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Lauren Uzzo

Grade: 8

St Paschal Baylon School

Instructor: Mary Connors

Love by the Tracks

Flash Fiction

Love by the Tracks

Love by the Tracks

"Gramps! Oh, please tell us one more story, just one!" called little Joe from the porch.

Grandpa pushed open the screen door with a smile. Grunting, he lowered himself onto the wooden rocking chair in the corner. Little Joe, Samantha, and Kirsten crowded around him, sitting criss cross applesauce on the white floorboards of the front porch. They looked up at him with eager, expectant eyes.

"Oh alright, I suppose I could tell you just one more tale from way back when," Gramps stated with a mischievous smile. "Way back when the dinosaurs roamed and the cavemen hunted…"

"Gramps," Kirsten cried laughing. "You're not that old!"

"Well, I'm glad to hear you say that!" Gramps chuckled. "Alright, here's the real story. Way back when I was just a young man, about the age of 23, I got a job at the railroad station. It had always been my dream to work with trains. They really are fascinating things. Anyways, I set out to the station that first day of work back in 1942. I was so excited to work with the trains. Well, imagine my disappointment when I was assigned to ticket booth duty. I insisted that I was ready to work with the trains, but they wouldn't budge. So, I begrudgingly headed over to the hot and stuffy booth. All day long it was take their money and hand them their ticket. By the end of that first week, I was sick of my job. I must have shown it too, because one Friday a young woman came up to the booth. Without even looking up, I took her money. As I was handing her the ticket, she smiled and said, 'I bet it's real hot in there, sir.' I jerked my head up to see the face of an angel. She was beautiful. Her hair was light brown and curled at the tips. She had eyes bluer than the sky, and her face lit up like the sun when she smiled. I stared, unsure what to say to a girl of such beauty. 'Um, I said it must be real hot in there. Can you hear me?' 'Oh um, yes. Yes, it is quite hot in here, Miss'."

"You sound like you were real nervous Gramps," Samantha said with a romantic gleam in her eyes.

"You bet I was Sammy girl. Before I got the chance to catch her name, she bid me a good day and said goodbye. I stared after her in awe. I had to make up something to get her to come back! 'Wait, Miss!' I had no idea what I was doing! She turned around, her hair swaying as she did. "You, um, you forgot your, um…' 'Oh, thank you!' she said, trying to draw attention away from the two of us. She slowly walked back over to the booth. She gazed at me with those beautiful, blue eyes, and said, 'My name is Shirley, and judging from your name tag, your name would be Jack, yes?' 'Um, yes, yes, that's my name'."

"That's my name? Oh boy Gramps, that's all you could come up with to say?" little Joe said smiling, as Kirsten and Samantha giggled.

"Oh, I know, it wasn't my proudest moment, but ever since that awkward exchange of names, quite a few things have happened. Plus, if I had said anything else, the three of you might not be sittin' here today."

Just then, the screen door pushed open with a creek. Out stepped a woman with once brown hair turned gray, and eyes bluer than the sky.

"Lunch is ready, everybody!" Shirley called to her husband and grandchildren from the doorway.