Normally I don’t take the subway to work but I heard there was a bad auto accident backing up traffic for miles on the highway so driving wasn’t an option. My train was already at the station when I arrived. Every seat was taken except for one in the corner. I quickly sat down as the train began filling up with passengers. 

Glancing around I caught a glimpse of a man seated about fifteen feet from me reading a newspaper. He looked over in my direction and gave me a big grin, his light blue eyes twinkling. He bore an uncanny resemblance to my late father, Gino, and I was unable to resist smiling back at him. He was well-groomed, wearing a fedora with a white feather neatly tucked into the hatband. He had a thin mustache and I imagined he was a barber like my dad. He went back to reading his newspaper and when he turned the page I was surprised to see it was La Stampa, the Italian newspaper my father used to read.  

Suddenly the subway stopped and the lights went out for a few minutes. When they  came back on I looked over at the man but he wasn’t there. I looked all around but didn’t see him. We were stuck in a dark tunnel – where could he have gone? 

The train started up again and at our next stop many people entered, including two women with five young children; they looked like gypsies. One woman was younger, obviously the mother of the children, and the older woman was their grandmother. The mother protectively held a toddler while the other children clung to her skirt and the grandmother clutched the handle of a baby carriage. The women whispered rapidly in a foreign language as their wide eyes frantically searched the train. They were clearly frightened as though they were running away from someone or something.   

The ride was choppy and the children were getting restless; the women tried desperately to quiet them. At the next stop people brusquely shoved their way off and on. Suddenly a swarthy-looking man pushed the old gypsy woman, snatched the baby carriage and dashed out the train just as the doors closed. The hysterical mother screamed what sounded like “My baby! My baby!”  but no one paid her any attention. I stood up to see if I could help but the train jerked to a start. I was thrown back into my seat, hitting my head.

The harsh train whistle jolted me and I was amazed to discover I was in my bed; the whistle was my alarm clock. It was only a dream! Sleepily, I shuffled to the door to collect my newspaper, then turned on the tv. Opening the newspaper, my eyes widened in disbelief as I saw the banner – La Stampa – the same paper my father used to read. The date was November 17, 1992, the day my father died. 

A voice from the tv roused me from my trance: “A happy ending yesterday for a Romanian woman whose baby was snatched from a crowded subway by her estranged husband. Witnesses directed police to an alley next to “Gino’s Barbershop” where the husband was found hiding behind a dumpster. The baby was reunited with its relieved and very grateful mother.”

There on the screen was the same gypsy family I saw on the train! In the background stood my father’s old barbershop.

Stunned, I dropped the newspaper and slumped onto my bed. So it wasn’t a dream after all! From the corner of my eye I noticed something sticking out of the newspaper. With trembling hands I gently pulled out a white feather.

Dad,” I whispered,“it was you.”

NAR © 2023

35 thoughts on “WHEN GYPSIES CRY”

  1. Nancy your beautiful story took off my partially applied makeup from my tears. It left me speechless! If this is not a true story, where do you dig so deep to write such a moving, tender, and creative piece about a daughter who loved her father so much? The detail is fantastic that you managed to place into this short story. I, too, would love to see this movie. This could be your “treatment,” which you write when talking to people producing movies.

    I genuinely believe that the story is very believable. I believe we can experience things that only extremely intuitive people generally do. What amazingly beautiful stories we don’t have these days. Frankly, it is hard to find this kind of material on Netflix. You need someone to pitch your story to. Why couldn’t you write your script, and maybe you pitch this to agents accepting new clients? BRAVO, you blow me away.

    Sending you love, hugs, and prayers for something to happen with this beautiful piece about family love and how God continually shows us signs. Joni

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my goodness, Joni! If I ever need an agent, you’re it! Seriously, your words of praise truly touched me because I know they come from your heart. This story is pure fiction; where the thoughts come from I really don’t question. They just come and I’m sincerely grateful for that. I never thought of myself as being an extraordinary writer but it’s incredibly rewarding to read all these wonderful comments. At this point in my life I’m just happy to use whatever gifts I have to entertain people. That in itself is a joy for me. Thanks, luv, from the bottom of my heart. ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I wish I were an agent. You usually have to know someone from the inside to get an agent, but who knows? God works in mysterious ways. You are a marvelously talented writer. I did write a treatment for a serial for the movie, “Mr. Brooks,” in which Kevin Costner played the lead. I found his agent’s name and number and called that, and of course, no one picked up. Who would at that point? I had not even published a poem. Guess what – his agent called me back, and he listened while I told him what I thought he might be interested in, and he told me that his client would not be interested and that next time have my agent call for me. Haha (I almost fainted when he called me back). Keep writing your beautiful stories, and who knows what could happen. Beautiful piece of writing! Big hugs and love, my friend ❤️🌹😘


  2. This is very compelling, attention-grabbing and delectably jaw-dropping, Nancy. I wondered why the sudden twists, only to realize it was a dream and the afterwards even more compelling than I thought I knew. What a marvelous piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 👏👏👏🌹
    Christopher Nolan meets Sicilian ink…ed ecco!
    The impact is physically felt; you know that something hit you but you are still like What did just happen?

    Brava, cara!

    Liked by 1 person

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