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Unformatted text preview: all was passed
through the air to one of the bigger kids, Klaus Behrig.
Luft Schutz Raum:
The boy turned with the ball just as Liesel arrived, and they collided with such force that the game stopped
automatically. As the ball rolled off, players ran in. Liesel held her grazed knee with one hand and her head
with the other. Klaus Behrig only held his right shin, grimacing and cursing. “Where is she?” he spat. “I’m
going to kill her!”
There would be no killing.
It was worse.
A kindly party member had seen the incident and jogged dutifully down to the group. “What happened here?”
“Well, she’s a maniac.” Klaus pointed at Liesel, prompting the man to help her up. His tobacco breath formed a
smoky sandhill in front of her face.
“I don’t think you’re in any state to keep playing, my girl,” he said. “Where do you live?”
“I’m fine,” she answered, “really. I can make it myself.” Just get off me, get off me!
That was when Rudy stepped in, the eternal stepper-inner. “I’ll help you home,” he said. Why couldn’t he just
mind his own business for a change?
“Really,” Liesel said. “Just keep playing, Rudy. I can make it.”
“No, no.” He wouldn’t be shifted. The stubbornness of him! “It’ll only take a minute or two.”
Again, she had to think, and again, she was able. With Rudy holding her up, she made herself drop once more to
the ground, on her back. “My papa,” she said. The sky, she noticed, was utterly blue. Not even the suggestion of
a cloud. “Could you get him, Rudy?”
“Stay there.” To his right, he called out, “Tommy, watch her, will you? Don’t let her move.”
Tommy snapped into action. “I’ll watch her, Rudy.” He stood above her, twitching and trying not to smile, as
Liesel kept an eye on the party man.
A minute later, Hans Hubermann was standing calmly above her.
A disappointed smile mingled with his lips. “I was wondering when this would happen.” He picked her up and helped her home. The game went on, and...
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- Winter '13