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their feet, she allowed herself to collapse, but only momentarily. A graze struck a match on the side of her face,
where she’d met the ground. Her pulse flipped it over, frying it on both sides.
Far down the road, she could see the blurry legs and heels of the last walking Jew.
Her face was burning and there was a dogged ache in her arms and legs—a numbness that was simultaneously
painful and exhausting.
She stood, one last time.
Waywardly, she began to walk and then run down Munich Street, to haul in the last steps of Max Vandenburg.
“Liesel, what are you doing?!”
She escaped the grip of Rudy’s words and ignored the watching people at her side. Most of them were mute.
Statues with beating hearts. Perhaps bystanders in the latter stages of a marathon. Liesel cried out again and was
not heard. Hair was in her eyes. “Please, Max!”
After perhaps thirty meters, just as a soldier turned around, the girl was felled. Hands were clamped upon her
from behind and the boy next door brought her down. He forced her knees to the road and suffered the penalty.
He collected her punches as if they were presents. Her bony hands and elbows were accepted with nothing but a
few short moans. He accumulated the loud, clumsy specks of saliva and tears as if they were lovely to his face,
and more important, he was able to hold her down.
On Munich Street, a boy and girl were entwined. They were twisted and comfortless on the road.
Together, they watched the humans disappear. They watched them dissolve, like moving tablets in the humid
When the Jews were gone, Rudy and Liesel untangled and the book thief did not speak. There were no answers
to Rudy’s questions.
Liesel did not go home, either. She walked forlornly to the train station and waited for her papa for hours. Rudy
stood with her for the first twenty minutes, but since it was a good half day till Hans was due home, he fetched
Rosa. On the way back, he told her what had happened, and when Rosa arrived, she asked not...
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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