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face the shadows over at the town hall. To the side of the collection of silhouettes, another one stood, a few
meters removed, and Liesel realized two things.
A FEW SMALL PIECES
1. The shadow’s identity and
2. The fact that it had seen everything
The shadow’s hands were in its coat pockets.
It had fluffy hair.
If it had a face, the expression on it would have been one of injury.
“Gottverdammt,” Liesel said, only loud enough for herself. “Goddamn it.”
“Are we ready to go?”
In the previous moments of stupendous danger, Papa had said goodbye to Wolfgang Edel and was ready to
accompany Liesel home.
“Ready,” she answered.
They began to leave the scene of the crime, and the book was well and truly burning her now. The Shoulder
Shrug had applied itself to her rib cage.
As they walked past the precarious town hall shadows, the book thief winced.
“What’s wrong?” Papa asked.
Quite a few things, however, were most definitely wrong:
Smoke was rising out of Liesel’s collar. A necklace of sweat had formed around her throat.
Beneath her shirt, a book was eating her up. PART THREE
the way home—a broken woman—a struggler—
a juggler—the attributes of summer—
an aryan shopkeeper—a snorer—two tricksters—
and revenge in the shape of mixed candy THE WAY HOME
The book penned by the Führer himself.
It was the third book of great importance to reach Liesel Meminger; only this time, she did not steal it. The
book showed up at 33 Himmel Street perhaps an hour after Liesel had drifted back to sleep from her obligatory
Some would say it was a miracle that she ever owned that book at all.
Its journey began on the way home, the night of the fire.
They were nearly halfway back to Himmel Street when Liesel could no longer take it. She bent over and
removed the smoking book, allowing it to hop sheepishly from hand to hand.
When it had cooled sufficiently, they both watched it a moment, waiting for the words.
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- Winter '13