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Unformatted text preview: off me!” He said it three times, fast. He was staring into Reinhold Zucker’s blinkless
THE DAMAGE, ESSEN
Six men burned by cigarettes.
Two broken hands.
Several broken fingers.
A broken leg for Hans Hubermann.
A broken neck for Reinhold
Zucker, snapped almost in line
with his earlobes.
They dragged each other out until only the corpse was left in the truck. The driver, Helmut Brohmann, was sitting on the ground, scratching his head. “The tire,” he explained, “it just
blew.” Some of the men sat with him and echoed that it wasn’t his fault. Others walked around smoking, asking
each other if they thought their injuries were bad enough to be relieved of duty. Another small group gathered at
the back of the truck and viewed the body.
Over by a tree, a thin strip of intense pain was still opening in Hans Hubermann’s leg. “It should have been
me,” he said.
“What?” the sergeant called over from the truck.
“He was sitting in my seat.”
Helmut Brohmann regained his senses and climbed back into the driver’s compartment. Sideways, he tried to
start the engine, but there was no kicking it over. Another truck was sent for, as was an ambulance. The
ambulance didn’t come.
“You know what that means, don’t you?” said Boris Schipper. They did.
When they resumed the trip back to camp, each man tried not to look down at Reinhold Zucker’s openmouthed
sneer. “I told you we should have turned him facedown,” someone mentioned. A few times, some of them
simply forgot and rested their feet on the body. Once they arrived, they all tried to avoid the task of pulling him
out. When the job was done, Hans Hubermann took a few abbreviated steps before the pain fractured in his leg
and brought him down.
An hour later, when the doctor examined him, he was told it was definitely broken. The sergeant was on hand
and stood with half a grin.
“Well, Hubermann. Looks like you’ve got away with it, doesn’t it?” He was shaking his round face, smoking,
and he provided a list of wh...
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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