Read Philip and the Fortune Teller (9781619501317) Online

Authors: John Paulits

Tags: #children, #humor, #egypt, #jewels, #gypsy, #gypsy shadow, #circus, #scarab, #midway, #pharaoh, #john paulits, #three wishes, #side show

Philip and the Fortune Teller (9781619501317)

BOOK: Philip and the Fortune Teller (9781619501317)
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Philip and the Fortune Teller


John Paulits



All rights reserved

Copyright © November 5, 2012, John Paulits

Cover Art Copyright © 2012, Charlotte Holley



Gypsy Shadow Publishing, LLC.

Lockhart, TX



Names, characters and incidents depicted in this book
are products of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously.
Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or
persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the
intent of the author or the publisher.


No part of this book may be reproduced or shared by
any electronic or mechanical means, including but not limited to
printing, file sharing, and email, without prior written permission
from Gypsy Shadow Publishing, LLC.



Smashwords Edition, License Notes


This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment
only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people.
If you would like to share this book with another person, please
purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If
you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not
purchased for your use only, then you should return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting
the hard work of this author.



ISBN: 978-1-61950-131-7


Published in the United States of America


First eBook Edition: November, 2012





To Bud and Lou again


W. W. Jacobs



Chapter One


Philip cowered in the bushes that jutted out
near the old woman’s garage and gently moved some twigs aside to
peek out. There she stood, dressed in a long, ragged black dress,
her scraggly gray hair blowing about her shoulders, holding onto
her porch railing and looking out over her yard for him.

All he had done was to toss his ball against
her garage door as he walked past her house. Bang went the ball and
bang went the old lady, bolting out of her rocking chair, pointing
at him, and cackling at him to get away; stay away; don’t come
back. The old woman took him by such surprise that his ball bounced
off his knee and into the street and rolled down the sewer. A
perfectly good ball only two weeks old, wasted.

This old lady had already phoned his house
twice before with stupid complaints about him. Once, she said he
stuck his tongue out at her. Ridiculous, Philip thought, as he kept
his eye on her. Emery had given him a piece of the sourest candy
he’d ever tasted. He’d spit it out and waggled his tongue around,
trying to get the sourness to go away.

The other time the old woman told his mother
he’d made a nasty gesture at her.
Ridiculous again,
thought. He and Emery had walked by, and Philip saw a mangy cat
sitting on the roof of the porch where the old woman rocked on a
chair directly under the cat. The cat’s tail seemed to wag in time
with the old lady’s rocking. Philip pointed to show Emery. Who
wouldn’t point at such a funny sight?

The old woman jumped up, cackling as always,
and a moment later, she bustled inside to her telephone. Philip’s
father told him to use another street to get where he was going and
stay off Van Kirk Street, where she lived. Philip didn’t want a
third phone call, so he dived into the bushes before the old woman
could get a good look at him. He hoped.

A whistling noise caught his attention, and
he turned and saw Emery walking down the sidewalk. Philip waited
for Emery to get nearer.

“Emery! Emery!”

Emery stopped and looked around.



“Where are you?”


“Here, where?”

“Here, here.”

“You can’t be here. I’m here. You must be

Philip clenched his jaw. Emery was starting
up already.

“Cut it out, Emery. In the bushes.”

Emery stepped closer to the bushes and saw

“What are you doing in there?”

Philip shushed him and pointed.

“Oh, her again. Let me in.”

Philip shuffled over, and Emery scrouched in
next to him.

“Why are you hiding?”

Philip explained.

“You sure she didn’t recognize you?” Emery

“I don’t think she did. I pulled my hat down
real fast. That’s why I missed the ball, and it rolled down the
sewer.” Philip wore a red Phillies cap.

“Hide your cap, and let’s go out that way.
She won’t see us.”

Philip followed Emery’s suggestion, and a few
minutes later the two boys walked calmly down a different street.
It was Wednesday morning, the fifth day of summer vacation, and
both boys were in a good mood.

“Wait’ll you hear,” said Emery.

“Wait’ll I hear what?”

“I got a wish.”

“Everybody’s got wishes. I wish that old lady
would move to New Jersey.”

“No, no. I made a wish come true.”

Philip sighed. He couldn’t
hear Emery explain

“Go ahead,” Philip muttered. “Let’s

“I just came from where they’re setting up
the circus. You seen all the posters, right?”

“I guess I have. They’re hanging on every
street in the neighborhood. There’s one there. It says it starts

The boys examined a brightly-colored poster
attached to a telephone pole.
Cole Brothers Circus and
It had a picture of a tiger jumping through a fiery
hoop; a lady riding a bicycle on a high wire; a pharaoh in a tall
headdress; and a gypsy who wore a dangling hoop earring and whose
head looked like it was wrapped in a towel.

“Why’d you go there? It’s not open in the

“I didn’t have anything to do so I went to
see.” Emery ran to the telephone pole and put his finger on the
gypsy. “See this guy? He talked to me. He called me over to his
tent. I made a wish, and he granted it.”

Philip’s confidence in Emery plummeted.

“He told you to make a wish; you, nobody but
you, and he granted it like a genie who popped out of a

“Yeah, I wished I could see the circus, and
look.” With flair, Emery pulled a ticket to the circus from his
pocket. “I didn’t even have to pay.”

Philip studied the ticket. This put things
into a different light. With Emery waving the ticket under his
nose, he had to believe him.

“How’d you get it? For free, really?”

“Didn’t I say how I got it, and didn’t I say
it was for free?”

