Skip to main content

Joes VS The Train - Billybuc's Photo Challenge/Prompt: #4

I'm a caregiver and an artist. I received high honors in creative writing, fine arts, and sculpture at Montserrat College of Art.


Joes VS The Train - Billybuc's Photo Challenge/Prompt: #4

The walk down the old railroad tracks was a familiar one. I never had to look where I was going really. I would just look down at my feet and follow the tracks. After all, it always led me to the same place. However, something was different that day. A train was on the track and it was heading straight for me.

There were two trains that day. Old-Red, which everyone knew. It was more of a house than a train really. It wasn't going anywhere. Don't get me wrong the inside of the train was beautiful. Joe really fixed it up. It was Joe's train after all. Joe was the conductor, mechanic, and repairman of the heap. I knew him well. Although people referred to him as "the retard", I knew better. Joe was a genius. He could build or fix anything. I'm sure, if he really wanted to, he could have that old train running in no time. However, Joe seemed content staying right where he was.

The other train was a menacing green with white smoke billowing out from it. Like a dragon getting ready to spew its fire. The train let out a mighty roar as it came to a dead halt just feet from me. I stood there in shock and shaken. I looked on, my heart pounding with fright and excitement. Suddenly from behind the still lingering plumes of white smoke emerges a man in uniform. He is an older man with white hair. Dressed up how you'd expect to see an official train conductor outfitted. Four more men approach. These men were also all in uniform. But they weren't conductors. They were police officers. Lastly, a gentleman wearing a top hat with a fine suit appears.

I think to myself self "oh no, this doesn't look good..."

As they approached I stood there stiff as a board and couldn't move. Not to my surprise, they want nothing to do with me. The six men blow by me like a herd of elephants, practically knocking me to the ground.

"Look out boy!" The man with the top hat shouts. "We have official business to tend to. Ha, ha, ha, ha."

The men were heading straight for Joe's place and it didn't sound like they were there to have a cup of tea. Joe was in trouble! I quietly followed close behind the men. I stood close enough to hear what they were saying, but far enough not to have been seen. Joe was in trouble alright, they wanted to evict him from his train! They told him that it was valuable government property. Joe had 24 hours to get out or be arrested.

Well, it wasn't really Joe's train. He kind of just moved in one day. Why...before Joe came alone that old train was nothing but a wreck and a rats nest. He really fixed up the place nicely. It had a real front door and everything. Joe even put in a back yard of sorts. He made it his home. Now he would have to leave and find someplace else to live.

Once the men left I approached Joe, who didn't seem bothered by the encounter. He was actually smiling. I worked up some courage and asked Joe if he was ok. He just smiled and nodded. I asked him if he understood what was going on. He told me he did and that he had a plan.

"A plan?" I asked. "What plan?"

Joe told me to follow him. We went into a room with a record player. He played a record with a funky beat. Then he started to tell me his plan as he rapped the words out.

"Hey, my friend listens to me. They wanna try and do a train robbery. In other words, they wanna kick me out, but I'm not about to scream and shout. It's like I said I have a plan, and you're likely to be my biggest fan. All this time while living here. I've been making this train ready to rear. All I have to do is get it on that track. Then watch out kid, and stand on back."

"You mean this train works?!" I asked with excitement.

Joe smiled and nodded in a yes gesture.

"But how will you get the train on the railroad tracks?" I asked.

Joe just shrugged and pondered a moment.

Joe stood in silence for several minutes. His eye began to widen and a giant smile formed on his face. He had an idea, and by the looks it, was going to be a good one. Joe began to speak, "Hijack me from my train? Lock me up? No way no how! I'm gonna hijack their track, Jack!"

"Joe..." I said, "How...?"

Joe turned to his record player once more and began another rap.

"Listen close and I'll tell you my plan. I'm gonna need some help from my closest friends. That means you, and a couple of guys. I know..., I know..., don't look surprised. It's gonna be easy. Just you watch and see. Just gather the guys and come back to me. Well go! ...and hurry! There's no time to waste, move those legs and make haste!"

I ran as quickly as my legs could take me. I gathered up the guys. When we got back Joe had a big surprise.

In front of us was an uncoupled section of Old-Red. Joe was standing on the top of it waving to us. On the ground, we could see what could only be giant mechanical hands and arms.

"Just in time boys!" Joe said with a grim. "You guys can help me mount these arms on this baby"

After a few hours, and some help from the guys and I; Joe had his giant mechanical arms attached to the train cart. Joe thanked the guys and I then waved goodbye. The boys needed to go home to get some well-deserved rest. I too was exhausted but I decided to stick around. The sun was starting to go down and Joe was running out of time. The men were returning in the morning to evict Joe from his train.

"Now what Joe?" I asked

Joe grinned and said, "Now stand back!"

Using four leavers, Joe worked those mechanical arms as if they were his own.

"If I can't bring my train to the track, ill bring the tracks to my train." He shouted with excitement.

With the aid of his mechanical beast, Joe ripped up huge pieces of railroad track. He twisted and molded that track to his will. This went on all night. I must have fallen asleep a while because when I woke up Joe had done it! Joe brought the track to his train.

"Now what Joe?" I shouted.

Joe boarded Old-Red and shouted "All...Aboard!!!"

I jumped onto Old-Red and not a moment too soon. The sun was rising and I could hear a trains whistle in the distance. They were coming!

"Hurry Joe let's get out of here!" I shouted.

Joe started Old-Red. Like an old grumpy bear waking from a long slumber, it made a deep barreling grumble. It vibrated so fiercely that I felt as if I were in the actual belly of a hungry beast. Joe slowly pulled the train onto the tracks, Cluck-Clunk, Cluck-Clunk, Cluck-Clunk...Cluck-Clunk, Cluck-Clunk, Cluck-Clunk. We were on the tracks and not a moment too soon. Making it's way towards us fast was that green train full of trouble.

I ran to the back of Joe's train to get a better view. Joe followed close behind me. However, as usual, Joe didn't seem concerned about the trouble that was coming. He just stood there watching on as his train crawled and the other sprinted. It's horn sounding loud as if to say I'm coming to eat you! The green train was on a collision course with Old-Red.

"Their...their...gonna hit us, Joe!", "Can't we make this heap go any faster than 2 miles an hour!"

Joe shook his head yes and said: "Sure, I can get her all the way up to twenty-five when she worms up. In about five minutes..."

I watched on as that mean-green train got closer and closer! Until I couldn't bear to look anymore. So I closed my eye tight! CRASH!!! SMASH!!! BANG!!!

"Am I alive still...?" I opened my eyes and see a terrific train wreck a few feet behind us. By removing the tracks in just the right places Joe had created a booby-trap. An illusion of sorts. It looked like all the track was still in place. In reality, it was long plies of dirt and sticks made to look like the tracks. Before the train conductor knew it, he was out of track.

I looked over at Joe who was standing there smiling, and waving to the confused men that were spilling out of the train.

"Where to now, Joe?" I asked.

Joe just smiled and said "New lands, new friends, and new adventures! Lots, and lots, of adventures!"

© 2020 Jason Nicolosi