A medieval or Victorian era clearing near the outskirts of a town, and two Gypsy wagons, mobile homes of the day, parked for the evening

It Takes a Village – Chapter 6

[button link=”http://irez.uk/2013/06/05/it-takes-a-village-chapter-5/” bg_color=”#000000″ border=”#757575″]< Chapter 5: The Manor[/button] [caption id="attachment_18202" align="aligncenter" width="600"]A medieval or Victorian era clearing near the outskirts of a town, and two Gypsy wagons, mobile homes of the day, parked for the evening Goatswood: The Gypsy Camp[/caption]

Chapter 6. The Gypsy Camp

“Kelly!” yelled Isabella alarmed when the child took off running into the woods. Her daughter was in the habit of going from total calmness to full blown hyperactivity in a fraction of a second. “Kelly, come back here, now!”

But Kelly was not an obedient child and Isabella struggled to follow her daughter. By the time she came to a fork in the path, the child was gone.

“Kelly! Kelly!” She was nowhere to be seen.

Isabella took the right path for the only reason that she could hear voices coming from that side and she thought Kelly might have been drawn to those voices. The dense forested area, even in daylight, seemed a bit daunting, a feeling only heightened by the fact that many crows perched on the trees, observing her silently. They were not intimidated by the presence of a stranger, quite the opposite; they seemed to intentionally want to intimidate her.

“Kelly!” she screamed even louder to no avail.

Suddenly she reached a small bridge. The voices were closer, but not as loud. Her screaming had alerted a few people. She crossed the bridge and walked towards the gypsy camp. By then she was sobbing.

“What is it, dear lady? What happened?”

The gypsies drew closer, moving her to sit down by the fire.

 “My daughter… I can’t find her. I crossed the woods… but I can’t find her… She is so small. I have to…”

“Calm down, dear lady, calm down. We will find her,” said an elderly woman, placing an arm around Isabella’s shoulder. “Here, have some tea.”

Isabella took a sip and a deep breath to compose herself, and looked around. A large number of gypsies watched her. They must think she was deranged, but she had lost her kid. She knew this would eventually happen. Kelly was far too rebellious to do as she was told. Isabella always imagined her child being kidnapped or getting killed, and the violent death of her husband only magnified this certainty.

“Calmer now?” asked the elderly gypsy. “What’s your name, dear lady?”

“Isabella…” she whispered.

“My name is Mirela. You are safe here.”

Isabella nodded and tried to stand up.

“No, no. Stay, just for a bit. You need to rest,” Mirela said. “The men will look for your daughter. Kelly, isn’t it?”

Isabella nodded again, defeated.

“Good. Check the mill first, quickly,” ordered the elderly gypsy woman.

The men seemed to understand the urgency of that order, something that totally escaped Isabella. They took off, running into the woods.

“We’ll rest here for a bit and then we’ll go to the village and try to see if the little one is there.”

Suddenly Isabella recalled the reason why she was at this village. She checked her watch, something the gypsy matriarch found bizarre. Perhaps this woman was just putting on a show and there was no child. The elderly gypsy woman adjusted the brown shawl around her shoulders and reached for Isabella’s hand.

“Let me see your hand, dear lady.”

“Oh, no, I… I am sorry. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I don’t believe in those things…”

The gypsy woman took Isabella’s hand and turned the palm up; she followed the light ridges with her index finger. She frowned a few times and shook her head.

“You’re a very dangerous woman.”

Isabella was surprised by this abrupt statement, even slightly offended.

“Dangerous? I am not dangerous. I am just a mother looking for her child. As a matter of fact, I am wasting time here. I thank you for your help, but I must be on my way,” she said, standing up. The friendly crowd became a bit less compassionate-looking, she noticed.

The old gypsy woman stood up slowly. She looked at the floor and frowned. She shook her head again. “Dear lady, if you are lying and there is no child…”

“There is! I told you. She ran off into the woods,” interrupted Isabella with a mixture of irritation and spite.

A stifling silence settled in.

After a few long minutes, she could hear the men calling for Kelly. They were coming back.

“Nothing,” one of the gypsy men said as they arrived, brushing dry leaves and a few kernels of wheat off their coats.

“The mill?”

“Nothing. We went to the fields too. No one has seen her.”

“The river?”

The man shook his head. “Nope. The village is filled with strangers though. Some of them looked at us sideways and mumbled some comments.”

 “Strangers?” asked Mirela.

Isabella shifted her body weight from one foot to the other. “It’s the train. It got delayed. We are all stuck here till the next train arrives” – and she took a step towards the wooden gate. “Thank you for your help, but I must go now.”

