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Unformatted text preview: awake this time, until just after ten o’clock. When Liesel took a quick rest from The Dream Carrier, she looked
over the book and Max was asleep. Nervously, she nudged him with it. He awoke.
Another three times, he fell asleep. Twice more, she woke him.
For the next four days, he woke up every morning in Liesel’s bed, then next to the fireplace, and eventually, by
mid-April, in the basement. His health had improved, the beard was gone, and small scraps of weight had
In Liesel’s inside world, there was great relief in that time. Outside, things were starting to look shaky. Late in
March, a place called Lübeck was hailed with bombs. Next in line would be Cologne, and soon enough, many
more German cities, including Munich.
Yes, the boss was at my shoulder.
“Get it done, get it done.”
The bombs were coming—and so was I. DEATH’S DIARY: COLOGNE
The fallen hours of May 30.
I’m sure Liesel Meminger was fast asleep when more than a thousand bomber planes flew toward a place
known as Köln. For me, the result was five hundred people or thereabouts. Fifty thousand others ambled
homelessly around the ghostly piles of rubble, trying to work out which way was which, and which slabs of
broken home belonged to whom.
Five hundred souls.
I carried them in my fingers, like suitcases. Or I’d throw them over my shoulder. It was only the children I
carried in my arms.
By the time I was finished, the sky was yellow, like burning newspaper. If I looked closely, I could see the
words, reporting headlines, commentating on the progress of the war and so forth. How I’d have loved to pull it
all down, to screw up the newspaper sky and toss it away. My arms ached and I couldn’t afford to burn my
fingers. There was still so much work to be done.
As you might expect, many people died instantly. Others took a while longer. There were several more places to
go, skies to meet and souls to collect, and when I came back to Cologne later on, not long after the final planes,
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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