Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 31 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.
At 6:40 a.m., when Binyamin was awakened by the tumult around him, he still felt quite ill. But when he opened his eyes a second time an hour later, he felt somewhat better.
“Ima?” he croaked, half asleep—and then suddenly blushed into his pillow. Why was he calling his mother like a little boy?
He washed his hands into the basin that someone had placed near his bed, and got up. Yes, he was more steady on his feet than yesterday. No, actually not. He sat down again quickly.
The morning noises that he loved, and which he’d almost forgotten, wafted into the dining room. Dishes clinking in the kitchen, and cries of, “Where’s my brush?” and, “Who’s helping me find Nati’s other shoe?” and, “Ima tell him to stop; he’s touching my chocolate milk!” Rapid footsteps, a falling chair, a giggle, a whiny wail, and Devoiry’s voice asking Itzik to please tell her already what he wanted in his sandwich.
“Binyamin?” Ima walked into the room. “How are you? How was your night?”
“Baruch Hashem, I think I feel a little better.”
“Really?” She looked at him doubtfully. “Because you don’t look better. I’m leaving to work in a few minutes. I made you some tea in a thermos. I want you to make sure to drink a lot, okay? Do you want another blanket?”
“No, if I get cold I’ll take one of the blankets from the other boys’ beds.”
“Fine, they’re folded up in Nati’s crib.”
“Thanks.” He tried to smile, but his facial muscles ached. He must really have the flu or something.
Little heads kept popping in from behind the accordion door.
“Get well soon!”
“Don’t leave before we get back, okay?”