 “Very well, if you must. We hope you find your child,” said the Mirela cautiously, looking at Isabella as she turned and ran away through the gate towards the Manor. “Son, keep an eye on her.”

The young gypsy man, who had led the search party for Kelly, nodded in agreement and took off to follow Isabella.

[button link=”http://irez.uk/2013/06/07/it-takes-a-village-chapter-7/” bg_color=”#000000″ border=”#757575″ class=”alignright”]Chapter 7: The Indian Pavilion >[/button]

Lisbon, Portugal -- I am a former educator who became a writer. My fascination for people's intricacies and my love for words drive me to write stories. These appear in the format of flash-fiction, short stories and poetry, stubbornly and imprudently!

9 thoughts on “It Takes a Village – Chapter 6

    1. I have thought about you so much, Yordie! Remember I once commented in your blog that, as a reader, I really didn’t like this method of not havig the whole story available to read and having to come back for the next bit the next day? Hah! Well, there it is! Now I do! I wonder though if people DO come back for the next chapter/part/story or if there’s so much going on that they simply get distracted and… well, find more interesting things to check, I suppose! Either way, it’s a lot of fun taking part in this June Avatar Blogger Month. I honestly thought I’d stop at day 12 (the end of the short-story), but… not! LOL xoxo

      1. You have mastered this type of story telling! Hope to see you at SL10B. I’m laying low, so you’ll have to come right up and hug me. hehe. xoxo

        1. I’m with LIzzie – it’s nice to know Yordie is alive!

          PS: not that “we” like to talk about it… but I “died” once too. And it was A LOT more drama than Yordie’s simple farewell. I guess the whole beginning, middle, end of it isn’t all under any one tag on iRez, but this should get you a flavor of the event:

          Meanwhile, YES!!!! Lizzie’s duodecad of Goatswood moments is fantastic! It’s so great to have your “fiction” set in “real” “virtual” places… the mind reels on that bit of resonance alone. Our lives today are so many generations of copies of distant, romanticized originals…

          I really love going to the places Lizzie wrote from / about. We’re all so busy and obviously it takes a lot more time than just to read it – more so since you have to dress period for Goatswood. I’d like to try to have a deeper experience of less. Our media, I think, encourage wide, shallow experience. And I am curious about so many things. But it’s all so frantic. To slow down and really, you know “smell the flowers” that’s worth missing a few other tidbits for.

          Anyway, you know that old saying that a place can be “vacant,” but it is not “empty” until someone you love has passed through. That’s the thing about places, physical ones and virtual ones. They hold trace memories. I’m sure if Yordie should ever find herself at one of the gas stations she stopped at during “The Hitcher” it wouldn’t be “just a gas station” as it would be to anyone else stopping there. It would be a touchstone for the unraveling of people and ideas and feelings and questions and mysteries.

          And so with Lizzie’s virtual place “remapping” it’s so remarkable to go sit in a big cozy chair by the fire at The Inn and then read the experiences that Lizzie has mapped onto this canvas of place.

          When you go see a summer movie, whether it’s Superman at the planet Krypton, a place we can never go, or The Interns at Google, a place we actually could go, either way, it’s just “some place” that this story that I might like or not, takes place. But sitting at The Inn or any of Lizzie’s other locations, it’s as though you can hear the echos of the voices of her characters living and breathing in these spaces. Living and breathing in their moments.

          You can’t exactly “touch the leather of the chair,” but with camera and avatar we have such powerful ways to experience and touch this space.

          I read a bunch of Lisa See novels this spring. When “Shanghai Girls” Pearl & May have experiences in Shanghai or Hong Kong or San Francisco or Los Angeles, these are all real places, places See has lived in and researched and experienced deeply. But no matter how well she, or I, know these places, they still are backdrops to the narrative. And you can’t realistically go on a “Shanghai Girls Tour” reading each chapter in the appropriate part of each city.

          With Goatswood and the Blind Jump Into stories we have a unique opportunity to experience a kind of presence in the adventure. It’s kind of a new medium. Or like a Janet Cardiff audio tour, a remapping of a place with new, imagined moments.

          1. So sorry you had to go through all that stress, Van… SL can be very demanding at times… The good part of it all is that SL offers so much, people of all corners of the world, different cultures, different backgrounds, and places, replicas of the past, present and future. As a result, we tend to come back and rediscover SL. Perhaps my stories could also contribute for this rediscovery! I like the “remapping” concept a lot, and I’m having an idea… oh dear… LOL! More soon!

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