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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Annexed - Plot & Excerpts

Two loud bangs, and my heart jumps. I wait for the sound of them again, but they don't come. I take off my shoes and run down the secret stairway. All the way down. Silently. The warehouse door is closed but a huge panel is broken off, the air's rushing through.
I run back up and ask Mr. Frank to help me with my homework. I can see Anne knows I'm lying, but I hope she won't say anything to Mutti. We pick up tools (well Father and I do, but Mr. Frank refuses again) and run down to the warehouse.
"Police!" shouts Papi and we hear footsteps running away down the street. In the dark we pick up the board and begin to replace it. It's impossible to do without making a noise. We try not to think of the centimeters between us and the outside, or about the sound of hammering so loud in the night.
"That'll do!" whispers Mr. Frank. We all take a deep breath and listen; unable to believe it's over. I breathe out, turn away. There's a loud, tearing noise and the board comes flying off the door. I turn back, a boot is sticking through the door, a big black boot, pushing itself into the warehouse, into the quiet and dark and safety.

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