Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 200

Scar Boy | Linda Tzoref

Elie stopped in the magic store on the corner of Yehuda Ha-Levi and Allenby on her way home from work; just a quick browse, a momentary relief from the swelling summer heat and exhaust belching from buses. As a child in Pennsylvania she took up magic tricks as a hobby. She liked to entertain her family and garner all the attention she could, particularly from her father. As the youngest of six, she didn’t find this difficult: her father had started softening towards his children in his later years, and besides she was everyone’s pet. There was nothing too appealing in the small dirty store, however, just the usual card tricks, fake rabbits and rubber chickens with combs carelessly painted the color of fresh blood. A couple of gleaming top hats and plastic magic wands stood alone on a dusty shelf. When she left the store she realized she was going the wrong way, south instead of north, and slowly turned around, accidentally bumping into the people thronging in her direction.

At the corner she noticed the soldier staring and she returned the look, but her eyes were not full of longing or sadness like his. Her eyes were tired, she knew, and the gray bags beneath made the gray blue even bluer. Haunting Hungarian eyes. He turned to her; definitely Sephardic, she thought, with those oval-shaped obsidian eyes. His cropped hair was also black.

‘Do you smoke?’ He asked.

He lit her cigarette and followed her. Elie led him towards the bus stop, which she would take to Neve Tzedek. They walked next to one another casually yet he stayed behind her a few paces. He had a slack