The Night of the Gypsy Boy

(Motel Las Fantasías, Los Teques, Venezuela)

The last vestiges of day had fled. The rich spicy aroma of recently trimmed hedges of rosemary permeated the warm evening air. A Moorish pool stretched the length of the rectangular garden. Black wrought iron lamps cast a dim light along the arched arcades accommodating the recessed entryways to exotic Sheherazadian fantasies. Lamp posts on the garden pathways reflected on the surface of the pool. At the far end a multi-tiered fountain added gentle sounds of falling water.

The full moon shed its silvery light on the pool and glittered off the falling water of the fountain. Chirping of tiny frogs added a serenade as they strolled to the salon where the Niño Gitano awaited.

“Come on, we shouldn’t miss the Niño Gitano.”

They entered the dimly lit room. A small platform in front was unoccupied. They found seats in the back of the room in a cushioned booth.

After a few moments of silence the beam of a single spotlight burst from the ceiling and centered on the platform. In the circle of light on a low stool sat a youth cradling a guitar. He didn’t appear to be more than twelve or thirteen years. He dressed simply in faded jeans and a T-shirt. A swatch of black hair hung over his forehead as he studied the instrument. His hand stroked the strings. A single powerful chord reverberated through the room and receded into silence.

The boy gazed up into the shadows. He appeared unaware of the audience. His face was beautiful, still child-like, soulful. His black, liquid eyes stared off into some infinity beyond this small auditorium. He struck a new chord.  She thrilled to its vibration.

Her eyes were drawn to his hands. The fingers were long and graceful. There was a feminine essence to the boy, but his manner was not effeminate. He had a grace showing through the face of a youth that would someday mature into a devastatingly handsome young man. She imagined this slim youth in the flickering shadows of a gypsy encampment a magic spell about to begin.

His fingers came to life. They danced across the strings, the chords light and transporting. Sound seemed to trickle and lilt through the room like a mountain cascade building to the crescendo of a waterfall. The boy’s face held an ecstatic glow. His music thrilled, an ode to joy, to the glorification of life. The cascade faded to background and a wild sprite joined in, to spin and pirouette through the room.

Her spirit soared with the boy as his exuberant fingers flew across the strings and frets.

Then his music segued into a deep tristesse. The mood shifted seamlessly, naturally. His fingers hadn’t for an instant paused their action as he carried his audience into a totally new sensation. Minor chords, the very soul of the music of the Gypsy swept through the room, evoking tragedy, past sorrows, forgotten passions clutching at the innermost depths of the human heart. It sent atavistic ghosts dancing around ancient campfires, light flickering, throwing shadows deep and mysterious. His music soared, it subsided, cried in agony and then whimsically, laughed with joy.

As with the suddenness of his beginning, his hands struck a final resonating chord and it shimmered into silence. The room plunged again into darkness.

She drew close to him, her hip pressing against his. She grasped his hand in both of hers and held it tightly in her lap. They had completely forgotten the presence of others. The music had enclosed them in a world entirely their own. She waited, almost holding her breath. The light came back on and the boy resumed his virtuoso performance.

El Niño Gitano held them in complete thrall. They were alone, intimately alone. His mystical music sang only to them. It cried out the passion, the joy and melancholy of the Gypsy, but the flavors, the rhythms and lilts of the Venezuelan folk crept into his themes- totally original, and yet eternal. The thundering signature chord filled the room and fell away into silence! 

Again they were plunged into darkness. She felt him against her. She turned her head, but could see nothing. She clutched his hand; laid her head on his shoulder. They sat in silence, each absorbed in union with the other.

El Niño Gitano broke into the dark silence, striking a throaty chord. It vibrated with energy. The room remained in darkness. This new theme, while dominated by deep chords, teased with a growing hint of exuberance in high counterpoint. The sprite of light notes trilled, twisted and danced, enticing a lover, but with a growing dominance of throbbing sensual energy. In the darkened room this barely pubescent youth aroused a deep, primitive sensuality.

The music absorbed her. Her flesh burned, her heart pounded. She couldn’t get close enough to him. It possessed him, too. They leaned into each other. She drew his hand deep between her thighs and crushed it there.

The passion throbbed, the sprite danced, the music soared, and then subsided into a gentle caress. And then it soared again with urgency. This child, this boy, this gift given in the most unlikely of places! A dim glow appeared at the back of the room. Shadows departing, the passion had to be consummated! She rose, clinging to his hand. She drew him with her. He followed her into the shadows of the garden, down the arcade toward their room. The redolence of the rosemary remained in the air. The echoes of the boy’s music followed them.

May 2022 Issue

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Robert Bruce Drynan
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