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Unformatted text preview: the ground and sat on them. “We were trying to get Frau Holtzapfel.”
Rudy looked around. “Where is she?”
“At home. In the kitchen.”
In the far corner of the shelter, Michael was cramped and shivery. “I should have stayed,” he said, “I should
have stayed, I should have stayed. . . .” His voice was close to noiseless, but his eyes were louder than ever.
They beat furiously in their sockets as he squeezed his injured hand and the blood rose through the bandage.
It was Rosa who stopped him.
“Please, Michael, it’s not your fault.”
But the young man with only a few remaining fingers on his right hand was inconsolable. He crouched in
“Tell me something,” he said, “because I don’t understand. . . .” He fell back and sat against the wall. “Tell me,
Rosa, how she can sit there ready to die while I still want to live.” The blood thickened. “Why do I want to live?
I shouldn’t want to, but I do.” The young man wept uncontrollably with Rosa’s hand on his shoulder for many minutes. The rest of the people
watched. He could not make himself stop even when the basement door opened and shut and Frau Holtzapfel
entered the shelter.
Her son looked up.
Rosa stepped away.
When they came together, Michael apologized. “Mama, I’m sorry, I should have stayed with you.”
Frau Holtzapfel didn’t hear. She only sat with her son and lifted his bandaged hand. “You’re bleeding again,”
she said, and with everyone else, they sat and waited.
Liesel reached into her bag and rummaged through the books.
THE BOMBING OF MUNICH,
MARCH 9 AND 10
The night was long with bombs
and reading. Her mouth was
dry, but the book thief worked
through fifty-four pages.
The majority of children slept and didn’t hear the sirens of renewed safety. Their parents woke them or carried
them up the basement steps, into the world of darkness.
Far away, fires were burning and I had picked up just over two hundred murdered souls.
I was on my way to Molching for one more.
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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