I watch these reality TV shows like My Gypsy Wedding. From what it portrays; in comparison to the Gypsies of yesterday, Gypsies are simply wealthy and attractive women who freely use the "F" word. I've seen another Reality show about Gypsies in the U.K. They are portrayed as simply uneducated, ill-mannered people who live in trailer parks.
It looks like I have a new series of short stories for the Literary World of Tom Raimbault that centers around a middle-aged fictional character that I call Pias the Gypsy. He has an obsession with fifteen-year-old Melanie. In today's story he reveals the details of his previous marriage; how he abducted a sixteen-year-old girl and turned her into his Gypsy bride. Is this what he wants with Melanie?
If you've ever wondered what happened to the Gypsies of yesterday, I have brought them back for you.
Fifteen-year-old Melanie was sitting on a swing at the park one Sunday afternoon; when out of nowhere, Pias the Gypsy stood next to her. It startled Melanie, especially since her lastencounter with him while visiting her Aunt not more than a week ago.
“Don't be frightened." reassured Pias. 'I know you are uneasy with everything. Let me tell you that I was once in love with a girl like you. At the time I was younger—in my thirties. The circus was always traveling from town to town, and this time was stationed in Minnesota for about three weeks. And I just so happened to have friends who invited me to stay with them while I was in town. This would provide me a chance to get away from the circus when I wasn't working.
These friends were actually the parents of a friend of mine who remembered me. Their kids were all grown up and married with families of their own. They were open to having me stay with them while their son (my friend) would often see me during my stay.
There was something else. Their daughter (my friend's older sister) and her husband were apparently having some financial hardships, and had moved back home with mom and dad. They had children of their own. One of them was a beautiful, young woman named Mira who had just turned 16. She had long, shiny, black hair with mysterious dark eyes, and a pretty face that was perfect like a porcelain doll. And just like you, she had an undeniable attraction and fascination with me. Out of the corner of my eye, I would catch her looking at me. Then she would quickly look away when I glanced over in her direction. And there was also something else interesting that was happening. Through time, she actually began to develop Gypsy eyes. You've seen them before; deeply set eyes with a certain gaze that seems to long and hunger for something as if lost, or looking for something. I began to suspect that perhaps during my visit, I had triggered some memories of a past life in which she had been a Gypsy. The more she encountered me, the more she longed to return to it.
Secretly I began to fall in love with her. I suppose it was fate that she and I would be brought together. But time was running out. The circus was in town for only a few weeks, and I would soon have to pack up and go to the next destination. Chances are I would never see her again. At most I might one day return, and she would have a husband and children of her own.
It was on a Tuesday evening, a night when I did not have to work at the circus, when I found myself to be home alone with her. Both her parents and grandparents had gone to pick up one of the cars that were at the auto mechanic's.—you know; everyone pile into one car, drive there and then someone drives the other car home?
As always, she was a bit bashful and shy around me; but did speak when spoken to. So I attempted a more deeper conversation, "My mother taught me how to tell fortunes with cards." I began. "Would you like me to read your fortune for you?"
Both of us sat down at the kitchen table. I pulled out my deck of cards and spread them out. "Uh-huh... Very interesting..."
"What? What is it?" she asked.
"It says in a past life that you were a Gypsy. It says that my visit has enabled you to remember small portions of this life, and that you have a longing to return to the Gypsy life." I put the cards down and stared deeply into her eyes while asking, "Have you been having memories of your past life?"
She only shrugged her shoulders and shook her head, "Not that I know of."
That's when I stood up, walked over to her and began combing her long, black, pretty hair. "Come with me." I urged. "Leave your parents, your siblings and your school mates behind. Return to the life that you long for—the life of a Gypsy. I've seen how you've been looking at me in the few weeks that I've stayed here. You long for me, and wish for me to be your husband. Together we can start a new life... the life you wish for... the life of a Gypsy."
The moment might have been somewhat overwhelming and frightening for her. She trembled and shook her head, no. She even begged me to go away. But I knew in her heart that she really wanted to come with me and return to the life of a Gypsy. At a loss of what to do at the moment, I simply retired to my room and lay down.
Not more than an hour later, there was a loud rap at my bedroom door. It was her grandfather—my friend's father who allowed me to stay there.
"Did you talk to Mira and ask her to leave with you and become your husband?"
I was shocked and couldn't believe that Mira had disclosed the details of our personal conversation to other people. I knew that in her heart she really wished for what I suggested. But now that people knew, it would be difficult to follow through with it.
"I... I..." Unsure of what to say, all I could do was stutter.
"I'm going to have to ask you to leave!" said Mira's grandfather. "She's really shook up about this, and crying. You better leave if you know what's best for you! Her father was seconds from busting down your door and taking care of you. Instead, he's gone outside for a walk to calm down. You better leave before things get out of control!"
