Gypsy secrets

Scattered around the grounds of an abandoned rugby club, the caravans each told their own tale of the journeys they had been on.

The worn-down tyres were a sign it had been a long time since the gypsies had stopped for a rest.

Painted on the sides were pictures that represented who they were and where they had originated from.

Common themes were rainbows, fields of flowers and bright yellow suns which enticed passersby into their wonderland or caused them to mutter comments about ''gypsy freedom''.

The gypsy people seemed lost in their own timeless paradise, not willing to change their ways.

I wondered if they were really as free as they appeared.

One lady sat on her rocking chair, the creases in her skin a mark of old age.

Her long, grey hair fell to her waist and enclosed her body like a blanket of warmth.

The gypsy children played tag and joked about how the local kids were weird.

Laughter echoed through the village of caravans and stalls.

Mustiness mixed with incense permeated the clothing for sale.

I could almost taste the sickly candy floss and the greasy, deep-fried hotdogs on offer as I passed.

One stall caught my attention: the dusty chalk sign that sat outside said Tarot Card Readings.

The man sitting there looked at me from behind his glasses.

I wondered how he perceived me.

He spoke of a death of a close friend. A cold shiver ran down my back and goosebumps emerged on my arms as he reached for my hand.

Confusion destroyed all the other thoughts once assembled in various parts of my mind and a hushed murmur escaped my mouth as I asked, ''how could this be true?''

I decided that it was time to leave.

As sinister clouds rolled in to create the night sky and ripples began to dance across the surface of the lake, smoke from the chimneys of the caravans painted murkiness over the rundown rugby grounds.

The wind howled as I made my way home with the memories that I had formed from the day stuck inside my head like a video on repeat.

It was then that I realised that the gypsies had hidden secrets that they were not willing to reveal.

Secrets that moved on with them.


• By Ella Hughes, Year 11, Mt Aspiring College



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