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Chapter 16 continues from yesterday:
“Luke! There you are!” called Mum, “you do have a penchant for wandering off.”
Luke had no idea what a ponshon was but decided to take her word for it.
“Look what I’ve got!” she said. She sounded excited. “I won it! Well, I bought so many tickets I almost bought it!”
Luke looked at the slightly torn, slightly scratched, slightly coming apart at one end, box she was carrying. He could hardly believe it.
“Is that the same as ..?” he asked her.
“Exactly the same!” she said. She sounded so happy. “Here you are darling, this is yours.”
She was holding a Hornby R.793 King Size Electric train set. It was exactly the same as Grandad Pete’s. Grandad Pete was Mum’s dad and he loved trains. He was a volunteer fireman at his local steam railway and he used to let Luke ride the engine with him when they visited at Easter and August bank holiday. His Hornby train set had three locomotives – a King Henry VIII, a Class 29 (type 2) Bo-Bo, and a Class 3F Jinty Tank. Plus it had coaches, wagons, trackside accessories and buildings. It was brilliant.
Whenever they went to visit Grandad Pete, Luke and Grandad went up to the loft and played with the train set for hours. It was always set up. Always ready to play.
Grandad died the day after Luke’s seventh birthday. He left Luke the train set in his will because he wanted it to go to someone who loved it as much as he had.
Sadly, Mum, because of an unfortunate series of events which were of no interest to Luke, accidentally backed over it with the car. Luke had been devastated. Mum equally so. She couldn’t replace it because they didn’t make them like that any more. And Luke didn’t want just any train set. But now she’d found one. And it really was exactly the same as Grandad’s. Luke was momentarily lost for words. He looked up at Mum’s glowing face.
“Thank you,” he tried to say but the words caught in his throat. He was overwhelmed. “Can we go home and set it up?” he asked.
“Now?” she asked, “are we done here?”
“I’m done here,” he replied.
On Christmas Eve, Luke pulled down the peak of his blue engine driver’s cap, blew his whistle and called,
The train pulled out of the station. It picked up speed and smoothly rode the tracks through Lego town, across the Scarf-River bridge, under the Bed-Tunnel through Bed-Mountain, and onto the Blue Pillowcase Coast. When it got to Seaside station it stopped to pick up Batman, Spiderman and a couple of soldiers on leave, before continuing on its journey to the end of the line. There was a near accident when a giant brown and white dog stepped onto the track but tragedy was averted when a quick-thinking observer lured the animal out of harm’s way with a Digestive.
Outside, a car door slammed.
“Luke, Jared – Dad’s home. He’s got the tree!” Mum called from downstairs, “come down and help me decorate it.”
Jared thundered down the stairs. Luke was too busy. Batman was late for a job interview – the train must keep going. As it sped towards the old suspension bridge, the driver noticed two of the shoe lace suspenders had snapped, and the others looked like they’d struggle to take the strain. He applied the brake but it was too late, the train was going too fast, it wouldn’t be able to stop in time. Suddenly Spiderman climbed out of the window and ran along the roof of the train to the front. He spun his web and ….
Mum opened the bedroom door.
“Luke, don’t you want to help decorate the tree?”
Story concludes tomorrow 🙂 or you can read the whole chapter right now 😉
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