Night Flower – Chapter 25

June 14, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 25 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

It was normal for new mothers to not be able to fall asleep, right? They have so much going on in their heads… And if your roommate was named “Nur Faiza,” and her whole clan was clamoring around her, then it should be even more normal. And if your husband happened to be detained in Russia, and you were not even sure you’d be able to speak to him before the bris—then it should already be very, very understandable why you were unable to fall asleep, tired as you were.

So when the curtain was pushed aside to reveal twinkling eyes and a wide smile at two in the afternoon on Friday, it didn’t really disturb Chaiky. After all, it’s not possible to wake someone who isn’t sleeping.

“I didn’t bother you or anything, right?” Rachel asked warmly. “And don’t worry—I’m not planning to come back again today. Elsie warned me to let you rest. I just wanted to wish you mazel tov.” She stepped hesitantly into the room. “I bought you flowers in the shop downstairs. Do you like flowers?”

“Yes, very much.” Chaiky sat up, looking at the large bouquet that was totally disproportionate to the tiny plastic container it was sitting in. “They’re beautiful. Thank you so much! I really, really like flowers, and these are such pretty ones!” The night table beside her was empty. Yoel and Shifra had come last night, just after she’d been moved into the ward. They’d brought a bag full of expensive chocolates and a cute outfit.

“What an adorable baby!” twenty-year-old Shifra had enthused, like a little girl. “I saw him! I snuck into the nursery—no one even stopped me. He’s so sweet, and looks so much like Dovi!”

“You spoke to Shlomo’s parents, right?” Yoel had asked. “What did you tell them? That you want them to visit you?”

“I didn’t tell them anything,” Chaiky had said weakly. “I just called to tell them about their new grandson. We hardly spoke.” Keep Reading…


Night Flower – Chapter 24

June 4, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 24 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“Hashem will give us a prize? Do you mean s’char?

“Yes. And I’ll buy you a good prize, too.”

“And are you also going to get a prize?”

Chaiky smiled.

“I think,” Dovi mused thoughtfully, “that your prize will be if Abba comes back. Right it’s a punishment that they took Abba, and when he comes back it will be a prize?”

“We don’t know why Hashem does all kinds of things,” Chaiky replied with effort. Rachel appeared in the doorway of the kitchen. “I think it is better for us to call this a ‘challenge.’ A challenge that Hashem sent us to see how we behave when it is hard for us.”

Naomi entered the house just then, with her regular announcement that she was “starving,” bringing the discussion to an end, and everyone trooped into the kitchen. Rachel offered to set the table. Lunch was tomato and rice soup that Chaiky had cooked the night before, and she’d added slices of frankfurters to it in the morning.

“You didn’t make this soup for such a long time, Ima!” Naomi exulted as she chose the orange bowl for herself. “Rachel, do you like tomato-rice soup? We love it, and Dovi sometimes even eats three bowls of it!” She brought the spoon close to her mouth.

“Naomi.” Chaiky was tense as she gently stopped her. “What did you forget?” Keep Reading…


Night Flower – Chapter 23

May 28, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 23 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“Podernick?”

“Yes. Did you talk to him?” There was some interference on the line, and Josef pressed the handset closer to his ear.

“Yes, you could say so.”

“And?”

“I don’t have any special news for you. I tried to draw him into an argument, but the Jew didn’t deny Rosenberg’s Jewish identity.”

“Really?”

“Yes. He also didn’t try to read the newspaper, even though I tossed it very close to him.”

“I assume he doesn’t know how to read Russian,” the investigator said impatiently. “So you have nothing juicier to tell me?” Keep Reading…


Night Flower – Chapter 22

May 23, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 22 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Is everything alright, Noa?”

The girl continued to stand for a long moment, her back to Elka; only after a few more seconds did she turn around and blurt out,— “nNot exactlyreally.”

“Why? What happened?”

Noa spun on her heel and strode down the hall towards the library without a word. Elka followed. Noa switched on the lights and sat down at the desk, furiously pressing the computer’s power button.

“What’s going on, Noa?” Elka asked again. It had never yet happened that Noa had stormed past her, straight into the library, without even greeting her.

“What you did really hurt me,” Noa replied through gritted teeth, and then fell silent again.

“Me? I hurt you?” Keep Reading…


Night Flower – Chapter 21

May 14, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 21 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

 

“Immmmaaaa, someone’s knocking!”

“Ask who it is.”

“Who is it? Who is it?! Who is—Ima, she says her name is Rachel!”

No, she had no energy now. She just couldn’t do this. The bit of her old energy that had slowly started returning in recent weeks had all completely dissipated with the phone call from Yoel. She had no idea what exactly was happening in Russia, but it was clear that things were a big mess. Why were they looking for a different lawyer? Why was the other lawyer saying he “could not take on the case after all”? She was angry that things were being kept from her, but she also didn’t want them to tell her. She had no strength for new complications; it was enough already!

“Imaaaaa! Do you know Rachel?”

“Yes, I do.”

“So should I open the door for her?” Keep Reading…


Night Flower – Chapter 20

May 7, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 20 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

When Elka sat and checked a whole kilogram of rice in one shot, her husband Nachum knew that something was bothering her. When she moved on to the second package, he knew that whatever the issue was, it was quite serious. The third kilogram was a sign that she was deeply distraught and preoccupied. But when she left it all on the table and went to the rocking chair in the corner of the dining room, it was clear that the situation was dire.

And that’s what happened that afternoon. One kilo, a second, a third, and then the rocking chair.

“What’s going on, Elka?” he asked, emerging from the kitchen with two steaming mugs of tea in his hands. “One sweetener or two?”

“Two…” she replied distractedly.

“That’s what I put in,” he said, pleased with himself, and put her mug down on the coffee table. “Is everything alright?” Keep Reading…


Night Flower – Chapter 19

April 30, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 19 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“Hey, Podernik!” It was Pavel again, knocking on the glass partition in the office even before the investigator had had time to take off his beaver fur coat. “Did you hear that someone left something for you with the secretary? Someone from the Financial Crimes Investigation Unit came down here from the seventh floor especially for you.”

“The privacy here is amazing.” Josef gritted his teeth and picked up the internal phone line. “Sasha? I heard that you have something for me?”

“I didn’t see you coming in,” the secretary apologized. “Twenty seconds and you’ll have it. It’s a short video clip, they said.”

Josef took his coat off and hung it up. “Get me Bernie on the line again,” he instructed.

The two things happened simultaneously: Bernie answered the phone, and at the same moment the new piece of evidence arrived. Podernik gazed at his desk, his brow furrowed. “I got what you sent me, Bernie,” he said. “What is it?”

“Did you look at it yet?” Bernie sounded very proud of himself.

“No, I haven’t.”

“So look at it first and then we’ll talk. It’s very good material for the trial.”

“What is it?” the investigator repeated, like a student having trouble comprehending.

“Why are you so suspicious?” Keep Reading…