Outside the Bubble – Chapter 18

August 15, 2022
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Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 18 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

He had no idea how it happened, but Martin soon found himself on the bus. It didn’t seem like any of the handful of passengers had helped him board; he must have dragged himself on, somehow. He swiped his bus card and slumped down onto the front seat, leaning his head on the clear plastic partition that separated him from the driver.

The bus sped through the empty streets, and the monotony of the ride made his brain even fuzzier. But he couldn’t let the fog overtake him. Every few seconds, he opened his eyes and glanced outside. He wondered if this route was purposely designed to take the windiest roads, with the sharpest turns. To Martin, it was all unfamiliar territory. But the sixth time he opened his eyes, he began to recognize the scenery. Now he could not allow himself to slump forward. He sat up straight, despite the hammering in his head, and pressed his face to the window. When the bus passed a certain house, his eyes grew as big as tennis balls.

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 17

August 8, 2022
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 17 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Martin didn’t ask the taxi driver if he was available; he just sat himself in the back seat. “Please drive,” he said. “As fast as you can. My head is exploding.”

The driver glanced at him through the mirror. “It really looks like it is,” he said, making no move to turn on the ignition. “But if that’s what you are feeling, you should go into that building behind you, not take a drive with me.”

“Thanks. I’m coming from there.”

“What’s your story?” Based on his accent he seemed to be an Arab, but Martin wasn’t sure.

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 16

August 1, 2022
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 16 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Maybe he’d really had a concussion of sorts; his thoughts usually streamed at a much quicker pace.

Martin lay on the bed, listening to the regular hustle and bustle of an emergency room, and pondered his options. He would probably be released in the morning, or sometime the next day; if there would be minor complications, it might take another couple of days. The question was what the word “released” meant for him. If they were planning to charge him with murder, or attempted murder, then release from the hospital would only be a pit stop on the way to being arrested, and from there to prison.

Martin turned to the other side, keeping his eyes closed. His temples were pounding, and he tried to relax a bit so his pulse would slow down. He didn’t have a lot of experience with false accusations in Israel, but the impression that he had made on the Israelis, along with this accident, were unlikely to earn him an easy acquittal. There was little chance he could persuade a police detective that the accident was the natural result of driver exhaustion. Perhaps it was very negligent, but it had nothing to do with him.

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 15

July 25, 2022
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 15 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Someone tugged him forcefully into the light. A dark-skinned face smiled at him. “Good, he’s coming to. You’re alright, aren’t you?” The Ethiopian paramedic measured his blood pressure and murmured, “Much better now.”

“What’s this?” Martin asked when a device was handed to him.

“A breathalyzer. Measure, please—do you know how?”

“I didn’t drink!” Martin looked around him. He was in an open-doored ambulance, based on what he could see. The ambulance was standing in the middle of a road, and he could see the streetlights from the open door. There was a big tumult outside.

“Makes no difference. Just do it.”

“And I wasn’t the driver!”

“These are the rules,” someone else, sitting on the bench that ran along the wall of the ambulance, explained. Martin looked at him and felt like he was sitting on the biggest carousel in the local amusement park in Sudbury. “You’re a policeman,” he said, and closed his eyes again.

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 14

July 18, 2022
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Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 14 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

He had no idea when the bus from Modiin left to Yerushalayim, but Martin didn’t ask. He still wasn’t sure he wanted to go back. The bus had dropped him off near the right building and then drove off, and Martin looked up at the structure towering above him. “Sixteenth floor,” Rudy had told him the last time they’d met. Then he’d laughed. “But check first if I’m home.”

Well, Martin hadn’t checked, and he had no idea if Rudy was home. But if he wouldn’t be there, Martin wouldn’t wait; he would go straight to Efrat. Let the Israelis try to find him. As if the security forces were bored. Amidst all the super-important stuff they had to do in order to restore tranquility to this land, they had extra time to look for information about an innocent youth, whose only crime was that he was a bit too patriotic for them? Fools.

