Mudcat Café message #2428291 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113933   Message #2428291
Posted By: Amos
01-Sep-08 - 11:10 PM
Thread Name: Fiction : The Dead Man's Guitar
Subject: RE: Fiction : The Dead Man's Guitar
Watching the sun go down behind the Sangre de Cristos mountains, the old woman smiled at the young sheriff and refilled his coffee cup. "But ya know, my grandmother, she was what you are calling a brujita too, and she lived to be 107, only died two years ago. So I 'speck to be around a while, ya know, Tony. All us Romani, live a very long time, because we know how to live right, I guess. My mother, she 93, my mother, so I 'speck I can do better'n that!" She laughed and roocked on her old bent-wood chair as the shadows began to point up the edges of the rock garden in front of the double-wide, charcoal smudges on the hot rust-brown sands and the carefully nurtured cacti.

"But ya know, just like with your people, the people who know the magic side, they don't say much. White people don't want to hear that stuff, gets 'em uneasy and spun up." She smiled at the full-blood Apache youth in the tan uniform of the county sheriff's office. "So if you go on like your gampa wants, learn your medicine stuff, just be careful to keep those worlds separate, young felller--you'll save yourself a mess of woe if you do that. Learn it well, and keep your powers to yourself"

"Mama, it's done me a world of good jes' talking to you. I know what gramps wants to hear. I'm gonna give him that, and do my best to make him proud of me. No reason to think the white folks are the only ones who know anything. Hell, we've been walking these hills a lot longer than any of them. You may just be a crazy Gypsy woman, but I think Gramps would like you a lot. Thanks for the coffee, too!""

"Aw, now, go on with your flattering, redskin!!" and the two of them, bonded in their mystic paths from centuries and continents apart, sat in the setting sun and laughed, and laughed.

Later, Tony Vinienctin wheeled his white pickup through the darkened, red-dust hills and over the wide arroyos of New Mexico, and hummed quietly as he maneuvered the wheel through the ruts. He could see his grandfather's hogan in his mind's eye and was already tasting the stew he knew would be waiting.

And in the drawing shadows, Gram Petala, the dark great-great-grand-daughter of Romany princesses and witches, sighed comfortably on her porch, sorting the threads that reached her from beyond, the hum of the ordinary, the pained cries of the hurting, the deep crystal thrumming of the Path, and a thousand other voices and colors her seeing within would bring her on the evening winds. As the last red traces of the sun fell off the Sangre de Cristo peaks, she stopped rocking, suddenly still, and crossed her eyes and sat rigid, fixed on the distant, vaguely familiar music of a distant silver whisper, a nebulous ghost of a lute from the other side, calling...