“You did. You did. But why’d he pick

“Let me tell you what happened.”



Chapter Two


Earlier that day Emery had walked over to see
the bustle of preparation going on at Lighthouse Field. Tents were
going up; circus people ran to and fro; an occasional horse or
elephant walked past. Emery decided to take a closer look. No one
paid any attention to him as he walked through the madness, trying
to keep out of everyone’s way. Then it happened.


Emery paused. He was the only boy he saw.

“You, boy.”

Emery turned and saw a gypsy sitting at a
small round table outside of a small tent. The gypsy was dressed in
a baggy, silky-looking shirt and pants and had a red bandanna
wrapped around his head. A big, round, golden earring dangled from
his right ear, and he sported a big black mustache.

“Me?” Emery squeaked.

The gypsy didn’t answer, but simply crooked a
long finger in summons.

Emery felt his heartbeat jump, but he

“Sit down,” the gypsy said. To Emery’s ear it
sounded like, “Seet dowwwn,” and Emery thought he recognized the
voice. He did! It sounded like the voice he’d heard in an old movie
he and Philip had watched. It sounded like the voice of Count
Dracula! Afraid to do anything but what the gypsy demanded, Emery
sat on a folding wooden chair near the gypsy.

“I think you can help me,” the gypsy said
with his frighteningly slow pronunciation.

“M . . . m . . . me?”

“If you can help me, I will grant you a wish
immediately. Say you can help me.”

Behind him Emery heard an elephant trumpet,
and Emery wondered how in the world he had ended up in the short
space of a minute with a scary-talking gypsy in front of him and a
bleating elephant behind him.

“Well, I . . . I don’t know. What . . . what
. . . what . . . ?

The gypsy raised a finger to him, and Emery
shut up as the gypsy reached under his table and pulled out a
creamy glass ball. Emery stared wide-eyed as the gypsy put the ball
on the table.

“Stare into the ball,” the gypsy ordered.
“Stare hard.”

Emery glued his eyes to the ball, relieved
the gypsy had not ordered him to stare at the gypsy himself.

“You have a wish,” the gypsy drawled. “I can
see it in the ball. No, do not tell me what it is. The crystal ball
will tell me, and because you will help me, I will grant your

Emery peeked up at the gypsy whose eyes were
closed as he rubbed his hands across the ball.

“I see it!” the gypsy barked, and Emery
jumped and returned his eyes to the ball, not wanting the gypsy to
catch him looking anywhere else.

“Now, you may look away. The vision is

Emery shyly returned his eyes to the

“You wish to see the circus.” The gypsy’s
voice rose. “I grant you your wish.” From somewhere in the folds of
his billowing sleeve, the gypsy produced what looked like a ticket.
“You may take this to the box office anytime and exchange it for a
ticket to the circus. Your wish is granted. Now, you see my power.
Now, you see what I can do. Now, you will help me, and if you do, I
will grant you three more wishes at the completion of your

Emery took the ticket and studied it. It
looked like the real thing. And for free!

“What do I have to do?” Emery asked with a
quaver in his voice.

“I have a chore for you. You need only do
what I ask, and the three wishes are yours.”

“Do I have to do it alone?”

The gypsy tilted his head questioningly.

“Two people might be better,” Emery argued.
“I have a friend. He could help me do whatever it is.”

“Bring him to me,” the gypsy ordered.

“Uh, well, okay. I’ll go get him.” He stood
and slipped the ticket into his pocket. “I’ll be right back.” He
took a few steps and turned back. “You’ll be here, right?”

The gypsy didn’t answer, but simply extended
his arm, his crooked finger pointing into the distance.

Emery turned and ran off.


~ * ~

“So how about that?” Emery bubbled. “What do
you think of that? I showed you the ticket. It’s all real.”

Philip wanted a free ticket to the circus.
What made Emery the lucky one? But it still sounded weird.

“The ticket
real. Did you sit
there and make a wish to go to the circus, and he just . . .
. . . popped out a ticket?”

“No, I didn’t say anything.”

“So, you didn’t make a wish?”

“No, but I wanted to see the circus.”

“But you didn’t tell the gypsy that?”

“I guess he could see into my mind through
his crystal ball. Oh, man. He read my mind! He’s even more powerful
than I thought!” A worried look came across Emery’s face. “We
better watch out what we think when we’re around him.”

“People can’t read minds,” Philip said, not
entirely sure his statement rang true.

“Then how’d the gypsy know I wanted to go see
the circus?”

“I don’t know. Everybody wants to go see the

“I don’t think so. The old lady who made you
lose your ball probably doesn’t want to go see the circus.”

“She should be
the circus; in the
Spooky House.”

“Philip, you gotta come and meet the gypsy.
If he lets you help me, he’ll give you three wishes. Imagine what
we could do with three wishes.”

The possibilities appealed to Philip. “Yeah,”
he said. “What would you wish for?”

“I don’t know. A million dollars. All 100s in
every test I ever take. How about you?”

“A million dollars sounds good, but I
wouldn’t waste a wish on school. How about . . . how about a new
car every year for free when I grow up? Yeah. And muscles.”

“Mussels? You eat that snotty-looking seafood
thing in the little black shells? Ew! That’s disgusting!”

“What snotty seafood thing? Are you crazy? I
don’t want to eat any snotty-looking seafood?”

“You just said you want it.”

“I never said I wanted snotty-looking
seafood. I want muscles.” Philip stretched out his arms and bent

BOOK: Philip and the Fortune Teller (9781619501317)
5.84Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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