Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Prompt: Where do the abandoned go?

Before today’s prompt writing, a quick update on the Blog Hop for Sucker Literary, Vol 3.  Here’s the path of the blog hop so far:

Kacey Vanderkarr  => Justine Manzano  => Sonja Thomas  => Vanessa MacLellan  => Blanca Florido  => RebeccaGomez Farrell  => me => … and I invited Rebekkah Niles, one of my talented writing group members. Rebekkah’s post is here -- check it out!

And now, a great visual prompt:

Thanks to Mircea Tătuc, cc-nc-nd-4.0 for his beautiful and 
evocative photo of the Czestochowa Train Depot in Poland!

Jimmy crept under the orange cars on Track 5, looking for snail shells to add to his collection. His ears rang with the high-pitched whine of a new train, and he rolled out from under the cars and jumped up, sprinting toward the depot. Pulling out his bell, he held it high and rang it as loud as he could, shouting, “Incoming! Incoming! New train!”

He kept clear of the tracks—sometimes the new trains were still electrified when they arrived. Until he saw which track it was on, he knew better than to risk any of them.

Huffing with the run, he waved to Karly as she climbed down the caboose on Track 1-8. He still thought it was funny that the engine was on Track 1, but the train stretched across tracks, and the caboose was on 8. The train was still intact, and too big for them to move without power, so it stayed. Karly liked to read up on top. She said she liked to see the birds fly overhead swooping in and out of the depot. As if there were anything to see out there.

“Come on, Karly! Let’s get there first!” He urged her to climb down faster, and considered whether he should run ahead of her anyway. First to reach the new train got squatter’s rights. Depending on who was on it when it came in, of course.

“Which track is it coming in on, Jimmy?” Karly had no sense for the trains.

Jimmy could always feel them. He stood still and closed his eyes, calming his excitement so he could feel the energy buzz in the air. His eyes opened and he grinned. “Track 6, come on!”

Karly jumped down from the side ladder and ran toward him. Linking hands, they raced to the depot station just in time to see the new train roll out of the darkened station door…straight toward the 1-8. They froze, and Karly cried out, “Mama’s inside!”

Jimmy gripped her hand. “Don’t worry. It’s okay. You’ll see…”

They watched the train roll closer, slowing imperceptibly as it hit the old, ravaged tracks and the thick grass. Karly gasped as it neared the 1-8, then they heard the rusty old switch groan and slide, carrying the new arrival from its collision course with the 1-8 to its right. Where there was no track.

Jimmy whistled. “That’s new,” he shouted, jumping up with excitement. “Let’s go!”

Karly narrowed her eyes, watching the train wheeze to a stop. “What are we going to call it?” She mused. “The Zero?”

“Who cares?” Jimmy shouted, racing ahead of her. “Let’s go see if there are any kids on it!”

Karly smiled at the thought. There hadn’t been any new children in the depot in a really, really long time. It would be nice to have someone new to play with.


I have some ideas about these trains coming in. Maybe from different times, different places. What brings them here? Can the people leave? Do they age? What do they do in the meantime? I think I’d like to come back to this one…

Dogs in House

Guitar Adagios

Time writing
45 minutes

May word count


  1. Writing report:
    Novel editing, new text Ch13a (maybe finished Ch?)

    Time: ~30min

  2. Very intriguing! Excellent tension with the train and the mother; I was worried.