Carlton’s Magical Train: L-O-V-E

Sandwiches. She had to sell sandwiches. Carlton looked at the counter where Samantha stood smiling and speaking with the local busybody Doris Acer. She was beautiful and clearly patient, heaven knows Doris could talk someone’s ear off. When he asked his train for sandwiches he hadn’t expected this he thought, then grimaced ‘asked his train’ he sounded crazy.

Samantha glanced up and caught Carlton’s eye and smiled. This is the third day Carlton had come into the Samantha’s sandwich shop he thought as he gathered his stuff, she must think I’m obsessed.

“Carlton, come tell Samantha about our ‘Sweetheart Dance” Doris bellowed over at him. The Sweetheart dance was Port Jervis’s annual Valentine’s Day tradition, mostly for the older couples in town.

“Well not too much to tell…” Carlton started.

“Oh Carlton’s being modest, it’s an excellent time. Very romantic. Are you dating anyone?” Carlton held his breath, of course Doris would pry out the question he had been wanting to know since he met her.

Samantha blushed. “Well no not at this moment.” She glanced quickly as Carlton’s face, was that a glint of interest or just wishful thinking on her part. “Just trying to settle in for now.”

“Amazing, you must come. I won’t take no for an answer.” Doris exclaimed glancing at Carlton and Samantha. Young people were so transparent nowadays, these two were clearly interested in each other.

Carlton had to escape before Doris set them up or said something really inappropriate. “Well ladies I have to get back to the rails but have a good rest of the day.” and Carlton raced out the door.

Samantha took a deep breath, if the way Carlton ran out of here was any indication she was definitely wishful thinking.

***

Carlton was in a grumpy mood. It was Valentine’s Day and his train had been full of happy snuggling couples all day. Doris already reminded him this morning of his single status and the Sweetheart dance tonight. She had also casually mentioned that Samantha would be attending too. Interfering old bat.

Looking at his watch, he realized that the Sweetheart dance would be starting any minute. He just had to make this one stop first, he needed a good luck charm tonight. Staring at his train he just made one request, just let me have a good night.

***

Carlton walked into the rented out hall where the dance was be held while it was in full swing. Though Bob Lincoln, an older pharmacist in town, had grabbed her for a dance Samantha noticed the instant he walked in. He had a kind smile and the older women flocked to him. A hint of jealously hit her, you are being silly they are double his age!

“Get ready for another slow jam folks,” the dj announced. Carlton glanced around and saw Samantha in the corner the first time all night she wasn’t surrounded by people, now was his chance, he thought.

“Hi there, having a good night?” he said.

“Yea very nice time, everyone has been so friendly.” Samantha glanced at the dance floor, would he ask her, she thought nervously.

“You wouldn’t want to head out there, would you?” noticing her eyes had drifted to the dance floor.

Samantha blushed. “Sure, I mean if you want to”

Carlton smiled, his train had done it again, this was going to be a great night he thought as he grabbed her hand.

Carlton’s Magical Train: Saving Christmas

Image Carlton was getting worried. It was two days before what would have been Christmas and what usually was a lively town filled with holiday spirit was just barren and cold. Carlton wracked his brain the day Josie made him realize that no one knew what Christmas was; what could he have possibly done to have ruined the holidays. Many sleepless nights made him realize it must have been the train and he didn’t know how but he was going to fix it.

Which is why Carlton was staring at his train hours after his shift was over expecting it to do something.

“Come on” he muttered for the umpteenth time wondering if he was just losing his mind.

“I was wrong about Christmas. The holidays are special, I shouldn’t take them for granted. Please do something.” he shouted at the train but nothing. All the things that he complained about before, he missed now; the carolers, the wreaths. Carlton sighed. 

 “Hey Carlton, what are you still doing here?” Carlton’s boss, Neil Thompson said as he stepped out of his office.

“Nothing Neil, just about to head home.” Carlton was about to walk out when he heard Neil call his name.

“Carlton, while you’re still here, can you move your train to the yard? Sorry about the last minute notice but we’re getting some extra deliveries for the end of the month.” Neil said and threw Carlton the keys.

Carlton sighed as he climbed into the cab of his train, it wasn’t like he had anything else going on. Carlton slowly pulled the train into the yard thinking about past holiday seasons. Carlton lingered in the yard for a minute before jumping out of the cab and heading back to the station. It was as he was walking up to the platform that he noticed something, twinkling lights.

“What the..”

“Oh Carlton, come give me a hand” Carlton jumped as he noticed Doris Acer, his sweet senior citizen neighbor on a ladder near the station sign.

“Of course, but what are you doing?” Carlton said as held the ladder as Doris climbed down.

“Well, what do you think, silly? I have to put these decorations up for Christmas.”

“Christmas? You know about Christmas?!” Carlton exclaimed growing excited.

Doris looked at him strangely. “What do you mean ‘I know about Christmas’, are you feeling ok?”

Carlton laughed, he’s gotten used to people looking at him strangely, but somehow he did it; he got Christmas back. Carlton looked back at his train, he wondered what else his train could do?

Carlton’s Magical Train

This is just a little story I have been working on. Let me know what you think 🙂

Carlton’s Magical Train

Carlton had the holiday blues. The snow was slushy and grey on the ground. The sound of carolers was making him twitch. There was no two words about it, Carlton hated the holidays. As Carlton trudged to the train he cringed as he noticed the townspeople starting to hang decorations. ‘I wish I was in a place where Christmas didn’t exist’ he murmured to himself.

Carlton, though grumpy about many things that morning, was not grumpy about his job. Carlton was a train operator for Port Bayonne and drove trains up the Richard-Valley line. Carlton loved his job and for the most part loved his town though during Christmas season they did go decoration crazy.

Carlton eventually got to his train and got ready for his first shift. As he started the train, he noticed a fog rolling in. As he headed to the Port Bayonne platform he noticed the fog was getting worse. By the time he reached the platform the fog was so thick that seeing through the window was almost impossible. Carlton jumped out of the cab on the platform to see if he could get a weather report from one of the locals. Carlton stopped short as he looked around. The platform didn’t look the one he had seen since the first of December. There was no wreaths hanging on the fence or garland hanging on the ‘Port Bayonne’ sign, no loud Christmas music blaring over the loud speakers. As he looked around he realized all signs of Christmas were gone. As he looked around in disbelief he noticed Josie DeAlmeida, the local baker coming up the platform stairs with multiple packages. December was the busiest season for Josie so he was shocked to see her.

“Hey Josie. Need some help?” Carlton said as he reached her and grabbed some of her packages. “Where are you off too? I’m surprised you left the bakery this late in December.”

Josie looked confused. “I shut down the bakery for the winter, Carlton. You know how dead it gets here during the winter. I’m going to my mom’s until February”

Carlton was shocked, “What about Christmas and the holiday rush?”

Josie looked at Carlton in concern, “Carlton, are you feeling ok? What’s Christmas?”  

Carlton stopped short and looked at Josie. She was dead serious, she didn’t know what Christmas was. It looked like Carlton got his wish, now what was he going to do about it.

To be continued…