This is the follow-up segment to https://journeyofthegypsy.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/in-the-tent-behind-the-veil-the-gypsy/ where I introduce the gypsy from her own perspective, in the tent. It is a developing story that will eventually make up my novel. These are the two unlikely characters who will form a friendship. Enjoy!
It was finally my turn to get my reading. It felt as though I had been standing for an hour all the while trying to avoid the continuous stare from the money collector. Shifting my weight between legs helped ease the pressure on my knees. I tried not to let him notice, but had no idea why I should have cared.
Just as I stepped forward, relieved to be out of view of his piercing eyes, he stuck his right arm out, almost making contact.
“Just a minute lady, I need to have a word with Gypsy.”
It took immeasurable control of my patience to not react. He seemed like the type who would take perverse pleasure in prolonging my wait.
I strained to hear him as he enter the tent. His voice was harsh and just above a whisper. “Gypsy, I’m warning you for the last time – keep it to ten minutes unless I tell you they paid for more in advance.”
I didn’t hear a reply. I imagined she nodded in response.
“Don’t have me tell you again,” he ordered. “We’ve got enough in line and I won’t be losing any from your lolly-gagging. Do you got that?”
As soon as he stepped out, I attempted to rush past him, keeping my eyes on the ground. He grabbed my arm.
“Sure you don’t want the extra ten minutes? Tell me now or back of the line if you change your mind.”
“No thank you. I am fine as is.” I shook my arm free of his grasp. He hadn’t hurt me but I could still feel the imprint of his grip.
“Tight-ass bitch.” I was sure he murmured under his breath.
As my eyes adjusted to the dim, It took time to gather my equilibrium. Men like that were dangerous. I shivered, surprised that it was much cooler inside the fortune-teller’s tent than outside.
She looked at me calmly. Demure is the word that came to mind.
“Please, have a seat.” She said softly from behind her veil.
I gratefully sat down not knowing what to expect next.
I watched intently as she removed what appeared to be a piece of soft felt from the top of a luminous crystal ball. It was about the size of a five-pin bowling ball. I wondered if it was there for dramatic effect. If it was, it worked. I was drawn to it. I sensed it held power.
“I see you are curious about this crystal.” She locked eyes with me. Hers were a stunning mix of green, blue and grey. They looked to have a darker shade of blue around the iris. I was immediately entranced in spite of my promise to myself to remain cautious.
When I didn’t answer, she continued speaking in her soft, soothing tone.
“Do you have a photo with you you would like to show me?”
I nodded, digging in my bag for my wallet. It felt like a clock was ticking loudly as I shuffled through the contents of my purse. When I finally retrieved it, I glanced around to find the clock but saw nothing but tiny dangling mirrors at all heights, swaying in different directions, casting mystique with their reflective dance. No clock was to be found.
Tick tock, tick tock. It must have been my heart beat. My fingers found the photo that came to mind only when the gypsy has asked. I handed it to her, my hand shaking and my heart racing. Would this carnival gypsy be able to tell me something about my son? Would she shed light onto my darkest hour? I doubted it. I was expecting a generic, canned reading.
She interrupted my thoughts. “Are you Julie or Julia?”
She stared. I stared.
“Actually, my name is Julianna, but everyone calls me Jules.” I wondered if my expression displayed my amazement. How on this earth did she come up with my name?
“How lovely,” she purred. “Jules, after your grandfather.”
This may be where I say, ‘You had me at hello.’, I thought to myself, smiling and relaxed for the first time today. Instead I played it safe. “Thank you. Yes.” There, I had answered her query. Short and to the point with my guard still in place. It was wobbling, but it was in place. I thought.
After passing her hand over the studied photo, she placed it in between the legs of the stand, pushing it directly under her crystal ball. Her hands cupped the ball as she closed her eyes.
The silence deafened me. I no longer heard ‘the clock’. When she finally opened her eyes the gypsy was nodding her head, gazing through the glass as if in understanding or perhaps agreement.
“This is your son. I can’t tell if his name is Michael or David.”
“Michael.” I whispered, willing myself not to shed even one tear.
She continued, “He has a message for you. He says he didn’t suffer. He knows you would wonder about that.”
One tear drop fell. And then a few more. So much for my resolve. It disintegrated even faster than usual. I caught myself holding my breath for more. I shook from the inside. Waves of memories filtered through my mind and then I listened intently for more precious information. So far it could be just a matter of pure interjection, I convinced myself. But I somehow knew this was the real deal. She was not a fake, pulling in money in return for gypsy rhetoric. No.
“Michael has a friend named David. They served together. I can’t make out the last name. It could be Marshall or something like that. Mitchell? David was also a navy seal, like your son. They served in Iraq together.
Had I given her a picture of him in uniform? No, no. It was before he enlisted. Jesus, this was incredible.
“Yes, that’s right.” I managed to say.
“Michael is asking if you are able to give David a message. He is repeating the same sentence over and over again. ‘Tell him she’s safe with family. Tell him she’s safe with family …’. Michael thinks David is in Montreal working security. He is asking you to find him. Michael owes David his life. ‘David saved my life. Tell her that David saved my life!’”.
“But Michael is dead. He died over there!” I told her through my tears.
The gypsy snapped her head up.
“He’s gone, Jules. I’m sorry. I have no control over his leaving.”
“Times up Gypsy.”, I heard through the flap.
Bye for now – Namaste.
Lesley Fletcher is a writer (freelance, books, content, lyrics,stage plays) as well as a visual artist specializing in monoprinting. To learn more about her please visit the tabs here on WordPress or her website athttp://www.LesleyFletcher.com