The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

In the early part of summer in molching as liesel and

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Unformatted text preview: , and closed the door. It took Liesel a minute or so to leave. She smiled at the steps. ENTER THE STRUGGLER Now for a change of scenery. We’ve both had it too easy till now, my friend, don’t you think? How about we forget Molching for a minute or two? It will do us some good. Also, it’s important to the story. We will travel a little, to a secret storage room, and we will see what we see. A GUIDED TOUR OF SUFFERING To your left, perhaps your right, perhaps even straight ahead, you find a small black room. In it sits a Jew. He is scum. He is starving. He is afraid. Please—try not to look away. A few hundred miles northwest, in Stuttgart, far from book thieves, mayors’ wives, and Himmel Street, a man was sitting in the dark. It was the best place, they decided. It’s harder to find a Jew in the dark. He sat on his suitcase, waiting. How many days had it been now? He had eaten only the foul taste of his own hungry breath for what felt like weeks, and still, nothing. Occasionally voices wandered past and sometimes he longed for them to knuckle the door, to open it, to drag him out, into the unbearable light. For now, he could only sit on his suitcase couch, hands under his chin, his elbows burning his thighs. There was sleep, starving sleep, and the irritation of half awakeness, and the punishment of the floor. Ignore the itchy feet. Don’t scratch the soles. And don’t move too much. Just leave everything as it is, at all cost. It might be time to go soon. Light like a gun. Explosive to the eyes. It might be time to go. It might be time, so wake up. Wake up now, Goddamn it! Wake up. The door was opened and shut, and a figure was crouched over him. The hand splashed at the cold waves of his clothes and the grimy currents beneath. A voice came down, behind it. “Max,” it whispered. “Max, wake up.” His eyes did not do anything that shock normally describes. No snapping, no slapping, no jolt. Those things happen when you wake from a bad dream, not when you wake into one....
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