Excerpt from The Gypsy Pall:
"It is dim inside the small trailer. Apolena seats herself behind a cloth covered table upon which rests a crystal ball of smoky glass. The interior of the cabin is draped in rich satin of varying colors and the scented air is musky and thick with a sweet aroma. Apolena gazes at him over her crimson veil for a moment, her dark eyes liquid and taunting. Slowly she reaches up and removes the silky veil, revealing a smile. Her white even teeth behind ruby lips, and rich dark skin glowing in the lamp light cause a thousand tingles to rush up Amos’s chest like a sudden fever, over his throat, and into his hair. Even his scalp thrills to the impact of that vision. It’s as if each individual hair on his head reacts by standing away from his skin, trembling. He has never seen a more lovely nor dangerous looking creature in his life. More beautiful than the wild mare rearing up on her back legs on the prairie, framed by the flaming sunset. More dangerous than the lithe crouching cougar at the edge of his land who stalked him one evening. More perilous than the thundering storm that rolls over the open ground, bending bush and tree to its will.
“What you want, peasant?” she addresses him, her sultry voice filled with an odd combination of scorn and invitation.
His throat goes dry and he fumbles his cap from his head and worries it in his rough hands.
“You,” he whispers hoarsely. “How much?”
She laughs softly. Her voice is like bells or zephyrs or the clear rushing waters of an enchanted stream.
“What a crude man you are,” she says, looking intently at him. “Why you think you can buy my love?”
He stammers his reply, which makes no sense even to his ears. He has heard rumors, he tells her. He thought, he assumed, he guessed.
“Well, you guess wrong, peasant,” she replies. “I should curse you for this insult. But, Apolena feels pity for you. You have woman?”
“Yes. My wife, Martha,” he tells her, his face flushed and perspiring.
“Why you not make love with your wife, Martha?” she demands.
“She’s a good woman, my wife,” he says. “She works hard, she’s decent. She’s not the type to, well, appreciate the animal side of things. She’s upstanding.”
“Ah, I see now,” Apolena says knowingly. “You would do these things to me that you would not do to your virtuous wife.”
“I didn’t mean…”
“I know what you mean, peasant,” she snaps. She closes her eyes for a moment and touches her chin with the tip of her slender finger. Amos eyes the many rings on her hand, the dark red nails, her slender bangled wrist, and is seized by a feeling of irresistible lust tinged with fear. He knows he has offended her but can’t seem to disguise his longing. He thinks it must be oozing from his pores, filling the very air with its urgency.
“Come back tomorrow night,” she decrees. “Bring fifty dollars and something that belongs to your wife.”
“Fifty dollars?” he says in shock. She dismisses him with a wave of her hand.
“Fifty dollars, peasant,” she says as she rises. He stumbles to the doorway and carries his hunger with him out into the night..."