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 13

July 11, 2022
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Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 13 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“Martin? This is Rabbi Eisenthal. How are you?”

Martin’s muscles tensed. This was the first time he was being called out of a lesson for a phone call from Canada; no one had ever called him until now. He had been the one to make the calls, a handful of times.

“I’m fine,” he said blandly.

“Enjoying?”

“…You could say so.”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 12

July 4, 2022

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Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 12 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Mali hadn’t been to visit Uncle Michoel in a long time. In fact, in recent years she’d hardly come at all. That’s how it was; her uncle didn’t even try to conceal the fact that he was on her mother’s side, or he at least tried to be objective. “Your mother is my only niece, and she is a very clever, warm woman. I think that you are mistaken,” he once said to her indifferently, the last time she’d tried to complain that he wouldn’t even hear her out about her difficulties.

“Difficulties? Go to your mother. I’m sure she can help you solve them in the best way possible.”

The dentist she’d been using for the past two years was a three-minute walk from her uncle’s house, but except for one time when she’d dropped in to visit, she never went there. Once upon a time ago, when she’d first moved to the dorm, Ima had suggested that she visit Uncle Michel every so often, to see if he needed anything and if he was doing alright. But she’d never actually gone.

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 11

June 27, 2022

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Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 11 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“And in your view, I should just sit here quietly and listen to insults from a stranger?” Martin stood up.

“Yes, I guess I am a stranger to you.” The anonymous driver smiled. “So it really isn’t so nice of me to say these things. But take into account that by you hearing what I have to say, even without knowing me, you won’t lose out. And if you don’t hear me out, and decide to leave now, well, then, you will learn exactly who I am, and you’ll lose out in a big way. You realize that there are worse things in life than hearing the exact definition of who you are, to your face.”

“The exact definition of who I am?!” Martin wanted to add a few angry words, but when he saw the other man smiling, he took a step back. “Who are you?” he asked, after a moment.

“My specific job description and title are not particularly of interest. Let’s just say I’m a type of detective who got orders to find you, and the minute that I do get to you—or even better, to your friends—then I am supposed to order our patrol car.”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 10

June 20, 2022

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Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 10 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Hinda placed the sketch of the Eisen family’s children’s room on the kitchen table, and went over to the third doorway in the hallway. She waited a moment, just to be sure, and when the screaming didn’t stop, she knocked lightly. “Penina?” she whispered.

The door opened a crack. Penina was holding her screaming baby, as she tried to smile, while wiping her shoulder from some spit-up.

“Do you want to give her to me so you can sleep a bit?” Hinda spoke in a low tone.

“I feel bad.” Penina glanced behind her. “I don’t want you to have to stay up because of her.”

“I’m not sleeping now—it’s alright. I’m still working.”

“Working?” Penina glanced at the clock on the hallway wall. The small hand was on the two.

“Yes, these are my hours,” Hinda said ruefully. “Just give me the things I’ll need for the next two hours, and go to sleep.”

“Maybe she’s hungry.” Penina sniffed.

“If she convinces me that she’s hungry, I’ll bring her right back to you. But I’m not sure she wants to eat so much, all day and night.”

Penina suppressed a smile. “Neither am I.”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 9

June 13, 2022

outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 9 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

He had spent his first night outside at the age of eleven.

That morning, he had bid goodbye to his grandmother, taken his backpack, and gotten into the car of Johann Croates, who worked for the Association for Child Welfare in Canada. Johann murmured something to his grandmother—it sounded like, “The boy will be in good hands”—and he waved goodbye from the window of the car until his hand hurt, and until Johann said, “You can’t see her anymore; you can stop waving.”

Johann turned on loud music, and they both began to sing along. It was the thing that managed to connect the two of them on their first encounter, proving common ground between the fifty-four-year-old welfare official and the young orphan.

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