Unformatted text preview: ng and laughing. Bathed in sunshine. Everyone
laughing but Rudy.
In the break, she was taunted. A boy named Ludwig Schmeikl came up to her with a book. “Hey, Liesel,” he
said to her, “I’m having trouble with this word. Could you read it for me?” He laughed—a ten-year-old,
smugness laughter. “You Dummkopf—you idiot.”
Clouds were filing in now, big and clumsy, and more kids were calling out to her, watching her seethe.
“Don’t listen to them,” Rudy advised.
“Easy for you to say. You’re not the stupid one.”
Nearing the end of the break, the tally of comments stood at nineteen. By the twentieth, she snapped. It was
Schmeikl, back for more. “Come on, Liesel.” He stuck the book under her nose. “Help me out, will you?”
Liesel helped him out, all right.
She stood up and took the book from him, and as he smiled over his shoulder at some other kids, she threw it
away and kicked him as hard as she could in the vicinity of the groin.
Well, as you might imagine, Ludwig Schmeikl certainly buckled, and on the way down, he was punched in the
ear. When he landed, he was set upon. When he was set upon, he was slapped and clawed and obliterated by a
girl who was utterly consumed with rage. His skin was so warm and soft. Her knuckles and fingernails were so
frighteningly tough, despite their smallness. “You Saukerl.” Her voice, too, was able to scratch him. “You
Arschloch. Can you spell Arschloch for me?”
Oh, how the clouds stumbled in and assembled stupidly in the sky.
Great obese clouds.
Dark and plump.
Bumping into each other. Apologizing. Moving on and finding room.
Children were there, quick as, well, quick as kids gravitating toward a fight. A stew of arms and legs, of shouts
and cheers grew thicker around them. They were watching Liesel Meminger give Ludwig Schmeikl the hiding
of a lifetime. “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” a girl commentated with a shriek, “she’s going to kill him!”
Liesel did not kill him.
But she came close.
In fact, probably the only thing that stopped her was the twitchingly pathetic, grinning face of Tommy Müller.
Still crowded with adrenaline, Liesel caught sight of him smiling with such absurdity that she dragged him
down and started beating him up as well. “What are you...
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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