Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, has started another intriguing fictional tale and tossed it over to me. Now I’m supposed to post the part of the story that she wrote, add to the story, and tag another person to continue the story.
So here is how Teresa got things started:
Every summer since Charlie turned six was spent on Grandpa’s Iowa farm. Charlie loved to run through the fields chasing butterflies and spent his nights laying on the cool grass watching the fireflies and Milky Way. Life was perfect until the train arrived.
“I don’t believe it,” Grandpa said, shaking his head. “Are you sure?”
Frank, a family friend from the other side of town, nodded. “Saw it myself two nights ago out by Cooper’s Ridge.”
Grandpa pulled his old handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his brow. “What are we going to do? We can’t let it happen again. Charlie… I can’t… I won’t.”
“What’s the matter, Grandpa?” Charlie walked into the kitchen when he heard his name.
Grandpa’s face turned white as he grabbed Charlie by the shoulders and shook him. “Don’t you ever get on that train. You hear me, boy? No matter what he says, or what you see happening inside, you never get on that train.”
Charlie was terrified by Grandpa’s expression and could only muster a whimper.
“I’m going to let you go,” Grandpa said, hugging Charlie as tears streamed down his face. “He’s not going to get another one.”
Later that night, as Charlie laid in bed and imagined the mysterious train that had terrified his Grandpa, he heard a whistle in the distance. Slipping on his shoes and bathrobe, Charlie stood at his window and watched as a train appeared through the night’s mist and blew its whistle again. Charlie rubbed his eyes and gulped.
“You get out of here,” Grandpa shouted as he ran out the front door carrying his rifle. He fired twice and screamed at the train. “You can’t have him! You can’t!”
A well-dressed man stepped into the doorway of the train, looked at Charlie in the window, and said, …
And here’s my contribution,
“Boy, you come over here. Don’t make me come and get you, Charlie.”
Charlie was conflicted. He remembered his Grandpa’s warning to him to never get on that train. But the man calling out to him looked so dapper and debonair, just like those men in the fancy magazines his mother would look at back at home. And inside the train he saw other kids playing and partying, having what seemed like a lot of fun. And where was Grandpa?
“Charlie,” the man called out once again. “It’s time to go. You need to come out here and join us on the train before we leave for the next stop.”
“I need to get dressed,” Charlie called out to the man, stalling for time as he tried to figure out what to do.
“No, come as you are, Charlie, you’re fine,” the man called out. “Your Grandpa is already on board and we have new clothes for you here.”
Charlie grabbed his stuffed teddy bear and slowly walked out of the house and approached the train. The well-dressed man had a broad, welcoming smile on his face and held out a hand of encouragement to Charlie as he neared the train.
“Come on, boy,” the man said, his hand still reaching out to Charlie. Charlie was still hesitant as he thought about Grandpa’s warning, but he couldn’t resist the draw of the man and the train. Charlie reached up and grabbed the man’s hand and was gently assisted onto the train.
“Welcome to the Soul Train, Charlie,” the man said. “Go inside and meet the other children.”
“Where’s Granda? Where does this train go?” Charlie asked.
“Relax, Charlie,” the man said, his smile now appearing more sinister than welcoming. “We’re headed straight to ….”
Let’s see where Michael takes us with this one.
Image credit: DarkWorkX