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Issue No.3: DAWN

Short Stories

Dawn's Open Doors

By: Michal White


The sand reflects the rising sun, a glittering constellation sitting in my palm. Pink and orange painted across the sky like a child’s sloppy brushstrokes.


I sit back on my heels, and breathe in the salty wind as the waves lick my toes. The grains of sand slip from between my fingers, and I watch the stars fall. I am a god to those things smaller than me; in this moment when the night fades into sunshine I am bigger than a mere human. I am more than a simple girl sitting at the beach. I am a fairy in the waning moonlight, a mythical creature in the rising sun.


At least I can pretend I am more than who I am in this moment of change. The door is open, and I can cross through it from the darkness into light. From the life of stars, to the heaven of sun.


But in reality I am no god. I am no fairy of night, dweller of stars. In reality I am a simple human, a girl imagining greater things than her present life. I do not hold the constellations in my hands, rather I am the child with the paintbrush, sloppily wiping pink and orange across a blank canvas.


That’s okay. I am okay with this reality. I am okay because this does not need to be a permanent setting. One day, when I sit back on my heels and watch this moment of transition, I will no longer need imagination, I will no longer have to use my sloppy brushstrokes because I would have taken my steps forward through the wet sand, allowed the tide to guide me forward through the open doors of dawn and embraced the fairy waiting on the other side.


I am more than a mere child. It’s just not clear yet.

The Darkest Hour

By: Michal White

I cannot sleep in fear of the dark. I sit near my window where the glow of the moon is strongest, and hug my knees to my chest.

My parents have gone to sleep, my sister a bundle of blankets in her bed across the room, but I am wide awake. Part of me is afraid of the dark but the other just wants to see the Moon. She tells me stories of Her many lives, the waxing and waning of kingdoms and empires alongside Her own birth and death. She tells me how every night She relishes the darkness and the hour before Dawn.

For the darkest hour is before the Dawn when the Sun will rise and push out the Moon. But during that hour the night tightens its hold and tries to prevent the transition.

The Moon tells me that She has befriended the Dawn during Her many years watching over the Earth. They have played a careful dance, “A romance,” She likes to joke.

I enjoy that hour the most during the night, despite its darkness, its widening of the shadows. I find peace in that moment as the light peeks up from behind the horizon, shy in His entrance to see His lover. For the Dawn is impatient, waiting a whole day’s cycle before He can see His love, yet He is still shy.

So, He enters slowly. First a slip of purple flows over the sky like a wave crashing in the middle of an ocean, an effortless blending of two things meant to intertwine. The Moon slides down just a little in Her sultry dance towards the Dawn, and as the stars slowly blink out, the Dawn allows some pink to slip over His waves of purple.

This is the Moon’s favorite part, where She and the Dawn are as close as they can be, because in the next moment the orange bursts through its cage without the Dawn’s permission, and begins to tug the Sun along behind it.

The Dawn tries to slow the Sun down and reaches towards the Moon, but She has accepted Fate long ago. She smiles down at her love, and Dawn keeps stretching out His arms, but the Moon slowly fades into her slumber for the Sun’s hours.

And with that, Dawn drops away as well, His blockade against the Sun falls away, and golden light takes over the sky.

When the Sun climbs over the horizon, I climb into bed as my sister stirs. There is a tightness in my chest as I fall asleep under the yellow light, a sadness for the two lovers who can never truly be together, but that feeling dissolves as the shadows fall away, and I drift into a soothing slumber.


We Forget

By: Michal White


It’s the moments between the miracles that people seem to forget. The moments of quiet things, of simple things, like soft pillows and warm beds. “It’s the journey not the destination” as the saying goes, and yet every day as the sun starts to rise, and the birds begin their quiet songs, and the rustle of bedsheets and yawns are heard, people keep on forgetting.


Dawn is the moment between two miracles, the transition between darkness and God’s fulfillment of the gift of light. Dawn is the end of the beautiful night, and yet we still forget. How could we keep forgetting that every single day He paints a beautiful sky of purples, oranges and soft pinks for us? Who are we to forget?


Is dawn not the time for memories, of waking up from dreams and coming to reality? Is dawn not the time for contemplation, as the door to the night shuts on us and the daytime’s window slides open? We forget.


How forgetful the human race is, because this moment of silence, this moment of true beauty, is a miracle.


And we still forget.

