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Unformatted text preview: Frau Steiner?” they asked when the door was opened.
“Yes, that’s right.”
“We’ve come to talk to you about something.”
The coat men stood like jacketed columns on the threshold of the Steiners’ shoe-box house.
For some reason, they’d come for the boy. The coat men wanted Rudy. PART EIGHT
dominoes and darkness—the thought of
rudy naked—punishment—a promise keeper’s
wife—a collector—the bread eaters—
a candle in the trees—a hidden sketchbook—
and the anarchist’s suit collection DOMINOES AND DARKNESS
In the words of Rudy’s youngest sisters, there were two monsters sitting in the kitchen. Their voices kneaded
methodically at the door as three of the Steiner children played dominoes on the other side. The remaining three
listened to the radio in the bedroom, oblivious. Rudy hoped this had nothing to do with what had happened at
school the previous week. It was something he had refused to tell Liesel and did not talk about at home.
A GRAY AFTERNOON,
A SMALL SCHOOL OFFICE
Three boys stood in a line. Their records
and bodies were thoroughly examined.
When the fourth game of dominoes was completed, Rudy began to stand them up in lines, creating patterns that
wound their way across the living room floor. As was his habit, he also left a few gaps, in case the rogue finger
of a sibling interfered, which it usually did.
“Can I knock them down, Rudy?”
“What about me?”
“No. We all will.”
He made three separate formations that led to the same tower of dominoes in the middle. Together, they would
watch everything that was so carefully planned collapse, and they would all smile at the beauty of destruction.
The kitchen voices were becoming louder now, each heaping itself upon the other to be heard. Different
sentences fought for attention until one person, previously silent, came between them.
“No,” she said. It was repeated. “No.” Even when the rest of them resumed their arguments, they were silenced
again by the same...
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- Winter '13