The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 41

February 17, 2020

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 41 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Purim was behind them, and Elisheva and her entire household of three small rooms flew into a frenzy of organizing and packing. The little ones kept competing as to who would get hold of the biggest boxes from the grocery or nearby supermarket. But Elisheva threw out at least a third of the cartons they brought home, because of all types of unidentifiable crumbs in them.

“Ima wants everything to be clean for Pesach, not just plain clean!” Rikki and Devorah tried to explain to the kids. But their explanations fell on deaf ears. It was a fun activity for the boys: to search for the boxes, ask permission from the proprietors to take them, and then drag them home—just to donate most of them to the storage room in Meir’s friend’s building. Meir’s friend Elchanan was organizing a huge bonfire for Lag B’Omer, and he’d already started collecting boxes and wooden boards for it.

Even Saba had already heard about the famous bonfire, and when Meir went to visit him, he rose slowly from his chair and, with the help of a broomstick, slowly nudged a large, folded cardboard box from under the bed.

“This was downstairs in the lobby,” he said to his grandson, who stared wide-eyed in delight. “I asked if I could keep it for you.”

“Thank you, Saba!” Meir hugged the carton as best he could; his arms hardly went around it. “Ima, can I go bring this over to Elchanan?”

“Wait, not this minute,” Elisheva said. She had just leaned back in her chair and was holding a steaming cup of tea, a bit of a break from the mess at home. It was just two days to Rosh Chodesh Nissan, and they hoped to move next week. Maybe it would have been better to wait until they could close off the unit for her father, instead of renovating while they lived there, but the temptation of moving before Pesach to a new, clean, very large home was overwhelming. And in any case, her father was not being very clear about his plans. It seemed like he would be happy to come live with them, but every time the subject came up, he kept saying, “We’ll see.”

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The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 40

February 10, 2020

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 40 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

When Binyamin walked into the house with his bag of laundry on Motza’ei Shabbos, he was greeted with upbeat music.

“Sorry,” he said with a tired smile. “I thought this was my house.”

“It’s always happy here!” his sister Chani said, waiting ready with her camera.

“But there isn’t usually so much noise here. Can you lower the music a little?”

Mishenichnas Adar marbim b’simchah!” five-and-a-half-year-old Shloimy said knowingly. “And besides, don’t you know we’re moving? Right after Purim!”

“He knows,” Esty said.

“I know,” Binyamin said at the exact same time. He sat down on a chair. “Of course I know!”

“Oh, so Abba and Ima told you?” Four-year-old Bentzy nodded understandingly.

Binyamin laughed. “And if they wouldn’t have told me, my friends would have updated me. Almost all of Bnei Brak knows about it!”

“Yes, and it’s a little…uncomfortable to be the subject of people’s stories…” Devorah spoke up. “Do you feel that way, too?”

“There certainly is something to what you’re saying.” Binyamin rested a hand on his forehead and raised his eyes to his sister. “Can’t you lower that music? My head is really aching.”

Chani and Esty studied him.

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The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 39

February 3, 2020

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 39 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“What are you doing here, Miri?” The two sisters bumped into each other at the corner of Nechemia and Chazon Ish streets.
“I went with Abba and Ima to see their apartment, and then I used the chance to do a few errands in this area.”

“How nice!” Tzippy chirped. “Now you can come over to me!”

Miri didn’t object. She hadn’t visited her sister since the wedding.

“But I have nothing special to serve you, just a little bit of cake left over from Shabbos.”

“Please, I’m not coming to eat!” They walked into the building, and Miri took Shmully out of the carriage. “You don’t need to feel pressured because of me.”

“That’s what you say,” Tzippy said in a low voice, and started to climb the stairs. Miri stared at her for a long moment, and then followed her sister, with her baby in her arms.

“So, how’s their apartment?” Tzippy asked as she turned the key in the lock.

“It’s really nice. Huge.” Miri took a deep breath. “You can see that it was designed as a very fancy place: the paint job, the moldings, gorgeous light fixtures in the whole house—including a chandelier in the dining room and a really nice piece in the dinette—and marble or ceramic floors; I don’t know the difference. The whole house has a very modern, shiny look, if you know what I mean. I wonder how it will look like with Abba and Ima’s furniture. Actually, the dining room has a bookcase built in, made of plasterwork, I think, so they don’t need to bring their old one along.”

“There are already light fixtures and a bookcase installed?”

“I don’t know if it’s actually a bookcase, but what else do you call a piece of furniture in the dining room that has lots of shelves?” Miri tittered. “I think we automatically assume it’s for sefarim; I don’t know what the original plan for it was. Maybe it’s just meant for knickknacks.”

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