This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: k and forth, ever so gently. “Liesel,” she whispered, “come here.”
She held the girl from behind, tightening her grip. She sang a song, but it was so quiet that Liesel could not make it out. The notes were born on her breath, and they died at her lips. Next to them, Papa remained quiet and
motionless. At one point, he placed his warm hand on Liesel’s cool skull. You’ll live, it said, and it was right.
To their left, Alex and Barbara Steiner stood with the younger of their children, Emma and Bettina. The two
girls were attached to their mother’s right leg. The oldest boy, Kurt, stared ahead in a perfect Hitler Youth
stance, holding the hand of Karin, who was tiny, even for her seven years. The ten-year-old, Anna-Marie,
played with the pulpy surface of the cement wall.
On the other side of the Steiners were Pfiffikus and the Jenson family.
Pfiffikus kept himself from whistling.
The bearded Mr. Jenson held his wife tightly, and their two kids drifted in and out of silence. Occasionally they
pestered each other, but they held back when it came to the beginning of true argument.
After ten minutes or so, what was most prominent in the cellar was a kind of nonmovement. Their bodies were
welded together and only their feet changed position or pressure. Stillness was shackled to their faces. They
watched each other and waited.
DUDEN DICTIONARY MEANING #3
An unpleasant, often strong
emotion caused by anticipation
or awareness of danger.
Related words: terror, horror,
panic, fright, alarm.
From other shelters, there were stories of singing “Deutschland über Alles” or of people arguing amid the
staleness of their own breath. No such things happened in the Fiedler shelter. In that place, there was only fear
and apprehension, and the dead song at Rosa Hubermann’s cardboard lips.
Not long before the sirens signaled the end, Alex Steiner—the man with the immovable, wooden face—coaxed
the kids from his wife’s legs. He was able to reach out and grapple for his son’s free hand. K...
View Full Document
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