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The Gnome's Eye

224 pages
In the spring of 1954, when her father announces that the family has a chance to immigrate to Canada, Theresa's life changes forever. She and her family are wartime refugees from Yugoslavia, so it shouldn't be hard to leave Austria. But the weathered barracks of Lager Lichtenstein are the only home she knows, and they are filled with family and friends she doesn't want to leave behind. As she says her good-byes, Theresa's friend Martin gives her two gifts: a package of postcards and a stone he calls the Gnome's Eye, which he says will "protect her from all things evil, living or dead." Theresa is convinced the stone has no power, but she still keeps it close as they travel on the crowded immigrant ship and when they settle into a rooming house on Kensington Avenue in Toronto.
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The GnomesEye A N N A K E R Z
T H E G N O M E ’ S E Y E
The GnomesEye A N N A K E R Z
Text copyright ©2010Anna Kerz All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Kerz, Anna, 1947 The gnome's eye / written by Anna Kerz.
ISBN 9781554691951
I. Title. PS8621.E79G56 2010 jC813'.6 C20099068583
First published in the United States,2010Library of Congress Control Number:2009940907
Summary: When Theresa and her family immigrate to Canada after World War II, she confronts her many fears with the help of a talisman given to her by a friend in Austria.
Orca Book Publishers is dedicated to preserving the environment and has printed this book on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover artwork by Eric Field Cover design by Teresa Bubela Text design and typesetting by Nadja Penaluna Author photo by Frank Kerz
Orca Book Publishers PO Box 5626, Stn. B Victoria, BC Canada V8R 6S4
Orca Book Publishers PO Box 468 Custer, WA USA 982400468
www.orcabook.com Printed and bound in Canada. Printed on 100% PCW recycled paper. 13 12 11 10 • 4 3 2 1
For my parents, who had the courage to face the unknown.
…and say away rom e rîver,” my moer caed as ï sormed ou our barrack door. Too angry o answer, ï eaped down e wo seps rom our soop and urrîed away. Marîn, wo ad been waîîng ousîde, ad o run o cac up. “Wa’s e maer wî you, heresa?” e asked as e roed aong besîde me. “Noîng. ï’m goîng o scoo, same as you.” “We, you don’ ave o be mîserabe abou î. You ook îke a mouse a e îno a mîk paî.” “ï’m no a mouse!” ï snared. Marîn ducked and pu îs ands up as î o proec îmse. “ï can see a,” e saîd. hen e smîed, andï coudn’ ep bu smîe back.
“ï’m sorry,” ï saîd. “ï’s jus a ï don’ îke o be caed ‘Mouse.’ ï’s wa Taî cas me wenever e înks ï’m araîd.” “He probaby doesn’ mean î îke a.” “Yes, e does!” he words cracked beween us. “We, maybe no…bu sî…” ï waked on. “So, waisboerîng you?” ï sîged. “My oma’s comîng. Se’s goîng o seep over.” “Bu a’s good news. Omas brîng presens.” “Yours, maybe. No mîne. Se’s e ony oma ï ave et, and ï aven’ seen er sînce 1946. ï was wo. ha was eîg years ago. Se’s never come o vîsî beore, and e ony presens se sends are meers o co or my scoo dresses.” Marîn nodded as î e undersood. “Ha! Youthinkyou know, bu you don’.” ï ooked around o see î anyone mîg be îsenîng, bu o course no one was. here was noîng în e muddy Ieds on our rîg excep a ew paces o snow. “You don’ knowmyoma,” ï saîd în a ow voîce. “Myoma as aîr on er ee!” Marîn’s gray eyes wîdened. “Se as aîry ee?” ï snored. “No rea aîr. ï’s an expressîon. My aer says î means Oma says waever se wans and doesn’ care wo ges ur wen se says î.”
T H E G N O M E ’ S E Y E
“ïs a wy you’re worrîed?” ï nodded. “No wonder.” Hîs undersandîng meed e as o my anger, and my words umbed ou îke poaoes rom a sack. “Se’s comîng o say goodbye. Because…because we’re eavîng. We’re…mîgraîng?” “Emîgraîng?” “Yes. Emîgraîng.” “Wen?” “ha’s jus î. We’re eavîng or Canada beore e end o e mon, and my parens waîed î îs mornîng o e me!” For once Marîn ran ou o words, and or e res o e way o scoo e ony sound we eard came rom e snow-swoen rîver a ran aong e et sîde o our pa.
ïn e summer our rîver ran deep and sow, bu în e sprîng, wen e snow on e dîsan mounaîns meed, î ore roug our vaey îke an express raîn. “Say away rom e rîver” was my moer’s Ina warnîng every mornîng beore ï et or scoo, and because ï was araîd o e waer, ï obeyed er. Bu î dîdn’ keep us rom soppîng a e pace were
e rîver curved and wacîng o see wa was beîng carrîed aong. ha aternoon, as we made our way ome agaîn, a sma ree came loaîng oward us. ï wîsed în e swîrîng curren unî, amos dîrecy beow were we sood, î crased îno e bank and rose as î î waned o wak ou o e waer. Gaspîng, we jumped back o avoîd e brances a reaced or us îke gnared, graspîng Ingers. hen we sared în sîence unî e rîver sucked î back and carrîed î away. “ha was a wîc ree,” Marîn wîspered. “ï’s probaby on a journey o Ind a prîncess as a sacrîIce o cam e rîver spîrîs.” Marîn ad a reay good îmagînaîon. He coud make up sorîes abou anyîng, and usuay, wen e sared, ï joîned în. hîs îme ï was no în a sory-eîng mood. “Rîver spîrîs?” ï scofed. “here are no rîver spîrîs în Ausrîa.” He srugged. “here aren’ any prîncesses eîer. So wy can’ we sacrîIce a preend prîncess o preend spîrîs?” “Fîne! Do waever you wan,” ï saîd, and ï saked away. O course ï expeced Marîn o cac up. Bu e dîdn’, and wen ï ooked back, e pa beînd me was empy. A Is o worry ormed în my ces.