Night Flower – Chapter 59

February 11, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 59 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. 

“I guess I should start at the beginning,” Noa said.

She took a deep breath. “My mother was Jewish. My parents were killed in an accident when I was six months old, and I grew up with my father’s sister and her husband. When they moved to Israel, I came with them. I really believed them when they told me, back when I was in eighth grade, that I was not Jewish, and that’s why I totally cut off ties with your parents. And then eventually I ended up where I ultimately ended up…”

Chaiky frowned into the phone as she waited for Noa to continue her explanation.

“Less than a year ago,” Noa went on, “I got a job working in the computer department at the Culture and Community Foundation. I have a good head—you’ll forgive me for saying so—and over the years my grandfather liked to share with me some details about his business. And because I’m not holding back anything from you now, I’ll tell you that yes, I knew that most of his ‘business’ was not quite legal.”

Chaiky sat down absentmindedly on the chair that she hadn’t even noticed Rachel bringing over, still clutching an onion in one hand. Rachel took the knife away from her without Chaiky realizing, and in its place she placed a plate with a piece of cake, but Chaiky didn’t notice that either.

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Night Flower – Chapter 58

February 4, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 58 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. 

Grandfather,

Forgive me for not calling to explain myself; I am afraid that your emissaries will once again find me and ruin everything. So I’m sending a fax. Don’t try to check the address from where this fax is being sent, because it is being sent to you from someplace very far from where I am right now.

I didn’t want to tell you this at first, because I was afraid of your response, but the notebook in which I wrote down all my operations…is lost. My problem was that when I planted the documents in Struk’s computer, I was afraid that his family would discover it too early and everything would be deleted. Therefore, I planned that the documents should remain concealed until the computer, or its contents, would be taken to Russia, and even then, they would only be unlocked after a certain code would be sent from a remote computer. It was very hard work, far beyond my programming abilities—and I have lots of abilities—and therefore, I sought assistance from the worldwide web. In order to make sure that there would be no fingerprints, I didn’t record anything in the computer. Anything I learned, I wrote in the notebook. Today, every beginner programmer knows that a pen or pencil and paper are the best protection against all kinds of hackers.

I had done everything. Now the hard disk in Russia was just waiting for me to send the signal from any computer that was connected to the internet. It made no difference to me what this hard disk would be contained in. I had built a smart program inside it that would go along with it wherever it went. The problem was that something serious happened: my notebook disappeared. Either that, or it was stolen. Bottom line, it’s in foreign hands. My secret code must have also fallen into those foreign hands. It’s a serious blunder on my part, I know, but did you want me to continue implementing the plan as though nothing had happened, when there is someone someplace that knows about all my activities and will know right away that the letters are forgeries, and that all the evidence against Struk probably also is?

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Night Flower – Chapter 57

January 28, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 57 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. 

“Elka is not answering this time.” Adi dropped the phone onto a pile of towels and continued folding. “I guess I’ll try again soon.”

This was the fifth day since Noa had disappeared. Adi had returned to her own home by now, but every day she was back at Racheli’s place for a few hours, trying to make headway with her in tracking down Noa.

Racheli peeked out from the kitchen. “Yehudis, go help Adi,” she said. “I don’t feel comfortable that she’s folding our laundry. Where’s Esty?”

“She’s watching Chana’le.” Adi’s face was creased with worry. “Do you think I did the wrong thing by not calling the police? I don’t think Elka can help. She just wants to settle accounts with Noa.”

“In any case, the police will tell you to first check all the other places where Noa could be before they take any action,” Racheli said. “I know how it works. A nine-year-old kid from this neighborhood once disappeared for three hours, and the police did not come before the parents called all the friends to find out if they knew anything. And that was regarding a child, not an adult like in this case.”

“What happened in the end with that boy?”

“His friends had no clue where he could be, so the police finally agreed to get involved. They eventually found the boy in Ramat Gan. He got mixed up with the bus numbers and had no money for a return trip and no phone with which to call home.”

