Old rusted train engine.

Copyright–Adam Ickes

This is my January, 2015, story for Storybook Corner hosted by Adam Ickes. Each month on the 21st day, Adam supplies a new promt for an original story. Each story is supposed to be from 100 to 250 words in length, or longer if thought necessary, and be inspired by the photo prompt supplied that month.

To read the other stories from this group, click on the links given in the comments on Adam’s blog.

The link for the blog is as follows:

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 250 Words


The old, rusting engine had been a beauty in her day, glistening black with red trim. She ate up the miles from Washington, D.C., to New York City and back, carrying commuters to their work and home again. I was one of those passengers.

Even earlier, she had carried soldiers to board ships delivering them overseas to battle in World War II, or back from camps for leave trips. After the war, she carried them home to waiting parents, sweethearts, and wives to begin new lives.

Men shoveled coal into her metal belly, and it belched steam and jet black dust to coat the country through which it passed. In winter, the shining, pristine snow didn’t stay white long.

People near the tracks in those days would wave to the trainmen as the big beauty thundered by.

Home furnaces also burned coat in those days, and men on the trains had been known to toss off some of it into the back yards of pretty women in swim suits sunning themselves.

That was then. Now the once glorious engine sits out rusting in all types of weather on a deserted stretch of track, her glory days far in the past.

Cows graze around her and children play engineer in what’s left of her cab. The grand old lady has fallen on hard times, a disintegrating shell of what she once was.

I know a little how she feels. I’m not as bright and handsome as I once was either.


12 thoughts on “THE OLD ENGINE

  1. Well done, Suzanne. You drew me into your narrative. I feel a lot like the rusted engine too… πŸ™‚
    I’m glad you included the photo. My new serial (only published episode 1 so far) is set in the late Victorian era — so the photo might provide me some inspiration too. Hugs!


    • Thanks Teagan. That photo was actually provided by Adam Ickes who hosts that writing group, Storybook Corner, on his blog. He’s also one of the contributors to the Friday Fictioneer’s writing group that I write for hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields on her blog. Good fortune with your latest novel. I’ve always loved trains as I was born in a house that was in a neighborhood near train tracks. My grandfather had been a telegrapher for the Erie Railroad in Ohio at one time, and my dad also loved trains. Two of his mother’s sisters also married men who worked for the railroad. I’ve collected a good many train photos on my Pinterest account. πŸ™‚ Hugs to you too. Suzanne


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