Disclaimer: I do not own the Book Thief, but I wish I did.

This story is a birthday gift for the wonderful wild-springflower, one of my best friends and an amazing writer.

Words

In Liesel Meminger's world, words were everything. She loved the words, she hated them, because she had seen every side of them.

The words had been her friends. They had brought her closer to Papa. They had helped her make friends with a broken woman and a woman who had lost everything. They had brought Max safely to them. It was funny that a book, which had caused so much pain and suffering, had actually saved someone from the person, who wrote them.

The words had been her enemies. There was a sunlit classroom, children snickering. The words falling to pieces before her tear-filled eyes. Humiliation made her cheeks burn and she wished she could disappear. She could see her brother lying dead on the train, her mother leaving her. There was her dad and that strange word, which always tagged along: Kommunist, and now this. She needed a victory, but in the end, she lost again.

The words had been victims. She could still feel the heat of the flames as they ate the words. See them falling apart, letters burning away until there was nothing but ash. How many stories had been destroyed that night? How many Shoulder Shrugs, Whistlers and Dream Carriers had been reduced to nothing?

The words had been the attackers. Hitler, using the words to convince the Germans, that people like Max were dangerous and should be destroyed. Ludwig Schmeikl calling her dummkopf, an idiot. Anger had risen inside her at those words, the same anger Max must have felt whenever he heard Hitler's words repeated. In the end, they both ended up in a fight, one imaginary and one very real.

The word had been her saviour. Her story, a story made of books and words, had saved her from being killed that night. Instead, she watched as they lay on the street, a layer of dust and death surrounding them.

Sometimes she wished that Death had taken her in his arms too. Wished she could once again hear her Papa bring the accordion back to life, his silver eyes twinkling with merriment, her Mama shouting at everyone, calling her a Saumensch. Rudy... oh god, Rudy, with his lemon hair and his bright blue eyes, asking to be kissed. And maybe just once, she would give in.

Liesel Meminger had often hated the words, but in the end she ended up loving them even more.