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Unformatted text preview: No, his eyes dragged themselves open,
from darkness to dim. It was his body that reacted, shrugging upward and throwing out an arm to grip the air.
The voice calmed him now. “Sorry it’s taken so long. I think people have been watching me. And the man with
the identity card took longer than I thought, but—” There was a pause. “It’s yours now. Not great quality, but
hopefully good enough to get you there if it comes to that.” He crouched down and waved a hand at the
suitcase. In his other hand, he held something heavy and flat. “Come on—off.” Max obeyed, standing and
scratching. He could feel the tightening of his bones. “The card is in this.” It was a book. “You should put the
map in here, too, and the directions. And there’s a key—taped to the inside cover.” He clicked open the case as
quietly as he could and planted the book like a bomb. “I’ll be back in a few days.”
He left a small bag filled with bread, fat, and three small carrots. Next to it was a bottle of water. There was no
apology. “It’s the best I could do.”
Door open, door shut.
What came to him immediately then was the sound.
Everything was so desperately noisy in the dark when he was alone. Each time he moved, there was the sound
of a crease. He felt like a man in a paper suit.
Max divided the bread into three parts and set two aside. The one in his hand he immersed himself in, chewing
and gulping, forcing it down the dry corridor of his throat. The fat was cold and hard, scaling its way down,
occasionally holding on. Big swallows tore them away and sent them below.
Then the carrots.
Again, he set two aside and devoured the third. The noise was astounding. Surely, the Führer himself could
hear the sound of the orange crush in his mouth. It broke his teeth with every bite. When he drank, he was quite
positive that he was swallowing them. Next time, he advised himself, drink first.
Later, to his relief, when the echoes left him and he found the courage to check with his fingers, ea...
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- Winter '13