Life was not always easy. Sometimes it was damn hard. In fact, every damn day.
She used to go and sit down on the train tracks. Just sit there and watch the rails disappear off into the distance. It made here think, about life, about where she wanted to go.
That’s where she met Boss. Boss was a street dog who used to limp up to her. At first, he used to growl and then whimper, wanting to come up and say hello, but also strangely scared. Then she noticed that his paw was swollen. He had a piece of something, a shardof metal, stuck in his toes. After she’d managed to get it out, they became firm friends. He’d come and sit next to her on the train tracks. He’d gaze off into the distance too. Just like her. They were two of a kind.
It was Boss who managed to hear the train in time and dragged her off the tracks.
As the Train driver made his debut journey along that old train track that his great-grandfather laid down, he recalled the gift of a toy train set he’d received as a child. That had started him on this journey to become a driver.
He reflected how far his family had come. His great-grandfather had built the line as a Slave and now his great-grandson was driving the train.
Just then one of his co-workers shouted at him. “Hey, keep your eyes on what you’re doing” then dropped the N-word.
Sadly, they still had a long way to go yet.
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 07/December/2018
This story was written for the Friday Fictioneers Challenge. It was also inspired by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ excellent story about Hattie McDaniel.
See the link here:
This story also includes the following word prompts:
I have someone in mind to tag next, but if this is something that you would find interesting to take part in, please tell me in the comments below or let Teresa know, so I can bear you in mind in future.
Copy the story as it appears when you receive it (and the rules please)
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The Train Ticket
Ashley loved history, books, fashion, and trains more than anything else in life. In fact, nothing made her happier than reading a book set in the Victorian age or roaring twenties that took place on a train. Not the modern electric trains or diesel trains that ran across the country today. She loved steam engines and the fantasy they carried with them.
These fantasies are what brought her to the derelict Franklin Depot thirty-five miles away from home in the middle of nowhere. There used to be a town here. Her history teacher loved to tell stories of the old mining town in its glory days filled with life. Now all that was left was the depot and a few lines of track.
As she walked up and down the depot, the morning sun was just peering over the tree tops and illuminated the station in gold. She smiled at the depot and closed her eyes.
“This must have been beautiful,” she said.
Suddenly a loud whoosh and whistle from behind her startled her. She grabbed her chest and turned around. There, behind her was a grand steam engine. Puffs of steam and the huffing of pistons engulfed her.
“Is this your ticket, Ashley?” a man in a conductor’s uniform asked. He smiled and held out a ticket.
Ashley wanted to say “no”…to scream…to run away…to say “yes”…to get on the train…to travel the world by train. She looked at the conductor and …
To Be Continued….. My addition.
… surrendered to her heart. Her head was still screaming to her that this can’t be real, reality doesn’t work like this. How did he know your name? She ignored these thoughts and reached out to take the ticket.
The Conductor then gave a polite cough and said “If you will excuse me for saying so, Miss Ashley, you’re not quite correctly attired. Could you make your way to the Station and see Mrs Addams, she’ll ensure you are bedecked as a lady befitting a first-class ticket.”
Ashley glanced down at her clothes. She had on a pair of blue Jeans with her brown ankle boots. Her top half was covered in a loose-fitting red pullover. Of course, she hadn’t expected to be travelling first class on a steam locomotive that day. It wouldn’t have entered her wildest dreams.
The station building was carefully constructed to look like something out of an old western film or a theatre set. The wooden clapperboards were painted cream. As she wandered into the deserted waiting room, she spotted a lady standing behind the counter wearing clothes right out of the Victorian age.
She wandered over to her and asked: “Excuse me, are you Mrs Addams?”
“Why, yes my dear. You must be Miss Ashley. Please come on through that door and I’ll find something suitable for you. You’ve got a few minutes before the train departs.”
Mrs Addams selected a simple but elegant green velvet dress trimmed with black around the hem. She also helped her into a corset which squeezed her slim figure into the typical hourglass shape of the late 1800s. Once she put on the dress, she instantly felt more comfortable. She’d never worn a corset before, but it made her feel more secure and whole. It was like a miracle, the clothes were inspiring her to feel a level of confidence that she’d never felt before. She loved the way the dress swished as she walked. Mrs Addams then fixed her hair up, with about a dozen pins and affixed a wide-brimmed black hat with a green feather, on her heat with a large hat pin.
At that point, a loud whistle from the train echoed through the empty station.
“Oh, quick dear, you don’t want to miss the train” Mrs Addams said.
“Thank You, Mrs Addams” Ashley said as she ran to the train.
She climbed up the iron steps and opened the carriage door only to find…..
To be Continued…..
So Who’s next?
I am going to choose my pal, Rory, A Guy Called Bloke:
This story also includes the following Word Prompts: