I have been writing stories for some years and it has been suggested that I could put one or two onto the blog site. So here is the first of five parts to my story GYPSY. Set in Ireland in the 1980 s, it deals with the widespread mistrust and prejudice which characterises many Irish people's dealings with the gypsy population of the island. I hope some people find the tale interesting. Here is Part 1.
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“Remember not to be late tonight, Tim, it's Christmas eve you know.”
The grey Mercedes pulled into the approach road to the shopping centre, and had to brake suddenly to avoid hitting a bunch of tough looking teenagers dawdling across the road. Tim's daddy pressed a button and the electric window rolled down. Without stopping he yelled ,
“Get off the road you useless louts!”
“Piss off, Grandad!! Come back here and say that, baldy!!”
One of them ran up to the car and jabbed a one-finger sign at Tim through the window. The boy almost spilled his can of coke down his new yellow bomber jacket in surprise. The window went back up and the car pulled away.
“What a disgusting display, probably those filthy gypsies from the halting site around the corner.. We'd be better off without that sort around here, hordes of children and no jobs, they neither work nor want, and I wouldnt trust any of them..... they all carry knives.”
Tim's dad went on and on. The boy had heard the same speech many times , and agreed with most of it.The car reached the end of the cul-de-sac approach road, and Tim made ready to get out.
“Don't be late, Tim, I wan't to pick you up and get home quick we've got guests coming for supper, you know.”
“I won't daddy, I'll leave as soon as the show's over.”
He was going to the movies as usual on a Friday night. At least it was more fun than waiting alone at home for his parents to get back from the bridge club. And then he wasn't allowed to turn the television up loud in case the neighbours complained, and the heating had to be watched ..because we don't want to waste money heating the whole house when there's only you in, do we Tim, my man? And don't make any mess because it'll only be extra work for us to clean up, and don't forget we've got guests...... Yes, the movies were a lot more fun.
The movie was one Tim had been looking forward to. “Lost in Space”, about a U. S. astronaut who made a trip outside the Columbia shuttle, and couldn't get back because his jet pack thrusters failed. A thriller balancing a fate of choking or freezing in space, and whether or not the rescue mission could be launched in time from Cape Canaveral. In the end it was the Russians who saved the astronaut's life
by diverting a Soyuz already aloft in orbit nearby. They managed to get oxygen into his lungs and hold him so that his own rescue craft could eventually grab him and take him back to earth. Tim was disappointed because the film broke down halfway through and they missed about fifteen minutes just at the most crucial point where the decision had to be made whether to launch from the Cape through the eye of a tornado.
The movie ended and the small crowd trooped out into the fresh chill of the winter's evening. Dad will be surprised that it's not me who's late this time , he thought, as the last stragglers disappeared into their cars and the cinema doors bolted behind him. Tim zipped up his jacket and watched his own breath on the frosty air and looked up at the stars above, wondering how it would feel to be alone in space...
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