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Unformatted text preview: e could see the
stones at the bottom and hear the familiar song of water. The world did not deserve such a river.
She scaled the hill up to Grande Strasse. The houses were lovely and loathsome. She enjoyed the small ache in
her legs and lungs. Walk harder, she thought, and she started rising, like a monster out of the sand. She smelled
the neighborhood grass. It was fresh and sweet, green and yellow-tipped. She crossed the yard without a single
turn of the head or the slightest pause of paranoia.
Hands on the frame, scissor of the legs.
Books and pages and a happy place.
She slid a book from the shelf and sat with it on the floor.
Is she home? she wondered, but she did not care if Ilsa Hermann was slicing potatoes in the kitchen or lining up
in the post office. Or standing ghost-like over the top of her, examining what the girl was reading.
The girl simply didn’t care anymore. For a long time, she sat and saw.
She had seen her brother die with one eye open, one still in a dream. She had said goodbye to her mother and
imagined her lonely wait for a train back home to oblivion. A woman of wire had laid herself down, her scream
traveling the street, till it fell sideways like a rolling coin starved of momentum. A young man was hung by a
rope made of Stalingrad snow. She had watched a bomber pilot die in a metal case. She had seen a Jewish man
who had twice given her the most beautiful pages of her life marched to a concentration camp. And at the center
of all of it, she saw the Führer shouting his words and passing them around.
Those images were the world, and it stewed in her as she sat with the lovely books and their manicured titles. It
brewed in her as she eyed the pages full to the brims of their bellies with paragraphs and words.
You bastards, she thought.
You lovely bastards.
Don’t make me happy. Please, don’t fill me up and let me think that something good can come of any of this.
Look at my bruises. Look at this graze. Do you see the graze in...
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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