by Addison T Peaka
“We have souls! Stories to tell…lies and truths whispers as passenger’s sweet vibrations cling to their seats, shaking away illusions of a better life.”
“Oh, Roscoe, you old goat! Stop telling the people that same weathered story. Not everybody who travels with us is broken, or searching for anything new!”
Mabel grateful she was refurbished and back to work.
She recalled… workhorses put out to pasture… just to die. The old gray mare and all.
“They sure cleaned up your backside…sparkling like you were a young caboose.” Roscoe flirted with Mabel… like he always did.
“I don’t see a speck of gray anywhere Mabel.”
Roscoe blew his steam whistle letting the others know he was still in charge.
“Shut your mouth Roscoe.” She cooed.
“Please I’m trying to nap!” Earl snapped. Plus, you are embarrassing yourselves. Have some dignity… some class. These good folks don’t want to know the details of your little rendezvous.”
Earl provided comfort and luxuries to his travelers. They drank the finest bourbon. Black Angus beef lay on fine china. The women were elegant, and the sirs were dressed in proper attire. Bow ties and white shirts hung around perfect frames of the elite.
“Keep your loafers on, Earl.” Roscoe wasn’t putting up with some temperamental dining car, even if they were best friends.
Mabel broke the tension.
“You did clean up good, Earl. Look at you. Gold velour curtains and the same velvet chairs. No reupholstering for you! You are so handsome.”
“You see people, this is what I’m talking about…women folk… there so fickle.”
Mable smiled again and wiggled her caboose.
The sun settled over the hills just outside of Kansas. Right next to the graveyard for old trains… the old Maleny farm, leaned a little crooked.
Roscoe slowed his train so they could see the valley as Annie Maleny gave treats to her old gray mare. Seems Annie forgotten about her own pain as her and the horse limped back to the barn for the night.
The morning sun, rose first, with a discerning yawn… bored with just another day ahead.
Roscoe, the second one to rise with a nasty cough. He longed to hear his whistle that was once strong and vital…nothing but a stale swish of air that made him yearn for yesterday.
Mabel shuffled in. Her eyes slighted with partial blindness, reaching out to hold Roscoe’s hand.
“Morning, my love. How’d you sleep?”
“Not good, Mabel…not good.”
Earl rattled around trying to adjust his windows still shaking from arthritis.
They opened their doors inhaling a sacred whiff of pancakes from Annie’s Kitchen.
“Looks like it’s gonna be a cold winter again.” Roscoe sniffled.
Mabel’s tender eyes fluttered. “Thank God we have each other.”
The aging train cars were on the track, treasuring one more day of sights and sounds, cautiously gathering speed.
“All Aboard!” Echoes bounced off the mountains.
Grateful old souls… with another story to tell.
And that for them… a blessed day!