The saga continues in the steampunk fantasy-inspired take on the Jewish midrash, written by Rivkah Raven. Download the chapters Ki Tetze and Ki Tavo from the serial below.
The saga by PunkTorah columnist Rivkah Raven continues with steampunk midrashim (legends) on Parshat Balak, Pinchas and Mattot.
The light grew dimmer as they wove through the trees, pressing deeper into the forest without an end in sight, it seemed. Mari could not see a discernible path; she could not tell if the creature she followed was leading her somewhere specific, or was just mad, completely insane, and would lead her on a wild chase through the wood until Mari dropped from exhaustion…
As the days passed, Mari became increasingly aware that there were gaps in Jac’s story. Enormous gaps. Mari soon began mapping out, in her mind, the places in conversation when Jac would shift the subject or look uncomfortable and use misleading language to avoid answering Mari’s questions.
At night, in the room that they shared, bedded down on simple mattresses stuffed with feathers, snug under exquisite old handmade quilts, Mari would awaken again and again to Jac’s thrashing, screaming, and sometimes crying. Mari never asked. And Jac never told…
Mari awoke in darkness, to a world that was all noise. Noise dominated her consciousness: rushing wind, the continuous sound of impact. She could not tell if trees were falling against each other outside, or if the roof was caving in, or if the entire land was simply striving against itself, tearing itself to pieces. She could not at ﬁrst pick out individual sounds. There were human screams, there was the clash of metal, there was the driving rain against the front of their dwelling; being that most of the dwelling was built into a hill, she had to think that many of the sounds, loud and overwhelming as they were, were mufﬂed…
The Jewish fantasy fiction series by Rivkah Raven and PunkTorah continues with chapters Shelakh Lekhah, Korach and Chukat. Click on the chapter titles to download and join the adventure!
“It is time, now, Raven,” he said. Mari pushed her chair back from the tea table and gathered herself to rise. She had already attached the menorah, which looked more like a small brass lantern, to the belt at her waist; she stowed the tiny silver ear-trumpet in the pouch that hung beside it. She had no idea how these things would help her, but it gave her heart to feel their weight.
Mari awoke all at once, abruptly, and with her temper in full ﬂare. She sat up quickly, her ﬁsts clenched, and said aloud, “Thatʼs enough.” She was rested, she had water now and a little bit of food, and she felt energy surging through her veins. She was thoroughly angry now. When she had been tired, still in shock from so many changes all at once, she had let herself crumple and fall prey to fear. Now, she felt it was time to make a change. She stood and stretched, moving her limbs to chase away the stiff, bruised feeling. She splashed her face with water, took a long drink from the ﬂask at her belt and reﬁlled it at the sink. Who knows when she would ﬁnd water again?
Mari awoke to a wet, heavy slap on her cheek. She tried to raise her head, but it was weighed down; she tried to move her legs, but her body was pressed with a cold weight that held her ﬁrmly. It was not uncomfortable, but she panicked. She wrestled her hands ﬂat under her shoulders, her elbows pointing up, and tried to raise her shoulders, pushing the back of her head up. It was completely dark, and the air was dank and thick. She could not remember where she was.