default_mobilelogo
Image of the book cover for The Saviour Shoes and Other Stories by Carol Lipszyc
"Saviour Shoes and Other Stories" is now available at Amazon.
As well as Brunswick Books at orders@brunswickbooks.ca

Two of Carol's short stories, "Liberation: Two Train Stories, Crossing Borders and A Jewish Interrogation" appear in the December 6, 2012 online publication: Jewish Fiction.Net

Stories

The Saviour Shoes

A boy sat under a birch tree. Resting his head against the trunk, he studied a branch. Its icy tentacles turned to sterling silver in his hand. Around him, the snow cast a prism of light, which stung his eyes. "Here I am. This is where I have landed," he announced in a mix of wonder and resignation. As he spoke, his breath peaked like a cloud, then vanished beneath the sun.

With the branch in hand, he traced angel wings in the snow, pointing outwards to heaven. He had been a willing apprentice to the winter, a student who had learned to mold his body to the cold, but this time fear lingered with a new persistence.

He looked at his feet. The soles of his boots were ripped, the skin of the leather flicking up like the extended tongue of a cow. Unable to move to the adjacent town of Jenica in search of food, he was left behind in the Naliboki forest by the two boys who had joined him. Motek, the eldest at fifteen, had set out in search of food, and nine-year old Eli followed where hunger led.

They'll come back with bread as they promised. We made a pact to look out for one another. They'll honour it if they can. If the danger is not too great. Still, I warned them of the risk. But I could not convince them to stay. Restless, he raised himself against the tree. Months ago, we were strangers. Now I depend on them.

Drifts of snow covered the stump of a nearby tree, deepening the slope of its path into an ice-white dune. As the wind whistled, the boy tucked his overgrown locks of hair into his felt cap. Then, feeling a curious urge to reacquaint himself with the shape of his face, he traced the outline of his lips. They were cracked from the cold. He winced at their tenderness. His skin, which used to tan to an olive brown in summers, was equally rough to the touch. How altered his appearance must be, he thought.