Thursday, February 18, 2010

Time Train - Chapter 5

When are Rhubarb T. Porterhut and his opposite of hirsute dog, Columbus? Find out right now, in this latest chapter of "Time Train."

Rhubarb T. Porterhut hopped to his feet. “I must have drifted off,” he thought to himself as he gathered his senses. He checked his pocket watch which indicated that it was a quarter till noon.

Meanwhile Columbus was thankful that he was no longer his master’s pillow, and stretched what little he could stretch in his sack. Although the position had been uncomfortable, he found the overall situation pleasant as he was free from being a conversation partner, and was in fact able to catch some sleep and finish his dream.

“What is this? Where could we be now? When is now?”

Rhubarb was frantic, and began to flail his arms like a windmill. He peaked out of the cabin to see a platform slowly approaching them from the distance. As they got closer he pulled the brake and jumped out.

“Hellooooo! Hello, I say! Is there anybody here?”

A gentleman stepped out to the platform, dressed not unlike the stationmaster back in Terre Haute. He eyed the situation warily before speaking.

“Wasn’t expecting any shipments this early in the day. Not that it looks like yer carrying anything anyhow. How might I be of service?”

Rhubarb tried to jump onto the platform but didn’t quite make it. Unfazed, he simply went around the platform until he found a good foothold so that he could climb up. The same couldn’t be said for Columbus who took the brunt of the fall. Luckily his lack of hair made it easier for him to dust himself off, if only he could manage such a thing.

The stationmaster simply stood there and stared, which Rhubarb interpreted as shock at seeing a man and his dog, both of whom had just arrived from the future. Once face to face with the stationmaster, he politely dusted himself off. He felt an urge to grab the man by his coveralls, but not wanting to add to his surprise, instead extended his gloved hand.

“Good day, sir. When, might I ask, do we find ourselves this day?”

The stationmaster still unsure of all that was unfolding before him, thought twice about taking the unfamiliar man’s hand. “Why yer in Decatur.”

“Decatur, Illinois,” thought Rhubarb. “Why we traveled nearly a hundred miles.”

“Well, what time is it, good sir?”

The stationmaster took his time with this question. He looked up at the sky; then at the locomotive; then at the dog on Rhubarb’s back; and finally at Rhubarb.

“It’s about 10:45, in the morning.”

“And what is today’s date, if you wouldn’t mind?”

“November sixth, 1897.”

An hour. They had traveled a hundred miles for nearly five hours to arrive an hour in the past.

“Huzzah! Columbus, we have made it! Our trip was not in vain!”

Rhubarb danced around the platform with Columbus, the bewildered stationmaster the only audience. They had traveled long and far indeed, but Rhubarb was too excited to ponder the consequences or the question: Would he ever make it back to his darling wife, Florentine?

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