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Unformatted text preview: ieved that it must have been those prayers that
helped Papa survive the LSE’s accident in Essen. If they didn’t help, they certainly can’t have hurt. THE ACCIDENT
It was a surprisingly clear afternoon and the men were climbing into the truck. Hans Hubermann had just sat
down in his appointed seat. Reinhold Zucker was standing above him.
“Move it,” he said.
“Bitte? Excuse me?”
Zucker was hunched beneath the vehicle’s ceiling. “I said move it, Arschloch.” The greasy jungle of his fringe
fell in clumps onto his forehead. “I’m swapping seats with you.”
Hans was confused. The backseat was probably the most uncomfortable of the lot. It was the draftiest, the
“Does it matter?” Zucker was losing patience. “Maybe I want to get off first to use the shit house.”
Hans was quickly aware that the rest of the unit was already watching this pitiful struggle between two
supposed grown men. He didn’t want to lose, but he didn’t want to be petty, either. Also, they’d just finished a
tiring shift and he didn’t have the energy to go on with it. Bent-backed, he made his way forward to the vacant
seat in the middle of the truck.
“Why did you give in to that Scheisskopf ?” the man next to him asked.
Hans lit a match and offered a share of the cigarette. “The draft back there goes straight through my ears.”
The olive green truck was on its way toward the camp, maybe ten miles away. Brunnenweg was telling a joke
about a French waitress when the left front wheel was punctured and the driver lost control. The vehicle rolled
many times and the men swore as they tumbled with the air, the light, the trash, and the tobacco. Outside, the
blue sky changed from ceiling to floor as they clambered for something to hold.
When it stopped, they were all crowded onto the right-hand wall of the truck, their faces wedged against the
filthy uniform next to them. Questions of health were passed around until one of the men, Eddie Alma, started
shouting, “Get this bastard...
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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