by I. V. Olokita
Now she’s laughing.
And for a moment she remembers how Daddy told her once that you cannot eat food when it’s cold.
“But why, Daddy?” she asked him with her cute hazel and honey eyes she had when she was little.
“Because it’s very comfortable for the flies, to sit on cold food,” he replied and kissed her head with a fatherly tenderness and with his caressing voice he added that “flies simply spoil the taste of the food.”
But Dina wasn’t really interested in the food’s taste or its temperature. All she wanted was for him to keep going, for him to sit a little longer by her side while she eats and tell her more of the nonsense he’d always share. And she didn’t care if she had to eat the food when it was zillion degrees hot, or that her mouth would melt or that the flies will give the food a taste of wings and wind, as he once explained to her that flies do. The most important thing is that Daddy would stay by her for just a little longer. Only this one time.
But he did not. And Dina was angry. She just sat there and waited for the food to get cold and for the flies to come.
“Dina, your food will get cold,” Daddy grumbled when passing by her on his way to stir the food inside the pot on the stove.
“I’m not eating until you tell me another story,” said Dina with a cute little angry girl’s voice.
“But sweetie,” Daddy tried to explain, “Daddy has no time for stories now.”
It was useless. She heard that story a million times before since Mom had gone to Heaven.
And he knew every time that this comparison was about to come, so there will be no choice, and he’ll need to stop the whole world for her.
“You know, sweetie,” Daddy gave up, lowered the gas under the pot and sat down next to Dina. “Both children and grown-ups have to eat to grow.”
“Or they’ll go to heaven like Mommy?”
“Yes,” Daddy said. “Every child needs to eat and to drink. At least three times a day. Or else…”
“Or else he’d die,” Dina completed his sentence, using a grown-up language and immediately added a curious question, “Daddy… God also needs to eat and to drink?”
“And who cooks for him and makes sure that he eats three times a day?” Dina added another question with a fearful voice.
“Ahhhh, don’t you worry, sweetie,” Daddy replied with a laugh and caressed her tiny face. “Because Daddy has a secret.”
“A secret?” She asked in a whisper.
“A secret,” Daddy replied and pressed his face to her ear to whisper. “But don’t tell anyone. You promise?”
“I promise,” Dina replied and turned her tiny lips to his cheek for a kiss.
“A week ago I tied God with a short blue thread to the fence behind the house and up to the white cloud,” said Daddy in a whisper. “And at least three times a day I go out and pull down the thread without anyone noticing. And at first, God clings to the thread and doesn’t want to get down. But afterward he gives in, and I pull the thread more and more until it reaches the ground and stops hovering. Then he sits down quietly by the table at the garden. I pour him hot-hot food so no flies would come. And he eats.”
“Really, Daddy?” Dina asked, amazed.
“Really,” Daddy said and laughed.
And now she cries.
For a moment she remembers that a few days later, Daddy disappeared on her as well.
And everybody said that he went to Heaven as well. And how miserable she was.
And Dina thought that it’s not right that Daddy is not here by her said. She was angry with him for not telling her funny stories anymore, about food and flies. She ate all the hot food her aunt put on her plate, even though it wasn’t tasty to her.
And for a moment, she would smile and turn to talk to the cloud.
“And who didn’t eat?” she asks quietly, and the thread is still tied to the fence.
I. V. Olokita has been facing life-threatening situations most of his life, specializing in the management of medical aid to disaster areas all over the world. He has a BA degree in logistics, and an MPH degree emergency and disaster situations management. He also volunteers to rescue missions in disaster areas all over the world.
Olokita’s first book (in Hebrew), Ten Simple Rules, was published in 2014. It won an Israeli literary prize and immediately made an online bestseller. The following year, another book by Olokita, Reasons to Kill God, made a local bestseller in Israel. In May 2016, his third novel, Wicked Girl, was published, to make another great success, and soon presents in English.
I. V. Olokita is a happily married father of two adolescents and a foster father of five cats and two dogs, and hardly ever sleeps. Instead, he spends his nights on writing. Olokita’s books are characterized by direct writing, Turns wiry and witty, requiring the reader to delve into and maintain vigilance from the beginning of the book to its surprising end.