Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: MOUNTAIN (07/02/20)
- TITLE: Train, Train
By Dennis Gallemore
Notice: Undefined variable: place_icon in /var/www/vhosts/faithwriters.com/subdomains/transition/httpdocs/wc-article-level4-previous.php on line 142
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
The truck stopped and a broad-shouldered young man stepped out, a broad smile on his weathered face. “Morning, Grandpa.” He glanced around curiously. “Did Dad drive you down here?”
The older man, returning the smile, shook his head. “No, Ethan, he didn’t. I walked down here by my lonesome. I can still walk, you know.”
His grandson closed the distance between them. “But you’re going to be ninety-one next Tuesday, Grandpa. It’s a long way down here from the house. You gotta be careful.”
“Why? When I pass on, I’m going to the Promised Land.” He waved at the railroad track running along the hayfield’s edge. “I’ll be riding the 1522 to Glory.”
Glancing at the tracks, Ethan nodded. “1522. The locomotive that you were an engineer on back when the Frisco railroad was in business.”
“The very one. It was one of them Mountain locomotives. Four wheels in front, then eight drive wheels in the center, then two trailing wheels at the rear. Named for the Allegheny Mountains, or so I’ve been told, but we used them here in the Ozark mountains. Not as big as the Alleghenies, but big enough. We needed more power, like that Tim Allen feller used to say.”
Opening the gate, Ethan gestured at the pickup. “Why don’t you get in and ride for a while, Grandpa? I’ve only got a half-dozen bales left; you can hang with me until I get them back in the pole-barn and then I’ll treat you to lunch at Samantha’s Diner.”
“I can’t turn down an offer like that.” Stepping into the truck, he glimpsed something out of the corner of his eye, just a flash of shining metal, then nothing. Turning, he studied the silent railroad.
Ethan slid in behind the wheel. Driving through the gate, he headed toward the nearest bale. Noticing the look on his grandfather’s face, he frowned. “You okay, Grandpa? You look a little pale.”
“I’m fine, Ethan. I thought I saw something, but it was just my eyes playing tricks on me, I guess.”
Reaching out to the dashboard, Ethan turned a knob. “I’ll crank up the A/C; it’s pretty muggy out here today.” He angled a vent toward James. “That better, Grandpa?”
“Yeah, it is; thanks, Ethan.” He glanced back at the railroad. “You know I wasn’t the actual engineer aboard the ole’ 1522. I was too young; I was the brakeman, but Dan Carter, the engineer, let me drive the train now and then, just for a spell.” He shook his head. “But boy howdy, how I loved those few minutes. I wanted to drive the engine but it was taken out of service before I got to do it for real.”
“You would have been great, Grandpa,” Ethan said, backing up to the first bale. Spearing it dead-center with the spike, he squeezed the control, and the bale levered off the ground.
Movement on the train tracks caught James’ attention. Wide-eyed, he stared, slack-jawed, as a ghostly steam locomotive whisked by, silently pulling a phantom train behind, before vanishing into the distance.
“Well, let’s take this one back to the barn and get a drink of water before…” Seeing the look on his grandfather’s face, Ethan stopped mid-sentence. “Grandpa! What’s wrong?”
His face ashen, the older man slumped in his seat. “My chest hurts, Ethan, real bad.”
Dumping the bale back onto the ground, Ethan wheeled the truck around. “Hang on, Grandpa, I’m getting you back to the house.” Whipping out his cell phone, he punched in 911. “This is Ethan Garrison. My grandpa is having a heart attack! I need an ambulance at…”
James Garrison smiled a final time at his grandson. “Don’t worry, Ethan. I’m taking my last ride.” Closing his eyes, he drifted through the windshield, and floated inside the cab of the Mountain locomotive waiting on the track.
A face from a million paintings peered at him from the engineer’s seat. “Hello, James. It’s time to go home.” Standing, He gestured at the vacant seat. “Care to drive?”
Sitting down, James Garrison smiled. “You’ll have to show me the way, Jesus.”
“I always have, James; I always have.”
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.