Mulani – Friday Fictioneers


“Your grandfather was a gajo, he made the place as much like a vardo for your grandmother as possible, but without having to move. He was a homebody.”

I stared at Mother, at the curious little stone house, the wheel seeming to prop it up on a hidden axle.

“Was she happy?”

“She was his mollisher. She chose to marry out!”

I heard the sneer in her voice, the sprinkle of Romani for her, not me.

I looked up at the mountain tops, the splendid isolation. Such freedom, yet such a prison. Nowhere to go for granny.

I wept.


Better late than never for this week’s Friday Fictioneers – thank you Rochelle for the weekly inspiration!

I thought this little old house looked a bit like a caravan, with a wheel stuck in the ground, hence I went down the Romani route this week.

mulani – ghost

vardo – Romani wagon

gajo – an adult male who isn’t Romani

mollisher – woman, wife

Please do head on over to this week’s prompt and see what other writers have created!

31 thoughts on “Mulani – Friday Fictioneers

  1. I have so much wondered about the wanderlust of the romanis… I have heard that many where happy if they where ever allowed to stay… yet I can understand the “marry out” thing… never really a part of anything. Wonderful story

  2. Unique and touching, what a great take on the prompt. I think there was a lot of love between Granny and her husband, if he built the house for her like that.

  3. A very interesting take on the prompt. I used to share a house with an artist whose father was a Romany but had settled with whatever is the female equivalent of a gajo. I think this guy’s parents were happy, but who knows? Their son loved wandering about in the woods and over the fields, sketching this and that. One of my ancestors lived in a mansion, but took to the road in a vardo for the Spring and Summer of each year. Maybe there was some Romani blood from way back that kept calling him to the freedom of the open road.

  4. I liked this very much. I was not familiar with the Romani, though they sound like what we in America refer to as gypsies. Some people are born with nomadic blood, while others (like me) prefer to stay rooted in one place.
    A great take on the prompt.

    1. Thank you! Yes, the Romani are indeed gypsies, although the latter term does tend to be used for anyone who travels theses days here, no matter what their heritage. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  5. I like the insight you give into the narrator’s feelings about it all. At the end – she wept because she understood what her mother gave up, although she chose to do so. Great contrast – the cottage with its restrictions and the freedom of the woods and hills beyond it.

  6. I enjoyed this, partly because it was rather timely, for the horse drawn vardo’s have been travelling on the local roads here, to and from visiting Appleby Horse Fair in Yorkshire

  7. I truly enjoyed this, Freya! The one foot in, one foot out… applies to so many situations, doesn’t it?

  8. Dear Freya,

    I read this without knowing what the words meant for sure and then went back and read it after I read the glossary. Your story carried the meanings. Well done.



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