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Unformatted text preview: was clear.
The sirens had been held off for many hours, just in case there was another threat and to allow the smoke to
make its way into the atmosphere.
It was Bettina Steiner who noticed the small fire and the sliver of smoke farther down, close to the Amper
River. It trailed into the sky and the girl held up her finger. “Look.”
The girl might have seen it first, but it was Rudy who reacted. In his haste, he did not relinquish his grip on the
toolbox as he sprinted to the bottom of Himmel Street, took a few side roads, and entered the trees. Liesel was
next (having surrendered her books to a heavily protesting Rosa), and then a smattering of people from several
shelters along the way.
Rudy did not wait.
Liesel could only see the toolbox in certain gaps in the trees as he made his way through to the dying glow and
the misty plane. It sat smoking in the clearing by the river. The pilot had tried to land there.
Within twenty meters, Rudy stopped. Just as I arrived myself, I noticed him standing there, recovering his breath.
The limbs of trees were scattered in the dark.
There were twigs and needles littered around the plane like fire fuel. To their left, three gashes were burned into
the earth. The runaway ticktock of cooling metal sped up the minutes and seconds till they were standing there
for what felt like hours. The growing crowd was assembling behind them, their breath and sentences sticking to
“Well,” said Rudy, “should we take a look?”
He stepped through the remainder of trees to where the body of the plane was fixed to the ground. Its nose was
in the running water and the wings were left crookedly behind.
Rudy circled slowly, from the tail and around to the right.
“There’s glass,” he said. “The windshield is everywhere.”
Then he saw the body.
Rudy Steiner had never seen a face so pale.
“Don’t come, Liesel.” But Liesel came.
She could see the barely conscious face of the enemy pilot as the tall trees watched and the river ran. The plane
let out a few more cough...
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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