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Unformatted text preview: more than fourteen. An apprentice. When he walked away, after a few dozen paces, a black book fell
innocuously from his coat pocket without his knowledge.
A few minutes later, Liesel’s mother started leaving with the priest. She was thanking him for his performance
of the ceremony.
The girl, however, stayed.
Her knees entered the ground. Her moment had arrived.
Still in disbelief, she started to dig. He couldn’t be dead. He couldn’t be dead. He couldn’t—
Within seconds, snow was carved into her skin.
Frozen blood was cracked across her hands. Somewhere in all the snow, she could see her broken heart, in two pieces. Each half was glowing, and beating
under all that white. She realized her mother had come back for her only when she felt the boniness of a hand
on her shoulder. She was being dragged away. A warm scream filled her throat.
A SMALL IMAGE, PERHAPS *
TWENTY METERS AWAY
When the dragging was done, the mother and
the girl stood and breathed.
There was something black and rectangular
lodged in the snow.
Only the girl saw it.
She bent down and picked it up and
held it firmly in her fingers.
The book had silver writing on it.
They held hands.
A final, soaking farewell was let go of, and they turned and left the cemetery, looking back several times.
As for me, I remained a few moments longer.
No one waved back.
Mother and daughter vacated the cemetery and made their way toward the next train to Munich.
Both were skinny and pale.
Both had sores on their lips.
Liesel noticed it in the dirty, fogged-up window of the train when they boarded just before midday. In the
written words of the book thief herself, the journey continued like everything had happened.
When the train pulled into the Bahnhof in Munich, the passengers slid out as if from a torn package. There were
people of every stature, but among them, the poor were the most easily recognized. The impoverished always
try to keep moving, as if relocating might help. They ignore the reality that a new version of the same old
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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