Winners of the Short Story Competition June 2019


Joint 1st Place
Into the Cold – Shai Miller

It's a leap of faith, really. The ice so fragile, she doesn't know whether the next step will lead her to safety or bring her to her fall.
"Jemma?"
The tired-eyed girl turns around and looks down to her little brother.
"Wait here."
She lets go of the stable ground and takes a stride forward. Heart begs to get out of its ribcage, she inhales deeply and lets it all go.
Tiny black dots, the trail of children stands out from the fields of white, as they make their way through the skin thin ice. Only when everyone has reached the other side, she dares to think: they might just beat the odds and make it out alive.
Hours pass as the bundle of kids fight through the bottomless snow, trying to find a shelter. Isn't it funny, Jemma wonders, how snow can take you in a storm and then melt into a puddle?
Shaking her head clear of any thought, the girl refocuses her attention on the task at hand: finding sanctuary. Out of the mist, through the crystallized, broken branches of glooming winter trees, she spots it. A grey and dull structure rests on a mountain. Remarkably distant and high above, the manor lies; almost as if it is teasing Jemma, making her muscles ache in exhaustion and frustration. So close, yet couldn't be farther away.
Deep lake-blue eyes lock with hers, and the girl is suddenly flooded with reassurance and comfort. Her older brother, like a lifesaver, is keeping her from drowning in the deep end. His tired smile is what fuels her energy and brings her back on track. A quick glance at her brothers and sisters tells her it is time to get back to the journey ahead.
Hands gripping slippery stones, throbbing feet and noses red cold, the siblings climb up the mountain. Now, Jemma couldn't help her thoughts from racing. Wistfully she wishes she could go back to the beginning of the day, and prevent this sequence of events from happening. Her siblings should not be in this situation. How couldn't she see it coming? The day had started picture perfect, it was bound to go downhill. The cold shaking her bones, she longs to crawl back into her warm bed, to take a long shower, to be home. But what is home without her parents?
They could be buried deep in the snow.
They could already be dead.
Coming to a halt, the group stares up at the grim mansion. Perhaps in this deserted place they could make a home. 



A Short story - Linn Kattan Orni

‘Klark!’ my wife shouted.
‘Please bring me a bottle of Pluquzider milk and two Quizilla eggs from the grocery store, I’m making a cake for my mother’s birthday.’
I nodded and put my inhaling helmet on, then I stepped on my hovering rug and hovered to the grocery store.
When I got to the store and looked for the milk and the eggs, all of a sudden a new item that they had on the shelves had caught my sight sensor. I got closer to see what it was. It said: “Cat Snacks - Extra Crunchy, Fish Flavored”. It was the first time I had ever seen these and I had no idea what “cat” meant. I went to the store manager to ask what’s the matter with all these snacks. He said that the spacetruck had accidently brought these instead of the regular snacks, and that it was too expensive to send it back, so they’ve put it on the shelves. He said that everyone is mad about these snacks and that half of them were bought only in the last hour.
I had to buy one. When I got back home I tried eating the “cat” snack. It tasted really good, even my wife and kids liked it.
I  was still very curious about that “cat” thing. I searched “cat” on Groogle and found trillions of pictures of weird furry creatures with two eyes, four legs and a tail. “The cat or domestic cat is a small carnivorous mammal from planet earth.” I was really confused because I had no idea what planet earth is, nor a “mammal”.
I was fascinated with those cats and I wanted to have one. I figured the only way to have one is to abduct it. I flew to planet earth in my small and rusty spaceship. When I was half way there, my phone suddenly rung. It was my wife. She was angry that I didn’t tell her that I was flying away. she said that if I don’t get back in the next ten minutes, I’ll miss her mother’s birthday. Since her mother does not really like me anyway, I just hung up. While I was orbiting the earth, my radio suddenly turned on by itself, A human being was talking. He said: ‘Please land the ship exactly where we tell you to, or else we will destroy it.’
I knew that if I landed where they told me to, I may not be able to ever get back to my wife and kids. After a few seconds, a human spaceship appeared. I pressed the “Fire” button immediately. A varied array of weapons started shooting their ship. They turned out to be wise and carried weapons too. It was an intense battle, but after a few minutes their ship was completely wrecked and mine was left with only a few scratches. I then got closer to the ground in order to find a cat. I found a fluffy one colored white, black and orange. I positioned my ship over it and turned on the abduction ray. Since my ship is old, the whole abduction process took a few hours. After the first hour I saw hundreds of tanks coming in my direction. Someone got on my radio again and said: ‘We are the global army of the united cat owners, we will not endure any harm done to any cat! Leave this cat alone!’
I was suddenly aware of a hail of bullets and rockets flying in my direction, I turned on my freezing beam and froze all the tanks. I still had to wait two more hours for the abduction ray to complete its process and for the cat to enter my ship, meanwhile I watched an episode of Master Space Chef. When the cat got in, I supplied him with cat snacks, food and water and we flew back home. When I entered the house, my wife stood in front of me with an angry face, but as soon as I showed her the new cat, she calmed down and thanked me.


