
“Who’s first?” she asked.
It was the supervising teacher, Herr Heckenstaller, who answered. He was more a black suit than a man. His
face was a mustache. Examining the boys, his choice came swiftly.
The unfortunate Jürgen Schwarz undid his uniform with great discomfort. He was left standing only in his shoes
and underwear. A luckless plea was marooned on his German face.
“And?” Herr Heckenstaller asked. “The shoes?”
He removed both shoes, both socks.
“Und die Unterhosen,” said the nurse. “And the underpants.”
Both Rudy and the other boy, Olaf Spiegel, had started undressing now as well, but th...
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- Winter '13