I didn't have many belongings—just some dirty clothes, toiletries and some small items I had acquired during the visit. I quickly packed up and ran out of the house. But before scampering out the door I caught a quick view of Mira who had made eye contact with me. She was confused and bewildered; wished that things hadn't turned out this way. Like I said before; she longed for me and longed to return to the life of a Gypsy.
If you've ever wondered why abduction is one of the many lifestyles of a Gypsy, I'll tell you. In the case of Mira, she knew what she wanted but had some inhibitions and reservations. It was up to me to rescue her and help her break through to freedom.
It was on the final day of the circus being in town, a Monday morning following the previous evening's last show before we head out. A colleague who worked in the circus allowed me to borrow his car. I knew that Mira walked to school each day, and I somewhat knew of her route. This made it easy for me to park the car in an alleyway that intersected Mira's walk to school.
The trunk was open, and I hid on the opposite side of the building, just close enough to the sidewalk where I could quickly grab Mira. In the pocket of my jacket was a hypodermic needle with drugs that would immediately put her to sleep.
I listened for her foot steps and then walked out in front of her when I believed she was close enough. And she was; by about two feet.
Mira looked up at me in terror, and seemed to know what was about to happen.
"Relax..." I reassured her. "Everything will be fine.
She tried to run away, but I was able to grab her arm. I reached into my pocket and pulled out the needle. It was stuck into her shoulder and the drugs rushed in.
Her body almost immediately went limp. She was light enough for me to lift up and throw into the truck of the car. I slammed it shut and drove back to the site to continue with helping the breakdown of the circus.
About six hours later, I noticed that police had come for an apparent investigation. I knew they were looking for me. But before they saw me—before anyone could summon me to talk to the police—I sneaked out to my colleague's car and opened the trunk.
Mira was awake and bit groggy.
"Shhhhh... Everything is okay." I reassured her. "Here, have some water." I had a bottle of water in my jacket and dumped the contents into her mouth.
She swallowed and nearly choked.
"That's enough!" I said while pulling the bottle away. You can have more, later. We'll be leaving tonight, and soon you will be my Gypsy bride. Before she could notice, I pulled out another needle and stuck it into Mira's arm which put her back to sleep.
Upon returning to the area where I worked, I was immediately recognized by the owner and handed over to the police for questioning. Although I hadn't been arrested, I was forced to answer their questions, right there on the work site.
"Were you staying at Roger Dawlis' house for a few weeks while the circus was in town?" one of the officers asked.
"Did you have any conversations with his granddaughter, Mira Leeland?"
"She lives there." I explained. "So through time we did exchange simple conversation."
The officer went right for the throat, "And did you ask her to run away with you and marry her?"
I nervously laughed and shook my head in disbelief before explaining, "At one point I did mention to her the lifestyle of Gypsies and said that sometimes young women are abducted and forced to become Gypsy brides. But I think it might have gotten to her head. I think she believed that maybe I was suggesting that she should do this."
The other officer who remained silent suddenly spoke up. "You look nervous! Is there something wrong?"
"No..." I calmly answered. "I guess I'm just concerned about what all of this could be about. Is Mira okay?"
"She's been reported as missing." answered the other officer.
"Oh no!" I exclaimed with hand to opened mouth.
"You're not a suspect, yet." continued the officer. "But you are a person of interest. Do you have a sleeping quarters? Would you mind if we checked?"
"Of course not." I reassured the officer. "Please look all you need."
I remained outside while the officers checked my sleeping quarters. As for Mira out in the trunk; I had nothing to fear. My colleague who let me borrow his car wouldn’t inform the police of what I had done. This is how Gypsies are. We stick together and take care of our own. In fact, many people who worked in the circus were aware that I had abducted Mira. It's just the lifestyle of a Gypsy, and so is evading the police.
The officers found nothing, but I was asked not to go too far in case they had other questioning. I wasn't going to obey them. The circus fully packed up and we head out of town by the following evening.
Much of the circus traveled by train; which meant that the performers and managers had their sleeping and living quarters, subdivided on box cars. As for my Gypsy bride to be; Mira had been moved into my sleeping quarters and was kept locked up in a large trunk that sat next to my bed. I regularly opened it to see how she was doing.
"Are you okay?" I would softly ask. I knew she was sick and experiencing withdrawal from the drugs.
She would nod.
"How about some water?" I offered.
She would eagerly drink.
I was sure to bring her food throughout our travel.
I would carry her over to use the chamber pot when needed, and then would put her back to the trunk when she was finished.
At night I would comb my fingers through her pretty hair and softly kiss her cheek while telling her how much I loved her.
