The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

Perhaps ten meters to my left the pale empty

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Unformatted text preview: ale corpse. I clearly remember that my breath was loud that day. I’m surprised the guards didn’t notice me as they walked by. The world was sagging now, under the weight of all that snow. Perhaps ten meters to my left, the pale, empty-stomached girl was standing, frost-stricken. Her mouth jittered. Her cold arms were folded. Tears were frozen to the book thief’s face. THE ECLIPSE Next is a signature black, to show the poles of my versatility, if you like. It was the darkest moment before the dawn. This time, I had come for a man of perhaps twenty-four years of age. It was a beautiful thing in some ways. The plane was still coughing. Smoke was leaking from both its lungs. When it crashed, three deep gashes were made in the earth. Its wings were now sawn-off arms. No more flapping. Not for this metallic little bird. SOME OTHER SMALL FACTS Sometimes I arrive too early. I rush, and some people cling longer to life than expected. After a small collection of minutes, the smoke exhausted itself. There was nothing left to give. A boy arrived first, with cluttered breath and what appeared to be a toolbox. With great trepidation, he approached the cockpit and watched the pilot, gauging if he was alive, at which point, he still was. The book thief arrived perhaps thirty seconds later. Years had passed, but I recognized her. She was panting. From the toolbox, the boy took out, of all things, a teddy bear. He reached in through the torn windshield and placed it on the pilot’s chest. The smiling bear sat huddled among the crowded wreckage of the man and the blood. A few minutes later, I took my chance. The time was right. I walked in, loosened his soul, and carried it gently away. All that was left was the body, the dwindling smell of smoke, and the smiling teddy bear. As the crowd arrived in full, things, of course, had changed. The horizon was beginning to charcoal. What was left of the blackness above was nothing now but a scribble, and disappearing fast. The man, in comparison, was...
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