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Unformatted text preview: ch on death’s face when he came
Remember the snowman, Max?
In the basement?
Remember the white cloud with the gray heart?
The Führer still comes down looking for you sometimes. He misses you. We all miss you.
The whip. The whip.
The whip continued from the soldier’s hand. It landed on Max’s face. It clipped his chin and carved his throat.
Max hit the ground and the soldier now turned to the girl. His mouth opened. He had immaculate teeth.
A sudden flash came before her eyes. She recalled the day she’d wanted Ilsa Hermann or at least the reliable
Rosa to slap her, but neither of them would do it. On this occasion, she was not let down.
The whip sliced her collarbone and reached across her shoulder blade.
She knew that person.
As the soldier swung his arm, she caught sight of a distressed Rudy Steiner in the gaps of the crowd. He was
calling out. She could see his tortured face and yellow hair. “Liesel, get out of there!”
The book thief did not get out.
She closed her eyes and caught the next burning streak, and another, till her body hit the warm flooring of the
road. It heated her cheek. More words arrived, this time from the soldier.
The economical sentence was directed not to the girl but the Jew. It was elaborated on. “Get up, you dirty
asshole, you Jewish whore-dog, get up, get up. . . .”
Max hoisted himself upright.
Just another push-up, Max.
Just another push-up on the cold basement floor.
His feet moved.
They dragged and he traveled on.
His legs staggered and his hands wiped at the marks of the whip, to soothe the stinging. When he tried to look
again for Liesel, the soldier’s hands were placed upon his bloodied shoulders and pushed.
The boy arrived. His lanky legs crouched and he called over, to his left.
“Tommy, get out here and help me. We have to get her up. Tommy, hurry!” He lifted the book thief by her
armpits. “Liesel, come on, you have to get off the road.”
When she was able to stand, she looked at the shocked, frozen-faced Germans, fresh out of their packets....
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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