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Digital Subscriptions > Boston Review > Allies (Fall 2019) > TWO


Sagit Emet, translated from the Hebrew

(a finalist for the Aura Estrada Short Story Contest)

WE WERE ASLEEP going there. We were two. And too ancient. Ten and a half and five and three quarters. That is too old. That is antique. That is considered lost. And it means having no family forever and ever. It means having no home.

We were asleep. It was such a miracle that it made us fall asleep on the road.

That morning, a lot of people came to the boarding school. Volunteers. They wore black T-shirts with a red heart and our boarding school name written in English above, and in Hebrew below: “Matrix

♥The Children’s Village.” That was what their shirts read. The volunteers printed them specially, because their workplace is called “Matrix.”

That was what Clara explained to us. She’s the one who takes care of us. The people in the black T-shirts built stalls on the grass. Cotton candy, and inflatable slides and darts. They played the best music ever. They kept smiling and shouting, “What’s up kids? Are we having fun today, or what?”

At first, we just peeked out the window, then we left the room and went outside and did what we had to do—we slid on the slide, and ate pink cotton candy on a stick, and jumped on the trampoline.

And after we ate hot dogs and even more pink cotton candy, we went to take a peek in their SUVs. They were parked by the dining room. Their windows were dark, but when we pressed our faces against them, we could see everything. Those little trees that spread a nice smell hanging from the mirror, coins scattered like gumballs by the driver’s seat. We even saw the little chairs fastened with seat belts to the rear seats.

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About Boston Review

Allies is the first publication of Boston Review's newly inaugurated Arts in Society department. A radical revisioning of the magazine's poetry and fiction, the department unites them—along with cultural criticism and belles lettres—under a project that explores how the arts can speak directly to the most pressing political and civic concerns of our age, from growing inequality to racial and gender regimes, a disempowered electorate, and a collapsing natural world.