“So maybe I should try and call a few mutual friends,” Adi remarked. She abandoned the washcloth she was folding. “Maybe Noa went to one of them or said something to one of them.”

But none of the friends she called had heard from Noa for at least half a year. Adi seemed to be the last one she had been in touch with.

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Night Flower – Chapter 56

January 21, 2019

Israel Bookshop presents Chapter 56 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. 

“She’s crazy,” Chaiky whispered, almost hypnotized. “Totally crazy.”

“Who?” Yoel drove on. Although they hadn’t discussed it, he was already halfway back to Yokne’am.

Chaiky recovered. “What would you say, Yoel, if someone with whom you are not on friendly terms—quite the opposite, actually—all of a sudden starts sending you warm messages and reminding you about your good old days together?”

“And there never were any good old days?”

“No,” she replied firmly. “She brought me a gift after Yisrael Meir was born, and we spoke for a few minutes, I guess in friendly conversation, but she’s not talking about that now. She’s talking about all the pleasant days we spent together, and the long conversations that we had, and…” She tried to remember what Miri had relayed. “And how good it was to work with me, and how intelligent I am.”

“Well, I’m sure it’s wonderful to work with you, just like I am sure that you are very intelligent.”

“Ah, yes, my completely impartial little brother. I know you are loyal to me.” Chaiky smiled. “But in all my interactions with her, she never displayed any loyalty or appreciation to me. On the contrary.”

“Is this the woman you were speaking about earlier? I’m asking you this for a reason.”

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Night Flower – Chapter 55

January 14, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 55 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. 

“What’s the matter, sweetie? Why are you crying?” Rachel was pushing Yisrael Meir’s carriage around and around the dining room table. “Are you hungry? Do you want your Ima? Maybe your Abba? How about a bottle?”

But the baby didn’t seem to want anything except to cry.

Oy!” Rachel fretted as the phone began to ring. “It must be your mother, and she’ll be very upset to hear you’re not happy. She was so glad to hear before that you were sleeping so that she could go shopping with Naomi! Isn’t it a shame?”

The phone kept ringing.

“There’s no choice,” she announced to the world. “We’ll pick up.” And she pulled the carriage over to the phone.

 

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Night Flower – Chapter 54

January 7, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 54 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. 

 

 Noa had always liked the scent of strawberries. There was something calming about it for her. When Mira Brodsky had wanted to treat her, she would look for little strawberry scented soaps for Noa to decorate her room with.

Noa clearly remembered the last soap she had received. It was big, shaped like the Eiffel Tower, and its scent was so strong that little Chaya’le had been sure that it was a giant candy and had bitten off the tip.

The bitten-off soap had accompanied Noa to the Yadovsky household, and even when she fell out of favor with them and began her many wanderings, she took it with her. When had it disappeared? It was hard for Noa to recall. It had been several years since she’d lost it, but when its scent or something similar tickled her nostrils, it evoked in Noa memories of Chaya’le wailing, “Yuck, it’s so bitter! It’s so bitter!”

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Night Flower – Chapter 53

December 31, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 53 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. 

 

Ezriel and Dina Struk left the office of Martin Weber, a noted attorney who specialized in cases that dealt with the smuggling of valuable items. His office was on the seventh floor of the Tel Aviv Towers, and they hurried toward the elevator, hoping to be able to catch the eight o’clock train to Haifa.

Ezriel summoned the elevator, but the latter seemed to be working at its own pace.

“He actually sounded encouraging,” Dina said, just to cut the silence that filled the lobby where they waited, the air between them, and the entire floor.

“Well, what does he care?” Her husband was rather somber, and not interested in smiling. “As long as he is not actively managing the case, he has no problem making promises. But I don’t know how knowledgeable he really is in Russian law. Somehow, things sounded much simpler from him than they do when Shlomo’s lawyers present them,” he said, staring at the glass wall in front of him with narrowed eyes.

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