The Gypsies and The Other Realm-Chapter 10
The children slept, as the adults broke camp before dawn, and packed the wagons. Many tribe members had been awake all night celebrating, so they had decided since they were already awake, to leave before daybreak. Selena and Jupiter flew into camp, from their nightly rounds just as the gypsy procession had begun rolling down the dirt path.
The children stirred, but did not wake at the movement of the caravan. Selena, and, Jupiter, flew into the caravan through the open window and snuggled into their basket. Mariska, was the first to wake, and saw that the other children were still soundly sleeping. She looked around the caravan and saw that, Viktoria, had packed a large basket for breakfast, for them, and set it just inside the back door. The basket contained, some biscuits, fresh berries, and dried venison. Viktoria, had also set a clay jar of fresh goats milk next to the basket.
Mariska, peeked out the front curtain of the compartment, and saw that Brutus, was driving the caravan. She supposed that Valentino, and, Viktoria, were resting in one of the open wagons after such a long night of festivities.
Mariska, climbed up onto the bench with her brother and sat on the passenger side. She noticed they were traveling through a valley. The terrain was heavily wooded on both sides of the dirt path, and rugged mountain tops jutted up behind the trees toward the skyline. The horizon ahead, was also, a line of rugged mountains and hills. The weather was warm, and the sun was shining high the sky and was clear blue, with a few white fluffy clouds.
Mariska, estimated the time to be mid-morning. She asked Brutus, if he would like some biscuits, fruit and dried meat, and he replied,” yes”. Mariska, grabbed two tin cups and a large tin bowl from the cupboard, and filled the cups with milk and piled the plate with food. She shared breakfast with Brutus, on the driving bench, engaging in small talk and a conversation about his upcoming wedding.
She was thoroughly enjoying his company. Mariska, sat quietly and reminisced about, when they were younger. She and Brutus, had played games a lot together, teased one another, and went on hiking adventures and for trail rides. She had missed his company. It was very rare that, Brutus, spent time with her these days, as he was always busy with chores, friends or the horses.
Violet, woke up and helped herself to some food and milk. She checked in the basket, for Selena, and, Jupiter, and found them snuggled together, sleeping. When she was done eating, she crawled out to the driving bench and squeezed herself in between, Brutus, and, Mariska, and joined in on their conversation.
Violet, began rambling on excitedly, about her wedding plans, what her gown would look like, flowers she wanted, jewelry she wanted to wear and where she wanted to be married. Brutus looked a little overwhelmed, and uncomfortable listening to her talk about her wedding plans. Brutus, admitted to both of them at being a little nervous at meeting his new bride, in a few days. The girls reassured him, that she would be the perfect wife for him, since, Valentino, had chosen her. Brutus, was not so sure.
Violet, then changed the conversation, by asking the whereabouts of Raj, this morning, and Brutus replied, he was scouting the path ahead on his pony with Stefan, and had not had contact with them since leaving camp this morning. He assumed that they were feeling a little lazy today, after staying up celebrating all night.
In the caravan, the children were waking up, and Livia took to the task of pouring the goat milk into tin cups, for each of them while, Rosalie, Lilith Rudolpho and Robin, helped themselves to the food in the basket. When they were all done eating, Lilith, peeked out of the curtain, and asked, Brutus, to stop the caravan, so they could relieve themselves. Brutus, happily, obliged, as he had been driving the caravan for several hours and needed a break, to do the same.
The procession came to a halt. Many of the tribesmen and their families had the same thing on their minds as they disembarked from their wagons, vardos, and caravans. The woods were thick with foliage, and the trees were dense, as the females and males separated and walked into the woods together in groups to find to an area to relieve themselves.
The wind had picked up some and was wailing through the trees ominously. Strange shrieking sounds, reverberated off of the mountains echoing into the forest. Hongrois(Ogres), Mariska thought, these gigantic hairy, creatures were thought to live in the mountains of England, and grandmother had told her stories about them, and said , that they kidnapped children and were known to capture humans and eat their flesh. Grandmother had said, they communicated with one another, by making strange shrieking sounds that echoed off the mountains for miles and miles, around. Mariska, quivered at the sounds.
Mariska, gathered the children, and headed back to the caravan. Violet, told everyone to hurry, when she, thought she heard, strange monstrous footsteps pounding through the trees behind them.
When they reached the caravan, they all saw that Valentino, and, Viktoria, were on the drivers bench and were anxious to get going. The children, quickly climbed up into the caravan. Mariska, grabbed a bowl of water, left on the back porch, meant for them to clean up with. She turned to look, back into the woods, and saw a terrifying, creature standing just inside the trees next to the dirt path staring at her with icy blue, piercing, hungry eyes. The monster had, a large strong human body, with a serpents tail, a disproportionately small head that had an apes face, with long saber tooth fangs, and razor sharp teeth. Hongrois, entire body was covered in matted fur, the arms hung down limply on each side, the hands touching its knees.The creatures, hands and feet were enormous with five furry fingers and toes.
Mariska, slammed the back door to the caravan, and breathless, set the bowl down in front of the bunks and pulled out a soap bar and cloth for the children to wash. The caravan lurched forward and she looked out the window to see the creature running alongside of them just behind the tree line. She, whispered to Violet, and told her about the encounter with, Hongrois. Violet, looked out the window herself, and saw the creature running alongside the caravan, in the woods, she let out a shriek of terror, and all of the children, moved to look out the window, to see.
All the screaming and commotion that the children made, did not alert Valentino, or Viktoria, to the drama, they just thought they were playing a game, but, Selena, and, Jupiter flew up, out of the basket to see what all the commotion was about.
Before Mariska, could tell Selena what was happening, Selena and Jupiter flew out the window, and began to chase the beast. Selena, waved her magic wand, and a bolt of lightning, came down from the clear blue sky and struck the, Honglois, on the top of the head, thus turning it to stone. Selena and Jupiter, then flew off into the woods to see if the creature had family stalking the gypsy procession. Selena, found several other Honglois, running just inside the tree line, and raised her wand to cast a lightning bolt on them and turn them into stone, as well.
She and Jupiter, flew ahead of the gypsy procession headed toward the mountains, on the dirt path, only to find that Brutus, Raj and Stefan, had been stopped at a rickety, slatted wooden bridge by an ugly old troll, denying them right of passage to cross the bridge to the mountains. The ugly old troll was requesting gold, jewels and other valuables, he thought they might be carrying.
Selena and Jupiter, landed on the old ugly trolls shoulder unnoticed and whispered into his ear, that she had left a mountain of treasure for him to guard under the bridge, if he would grant the gypsies a right of passage. The troll then immediately granted them right to passage and climbed down an embankment and disappeared, under the bridge, and as promised there was a mountain of treasure for him to guard. Brutus, Raj and Stefan, seemed perplexed by the ugly old trolls, sudden change of heart, but did not question it. The boys waited for the wagon train and guided them across without incident.
What the ugly old troll did not realize, is that he had been tricked by the fae, and she had created an illusion of treasure out of a pile of rocks, and that illusion would disappear back into the pile of rocks, after the entire gypsy procession had passed across the bridge.