This story continues from here
Remember how we finished up last time? Téa and I were speeding off down the road in a tow truck that came from the diner we’d just been eating at. There was an old gypsy lady walking down the road seemingly following us, etc etc… Remember all that?
Then you probably remember I asked Téa how she knew the keys to the tow truck were under the visor, yeah? Well get this her answer to that question was…
“I didn’t. But it’s 1969 America, we were at a diner with a mechanics garage attached to it and there was a tow truck. People were a lot more trustworthy back in the 60’s.”
“And you reward that trust by stealing the poor bugger’s ride?” I asked.
“Well it’s that or deal with the old lady!”Téa said with a smile but hadn’t taken her eyes off the road.
“She’s an old lady, I reckon we could probably take her if we needed too.” I said half joking but really just trying to keep conversation going.
“Don’t bet on that Muscles! Which would you like me to address first the truck or the old lady?” Téa asked as we speed away.
I have no idea what speed we were driving at or if the police of America were as trustworthy as mechanics when it came to speeding but I decided to let Téa think about that, she was the one with the big round thing in her hand after all.
“Well the truck was stolen, but I accept your reasoning for doing it and will make sure you never get near my car again.”
“Don’t you trust me?” Téa turned and looked at me with one of those smiles, a bit mischievous, a bit silly and a whole lot of cheekiness.
“Of course I trust you, I let you lead me astray didn’t I?” I didn’t let her answer. “So maybe you can address the old lady now?”
“No sorry I can address her without going back, I’ll just have to address you!” Another one of those grins, honestly if it wasn’t so darn cute I’d get out of that truck and walk!
So I finally got a few answers from Téa. As it turns out her great grandmother had first come across the dial nearly seventy years earlier, about ten years after Téa was born…don’t tell her I said that because she hates it when people suggest she’s younger than she is!…oops I didn’t say that either. Truth was Téa really was much younger than that, she was only f…hang on where was I? On yeah.
Téa’s great grandmother had come across the dial seventy odd years ago, she was part of a band of wandering gypsies that roamed the emptiness of the American heartland. Her group travelled the back roads, the dirt tracks and visited small towns near and far. They were a peace loving band of gypsies with no fixed abode just looking for the next place to camp.
They were driven from many a small town by locals who considered them to be witches, magic men and only visiting to steal from the locals. One of the more ridiculous rumours was that if they camped their caravans for too long the land below them would wither and die never to be fertile again.
The truth was, well the truth as Téa told it, and I believed her, was a bit different. According to stories her great grandmother had told her, stories confirmed by paperwork she’d found in the old lady’s belongings after her death the band of gypsies was much more innocent. They were happy to share the land and it’s resources, happy to work an honest days work for an honest days pay and happy to give back to the communities in anyway way they could. The problem was ‘fear of the unknown’, when one person got it in their head that the gypsies where bad news the rumour was easily spread. The rumour often preceded them to towns seeing them run out before they’d even set up camp.
Téa’s great grandmother was blunt in her reporting, her documenting of the gypsy lifestyle and she openly admitted that like any family, any group of people there was those less than honest within their number. In most cases they were banished if their crimes were deemed too much, but as with any group you could banish one bad apple but they were eventually replaced by another. It was one such bad apple that first found the dial and learnt of it’s powers.
“From Gran’s notes, which were quite detailed around some topics, the origins of the dial were quiet hush hush.” Téa put the indicator on and turned into another country road.
The notes suggested that over the years Téa’s grandmother had searched for the origins of the dial but could find very little. There was snippets of information through the history of the past century but it was a mismatch of dead ends and part stories that were difficult to confirm. It wasn’t until the late 1960’s that the old woman finally found the truth and the magical power that it held. She documented everything, how the dial worked, what it did and how to control it. The problem was that another gypsy woman from her group also found out the truth and realised the power didn’t always have to be used the way it was intended.
“So that’s how it works,” Téa said after explaining what her great grandmother had written down. “I have to say even after reading everything I was sceptical. Even when her notes told me how I could find it after it had been ripped from her possession by the last remaining gypsy, seemingly the only other person in the world to know the magic it possessed, I was sceptical.”
“So what made you believe it all. I have to say I’m having trouble believing it and I’ve some how been transported nearly fifty years into history.”
“The old gypsy Gran described as being the last remaining person to know about it turned up on my doorstep asking if Gran was alive.”
“What did you tell her?” I asked.
“I told her Gran was alive and well, then shut the door on her and immediately went back and immersed myself in the notes again until I had all the answers I just told you.”
“So what your telling me is that the old lady back there is the same woman who turned up on your door step looking for the dial?”
“Yeah!” Téa replied.
We didn’t seem to be stopping any time soon so I decided that I had time to get things straight in my head. “Ok so let me see if I have this right. This is the way the dial works.”