The ringing of church bells echoed through miles of snow covered land. Happy and cheer-filled people made their way into the big station where the Fat Controller was holding his annual Christmas party.
The guest list was expected to be quite extensive, so it was decided that this years party would be held at Knapford. The engines were very excited. Not only was there more room for attendees, but it was said that Stepney would be taking a visit with his controller. The gossip soon spread, and soon became the talk of the railway.
That Christmas eve, Toby the Tram Engine was happily sauntering towards the top station of Thomas' branchline. He was headed for his last job of the day, his crew's little radio was blaring from his cab, and the crisp air had never felt so refreshing. It had turned out to have been a relaxing day. He met Thomas who was about to set off for the junction.
“Evening Toby!” Thomas called. “Headed to Knapford yet?”
“ 'Fraid not! I've got some trucks to tend to. I just hope Percy didn't throw all the work on me.” Toby chuckled. “It looks like you still have some work as well.”
“Last passenger train of the day. Driver tells me we'll need more coaches if we have as much as we did here.” Thomas said, shuddering a little. “Still worth it for the party, and it sounds like it'll top last Christmas!”
Just then, the guard blew his whistle and waved his flag.
“Oh, I suppose that's mine! I hope I see you later Toby!” Thomas called. “Merry Christmas if I don't!”
“So long!” He replied. As Toby watched Thomas puff into the distance, he sighed. “Right, Merry Christmas indeed.”
“Come on Toby, last job of the day.” his fireman said cheerfully. “Can't wait to get one of Mrs. Kindley's famous cakes at the station! We don't want to wait until they're all gone, do we?”
“Never mind those cakes, they CAN wait! Those trucks can't. Unless you would like a pink slip for Christmas?” Laughed the driver.
Amidst the laughter and happiness, Toby couldn't help but begin to feel sad. Christmas had never been a event he had thoroughly enjoyed like the other engines.
“I just don't see the need for it.” He would sometimes think to himself. “After all these years, I still don't even know what it's truly for! Family? Good will? Presents? If that's the case, where's my fair share?”
Each year had felt the same. Sitting in his shed, alone and cold with no one to talk to. The only sound he heard was the occasional passing car and the howling wind outside. Of course, the holidays on Sodor were no where near as bad as they were on his old line.
On Toby's old line, when passengers were far and few, he would find himself sitting in his shed for days. When passengers did visit the line however, they would stand and gawk like they always did. They joked about his appearance.
“If worse comes to worst, that station master could use that engine for fire wood!” Some would tease. “No need for something so old to be taking our goods anyway.”
Normally, Toby simply ignored them. But it was around this time of year when Toby would watch them happily travel with family and friends. Deep down, he was jealous. Now on Sodor, though he had friends, holidays were more or less the same. To make matters worse, Toby was to end that day with the trucks.
Percy had left the quarry in a terrible state. The trucks were scattered everywhere! With Percy delivering the last of the post train, and Mavis at the works, poor Toby had to deal with it alone. They giggled and chattered when the tram engine began his work.
“Oh dear, what's this? Mavis was replaced by a log cabin? What ever is this clapped-out railway coming to?” Said a truck, and the others giggled with it.
Toby said nothing, and bumped his way through the yard.
Meanwhile, Thomas was enjoying himself immensely. He arrived at the junction and was very surprised to see a large crowd at the platform! There on the opposite side was a train of coaches and an engine no where to be seen!
“Looks like that's ours.” Said Thomas' driver. “Well, we can fetch it when we come back. There's still a bit of time before we leave. The station master has something for us anyway.”
Now Thomas was rather nervous. His driver had been right! The train seemed like it would be MUCH longer than his normal trains. Of course the extra passengers was expected at this time of year, but certainly not to this degree!
His driver and fireman came back grinning, with a large ball of tinfoil in hand.
“What's that?” Asked Thomas.
“It's our dinner!” Laughed his Fireman, and he showed a chicken wrapped inside.
The end.........HA no
This (hopefully) will be removed when I can do it.