Thank You, Dawn

By: Jake Nussbaum


The first light

After a long night



The rules state

Day starts with day break

It begins


Now I can

Do what must do man

The mitzvot


They’re good deeds

Commandments, indeed

Every day


From blue strings

To food and blessings

It all starts


It begins

Only once first light

Washes away

The night’s sins

And blesses us

With the ability

The opportunity

Of a clean slate

Of a new day

Waiting to be filled

With good deeds


מודה אני

The North Side of Highland Park

By: Seela Langer


and so i landed back at the beginning

back there

back where a small part of me swore to never return

back to the beginning


we stayed a block away from where we once were

and before the sun rose i walked the route i still know in my sleep

and the cherry willow at the bottom of the hill still sways in the breeze

the concrete slab’s graffiti by the creeks waterfall is still painted over

the shortcut to the school still had the wooden plank bridge over the mud  that still hasn’t dried

apparently, one house got knocked down but was rebuilt to look exactly the same


a half a square mile that has only shifted when the seasons demanded it

i walked into the school’s gym and it still smelled the same


seven years out and gone and nothing’s changed

everything just looks smaller

and the people, especially the people are tiny

petty and shiny, smiling like they own the world

because this town is the world and they own it

ownership is just influence in writing

and voices grow louder with age

and time is a currency you only accumulate with more time

and time moves impossibly slow here for it is just rate and distance

and distances are farther when you’re smaller so --


but - but some people can fit in half a square mile and be huge

i learned small towns are not evil

old faces do not look the same as they once did they shine brightly in the risen sun and smile so tall

but i was always growing out so i had to get out

and only in going back do i realize that i need to apologize

for hating everything i recognize now seven years later that it was beautiful

and that cherry willows still mean it’s spring and that creek’s waterfalls still mean play

and wooden bridges are always always going to be walking with my father

so thank you for the good i am not sorry i didn’t fit i’m just sorry that i blamed it on the mold

i was just from a different puzzle box.   



So Here She Was

By: Samara Taubenfeld

Bright and early at dawn she was there.

With tired eyes, breathing in the new air.

“Meet me here,” he said last night,

Surprisingly, to her delight.


So here she was,

The sleep still upon her face,

But he wasn’t here, not a trace.


She peered around, spotting some butterflies in flight,

Similar to those she had experienced last night.

Last night when he told her to meet her back here.

Sooner or later he will surely appear.


So here she was,

Searching all over the place,

But he wasn’t here, not a trace.


Depleted and down she sat on the ground,

Feeling as though her heart had just drowned.

The sun was rising, illuminating the sky,

As she sat there and began to cry.


So here she was,

With tears falling down her face,

But he wasn't here, not a trace.


By: Joseph Rosenbaum

Sometimes you can forget

the power of your vision.

It can be used as

a bad decision

            a division

                       Between light, dark,

                                              No revision


Our eyes are like icy fire,

their sights contrast one another like gunfire.


They make us see things we regret,

or things we will never


They make us upset

         From which there’s no reset

But they also see the bright

       The stars at night

               A little boy and his kite

       Ocean in the moonlight


All of someone’s power is

deep within their eye, and they shouldn’t use it in a way that could

make a man cry,

rather, just use it to be simply a good guy.


By: Adina Horowitz


When light slips away
I know what cannot stay;
The bright and the shining,
The sheen and the lighting.
It wanders away
For it does not delay.
But as time spins past,
light's disappearance will not last.
Dawn comes closer
And the light starts to bolster
Lighting up what was once dark,
We watch the sunrise as it leaves its mark.

A Rationale for the Evil Fairy

By: Allison Gellerstein

Once, upon a rosebush, burned a ray of dawn’s unfocused and unpowerful rays.

That light saved me, once upon a time, from the curses I cast upon myself.

I was beholden to my friend, the rising dawn.

Dawn redeemed the dark promises I made and settled my debts.

In return I owed servitude to the fluctuating powers in the heavens.

I sacrificed my precious rosebush to feed dawn’s hungry teeth.

The dark petals dripped with my blood and poisoned me against the dawn.

Dawn leeched me of my power until I was depleted and could give nothing else.

Then the dawn’s soft light reflected a tall figure in my darkening blood.

I was no longer beholden to my friend the dawn.

I found a new lamb to sacrifice for my sins.

Ride the Night

By: Allison Gellerstein

I ride out the night to escape my thoughts

The ones that follow me as the fog descends

I wait for absolution as the dawn rises

Whisking my worries away in a clear cloud of light


When I hear the whispers of the sun leaving

It seems that there is an echo of my doubts

I am left to vanquish my fears with a sword missing from my belt

But wishing for dawn to be a reprieve like dusk is in war


Monsters prowl across the landscape of my dreams

Lurking quietly behind the scenes

I wait for the sun to burn their flesh

But all I am left with is a half powered dawn


The night reveals my shadows to no one

Yet I am more exposed in a freezing darkness

Though I pray that the mere hope of dawn is enough to save me

There is only me left to defend against the intruders of night


I ride out the night to escape my thoughts

The ones that follow me as the fog descends

I wait for absolution as the dawn rises

Delusional Thoughts

By: Adina Horowitz

It seeps into your brain

Delusional thoughts,

Swirl around.

It's something that

Nothing can control

Flying above,

Tormenting anyone

That it can.

Watching like a hawk.

The moment it strikes

Will be well planned.

Everyone fears

The danger it creates.

It's next victim,

standing ready,

Wondering when

it will come,

When it will,

smother them whole,

When death

will finally take them.

Art & Photography

Raquel Kohn

Joelle Kuperman

Michal White

Reuven Fishkin

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