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Unformatted text preview: e many questions when they arrived, mainly of the “Just where in the hell have you two been?”
nature, but the anger quickly gave way to relief.
It was Barbara who pursued the answers. “Well, Rudy?”
Liesel answered for him. “He was killing the Führer, ” she said, and Rudy looked genuinely happy for a long
enough moment to please her.
“Bye, Liesel.” Several hours later, there was a noise in the living room. It stretched toward Liesel in bed. She awoke and
remained still, thinking ghosts and Papa and intruders and Max. There was the sound of opening and dragging,
and then the fuzzy silence who followed. The silence was always the greatest temptation.
She thought that thought many times, but she didn’t think it enough.
Her feet scolded the floor.
Air breathed up her pajama sleeves.
She walked through the corridor darkness in the direction of silence that had once been noisy, toward the thread
of moonlight standing in the living room. She stopped, feeling the bareness of her ankles and toes. She watched.
It took longer than she expected for her eyes to adjust, and when they did, there was no denying the fact that
Rosa Hubermann was sitting on the edge of the bed with her husband’s accordion tied to her chest. Her fingers
hovered above the keys. She did not move. She didn’t even appear to be breathing.
The sight of it propelled itself to the girl in the hallway.
A PAINTED IMAGE
Rosa with Accordion.
Moonlight on Dark.
5’1’’ × Instrument × Silence.
Liesel stayed and watched.
Many minutes dripped past. The book thief’s desire to hear a note was exhausting, and still, it would not come.
The keys were not struck. The bellows didn’t breathe. There was only the moonlight, like a long strand of hair
in the curtain, and there was Rosa.
The accordion remained strapped to her chest. When she bowed her head, it sank to her lap. Liesel watched. She
knew that for the next few days, Mama would be walking around with the imprint of an accordio...
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- Winter '13