Joint Runners-up


Love is real and everywhere" / Noam Meir"

Hey my name is Idan, I'm 17 years old, 11th grade student and well gay. Ya not such a great thing. My best friend's name is Rotem, I tell her everything. I won't forget the day that I told her I'm gay, we were at a friend's house, at night on the roof, I  was looking at the handsome new boy in our class, suddenly she scared me from behind and my first instinct was to hide it so I said "what  beautiful stars tonight" . "Yes, but I think there's one star who stole your attention, am I wrong?" she asked, but knew the answer. The boy's name is Yuval, 17 years old, new student in my class, football player and of course hot like the sun! His abs, his smile, is everything!. You can't even imagine how many "heart shapes" I draw in my notebooks with our first letters in it. Today in sport class I stared at Yuval playing and forgot to drink (that's what happens when you're in love and stupid) and I fainted. Someone ran to bring me water and when I woke up Yuval was in front of me. "Everything is okay sleepy head?" he laughed. "Yes, I just forgot to drink today" I said. He helped me to get up and took me to the nurse's room, he was such a charmer. "It's a little bit wired but we've been together in class 2 weeks and we never really talked" he said. "Yes, we should meet and talk" I pushed him more. "Want to go to the ice-cream shop tomorrow?" "Sure"( Yes! He  fell into my trap). The next day dragged on like a snail. Maya the cheerleader was like "glue" around Yuval and I wanted to kill her! (In a metaphoric way of course). We met at the ice-cream shop, he wore a button-shirt that almost bombed because all his big arms. We ate ice-cream and we talked and in one moment of non-thinking I said "I love you". He blushed, ran out of there as fast as I could, he stopped me and asked "how long have you been feeling this way??", "From the moment I met you". He took me home in his car. The next day all I wanted to do was to sleep and eat chocolate. At school I tried not to make eye contact with anyone, I talked only with Rotem. At sport class we ran, suddenly someone put a hand over my eyes & shoulders and took me to the side, it was Yuval. He put a picnic map & food, kissed me and said "surprise". From that day I believe that- "love is real and everywhere"

8th of March/ Yael Atlas

She was sitting on the bus, covering her head with a grey hoodie. The music in her ears was loud and heavy, distracting her from the thoughts in her head.
It was the 8th of March, international women's day. There was a slight perfume smell in the air, women were holding their children in one hand, and bouquets in the other. Men were carrying red helium balloons, shaped like hearts. The streets looked colorful, sunny and happy.
She looked at that vivid view, the sun blinded her, and the smell of fresh-cut flowers made her sick. She put on her sunglasses, trying to hold on, but she started feeling the black pigment sliding liquid down her cheeks. The smell of love around her suffocated what was left of her lungs. Her palms were scratching each other, squeezing the skin to the healed bones of her fingers.
She tried not to think, but she failed. "Am I not worthy? Am I not enough to be appreciated once a year? Am I that ugly? stupid? Why do those skinny blondes, crushing their million-dollar heels into the asphalt deserve flowers, love and presents, and I don't?”
"Shut up," she answered herself "when you get home you will get what you deserve. Colors will cover your face and body, the smell of blood will make you weak, his hands around you will make you fly away from his weight on your body, while he is tearing your clothes off... Your cheeks will be so red from hurt, your eyes full of tears. But that will be your women’s day, girl. Because what you deserve is nothing but shame. Now go back to your husband, before he notices your absence, and punishes you again".

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