By the third day of our travel, some of the Gypsy women had entered my quarters and asked if they could see Mira. Everyone was very excited with the new addition to our family and a wedding in the near future.
Proudly I opened the trunk and displayed my bride to be.
The women immediately fell in love with her.
"Oh, she's beautiful!"
"Let her out! We'll take such, good care of her!"
I did as the Gypsy women requested.
They escorted Mira to another area of the living quarters and immediately dressed her in Gypsy clothes. They applied Gypsy makeup to her face, and decorated her with fine jewelry. You see; stealing is part of the lifestyle of a Gypsy, so we have an abundance of everything. We come into this world with nothing—no home, no possessions, no respect, and no laws to obey. So we take whatever we want and make it ours—clothing, jewelry, money and things of great value. Gypsies are very wealthy for this reason. And a Gypsy bride will always be decorated with the finest clothing and jewelry.
It didn't take long before Mira tossed away her reservations of becoming a Gypsy. In fact, she might have forgotten and left her previous life behind the very moment she took a look at herself in the mirror. From that moment on, she was mine...
...for about six years, that is—two of those years worked at the circus.
You see, Mira was very young and vibrant with a gradual tendency to be consumed with the novelty of things. The circus would arrive at a new town, which would be a fresh start for Mira and me. But after the first couple of weeks in the new town, the experience would get stale for her. This staleness would soon be projected onto me and our marriage.
She was an acrobat in the circus, and had a habit of flirting with young men out in the audience. She had those Gypsy eyes and could easily suggest a night of romance just by locking eyes with a male of interest.
I tried not to let it get the best of me. I realized that nothing could ever come out of it. Spectators, after all, were not allowed behind stage. But then Mira began to flirt and come-on to other men who worked in the circus. Many times I had to fight other men for Mira, and almost lost. A couple of times I had gotten so frustrated that I even smacked her in the face and bruised her up pretty bad. You see; this is acceptable in Gypsy society. Sometimes a wife can become rebellious and disobedient. The husband must regain control which sometimes includes giving his wife a good beating.
One time I tried to reason with her. "Look; we travel from town to town. You are young and get bored easily. You just have to deal with it. We always move on and you get a fresh start. Just try to remind yourself of this."
I didn't work so well.
By the end of those two years of working in the circus, the authorities caught up to us. They were looking for Mira who had surely been abducted, and I was the prime suspect. Many people run away and join the circus. But we actually did the opposite, and ran away from the circus for freedom.
Gypsies stick together and take care of their own. My Gypsy family in the circus pooled money together, and we were given an old camper with a wad of small cash to get us on our feet. This enabled us to drive off into the sunset and remain one step in front of the law.
We made money by traveling from town to town where carnivals were set up for weekends or events. We simply pulled our camper into whatever parking lot a carnival was held and set ourselves up as the "Gypsy Attraction". I would read people's fortunes with cards. Mira would bring groups of people into the camper where they would pay to see her perform mesmerizing belly dancing. Most of the time these spectators were young men who hoped they could offer her more money for additional services. I was outraged upon learning this, but tried to keep my head.
At almost every carnival we worked, Mira provoked a young man to become interested in her. And just as things looked like this young man would finally succeed in breaking the ice, it would be time for the carnival to be broken down and for us to head out on the road in search of more work. Finally, she was mine again... for a brief while.
This went on for a few years. And it wasn't until I came home from one of the beer tents after working one night that I discovered Mira lying naked in our marital bed with a young man. He was having sex with her. It broke my heart and I knew that our marriage could never be the same. I just walked away... far, far away; away from the carnival and away from the town. I walked away from it all and started a new life.
And here I am today.”
Melanie looked away from Pias and down at the ground. His story was definitely mesmerizing, and maybe a trick to hypnotize her into following him. Is this what Pias wanted from Melanie? Did he want to take her away from her family, and turn Melanie into his Gypsy wife?
Pias added more, "I know you are aware that it isn't uncommon for Gypsy men to have relationships with young women your age to teach them how to be good lovers. But those relationships are only temporary. I wish to have something with you that is better than what I had with Mira. I wish for you to be my Gypsy bride so we can be together, forever.
Come with me, Melanie. Leave your family behind and start a new life with me as a Gypsy."
Suddenly, there was a carousel on the grounds of the park. It spun round and round as the animals bobbed up and down. It looked just as frightening as the time when Pias brought the balloons in her Aunt's house. There were acrobats, and trapeze artists; clowns and lion tamers; freaky people of all walks of life who waved at Melanie as they rode the carousel.
"Come with us Melanie... Come with us Melanie..."
Melanie screamed and sat up in bed. It was another strange dream; apparently a recurring dream about Pias the Gypsy. How much longer would these go on?