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The Wild Gypsy Soul

Finding yourself when you don't know where you are.

The desert is dry and arid. I am wandering around aimlessly looking for some sort of oasis in this barren wasteland. I keep a look out for wild animals and snakes waiting to make me their next meal.

Suddenly up ahead I see a settlement made up of caravans and tents. There are people milling around and sitting by campfires.

"Senorita?" One man uttered as he regarded my tattered clothing. I looked like I had been through a war, as I had just escaped some human traffickers. Slimy bastards they were, but were these guys and ladies were much better?

"Hungry?" He held out a bowl of some ragout or goulash. I didn't care I was starving.

"Gracias," I reply and shovel down the food. I don't care if it is stewed rat. It is food.

It is almost dusk and I explain to him that there are some nasty people after me and will kill me if found. I look around and one of the women says they will help me. She gives me a change of clothes and a shawl to put on my head and am instructed not to say a word. We continue to sit around the fire drinking bad camp coffee.

Before long we hear a jeep in the desert coming toward the gypsy encampment. I am frozen in absolute fear. The man asked me, "Is it them?"

I nod, too afraid to speak.

"Let us take care of this," he put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed gently. He seemed nice enough but I didn't want to appear too friendly. I surmised these people were gypsies of a sort but didn't seem to be carousing too much at least not yet.

My male friend came back with two men following him. They had guns. I recognized one of them as Diablo, one of the morons who kidnapped me. I sat there at the fire and said nothing. The man I had come to know as my protector spoke to his people in what I surmised was Spanish. "These gringos are looking for una chica. We haven't seen anyone unusual around here have we?"

Every one around the campfire shook their head except me. This caused Diablo to look at me and point. "What about that one?"

"Her? That's my sister Shania; she is deaf and dumb."

"Oh well in that case never mind, don't want no half brains who won't listen to orders." Both men laughed and turned back toward the truck.

Once out of earshot I sighed and thanked the group for covering for me. I told them I should leave and save them further trouble.

My hero, whose name is Pedro would have none of it an insisted I stay with the caravan. They were leaving the area and could get me close to a larger town; maybe San Diego where I could call collect and get help from home. I agreed that this was a good idea. It was getting dark and I was exhausted at this point. Pedro's sister Rosa showed me to her caravan and gave me one of her nighties to wear and some clothes for the morning. I lay down on her bed and was asleep with in minutes.

Something woke me in the middle of the night. Howling and an odd crying sound. Rosa was beside me.

"What the hell is that?"

Rosa sat up. "A coyote, he just killed a rabbit. They cry like that when they are dying."

I was disgusted. "Eewww, how awful."

"That's dinner for him. Coyotes gotta eat too."

Yah, okay I got that whole circle of life thing. "Hey do gypsies still gamble steal and sell snake oil?"

"Some do, we don't we just go from town to town sell our crafts and get out before they throw us out. Great way to see the country."

"Oh sounds good. I was thinking of the stereo types I grew up with."

"That Cher song really screwed things up for us. We are legal law abiding citizens with papers so if the Governor of Arizona wants to give us the heave ho she can kiss my Latin American bootie."

I laughed and rolled over. "What was dinner anyway?"

"Stewed rat."

"That's what I thought. Goodnight Rosa."

"Goodnight Shania," Rosa chuckled and we both went back to sleep.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

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