The Iron Writer Weekend Quickie #14

train hopper

The Iron Writer Weekend Quickie #14

The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day One

One Image!

One Prompt!

One Emotion!

200 Words

A Person jumping between railroad cars

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Infinite Possibility

Please add your story in the comments below.

8 thoughts on “The Iron Writer Weekend Quickie #14

  1. The MI 5 trials were complicated this year. The object was to deactivate a Grinch (a so called lady of dubious history from Colombus, Georgia) dressed in a Santa suit.

    The scenaro: She stole pear tree with partridge (really a dead parrot nailed to a tree branch) who knew Santa’s identity. If she escaped, no Christmas forever. One or the other must die.

    Both of us were placed on top of speeding train approaching a tunnel with zero clearance. One minute time limit. The possibilities of success for either of us were endless. I laced up my PF Flyers, donned my old pea coat and crammed my head into my hat. I climbed on top of the moving train, taking my position behind the Grinch positioned on top of the car ahead, tree and partridge stuffed in a red bag.

    The train was gathering speed when the whistle blew. I raced across the top of the cars, leaping from one to the other, the gap between the Grinch and myself narrowing as the tunnel raced into view.

    I raised my gun and drew a target. Done to seconds. Grinch or partridge? Which?

    I squezzed the trigger, my aim true.

  2. Part 1

    “Quick! Get him, before it’s too late!”
    Brad saw the attacker escaping from the carriage, holding a partridge?
    “Are you okay?”
    The attacker’s victim brushed himself off.
    “Don’t worry about me! Worry about him! Him!”
    “If he finds a pear tree, we’re all doomed!”
    Brad showed the man his badge.
    “Detective Brad Shaw. What is going on?”
    “Infinite possibilities are within his grasp!”
    The train rocked as another passed by.
    “I don’t understand.”
    “He stole the Device, and the partridge! He must be stopped!”
    There was a scream and Brad ran into the next carriage. He saw the attacker leaving by a side window. A woman was standing there in a state of shock. Looking out, Brad saw a maintenance ladder which led up to the roof. In spite of himself, Brad followed, to see the man leaping from this carriage to the next. Once up on the roof, Brad noticed they were travelling through a large orchard…of pear trees.
    “What is going on?”
    He watched as the man, still holding the partridge, jumped from the train towards a pear tree. A strange portal opened up and the man disappeared. In a flash Brad jumped through the same portal.

  3. The rhythmic clattering of wheels along the icy, iron tracks was lost in the wail of the train’s whistle. White smoke rolled up from the smokestack and raced across the top of the train before dissipating into the frozen air.

    Constable Darby Boswell stood above the body of a strangled man in the caboose. A drawing of a partridge resting in a pear tree was pinned to the man. The possibilities behind the image seemed infinite, but then it struck Darby as quite simple.

    Tomorrow he would find two bodies. One with today’s drawing. The other, if Darby was right, would have a drawing of two turtle doves. The killing would progress through the next twelve days, the body count rising by one each day until Christmas day.

    On the roof, Darby heard footfalls fleeing toward the front of the train.

    Darby swung out from the door of the caboose and climbed up the rungs to the roof. A figure was running away through the swirling smoke across the tops of the cars.

    The chase was on.

    Darby had to stop the figure before he got to the passenger cars or he would disappear into the crowd aboard the train.

  4. ‘I was called “The Leaping Limy”.’

    ‘Leaping what?’ the nurse asked, plumping up the old man’s pillow.

    ‘Freight cars, riding the trains. As a lad I saw North America that way,’ he said. ‘The possibilities were endless – Spokane, Medicine Hat, Brownsville, Flin Flon – the train took you anywhere you fancied.’

    ‘But you’re wealthy,’ she said. ‘Why were you riding the trains?’

    ‘Freedom,’ he said. ‘But I was almost caught once.’

    ‘How?’ she asked, sitting herself down.

    ‘It was a baggage car. Not thinking. Freight cars you have a choice. Passenger trains, it’s the baggage compartment only or the roof.’


    He nodded. ‘When we heard someone coming, we’d scarper. We were on the Transcontinental, coming round a bend high in the Rockies. I couldn’t see the carriage five cars back. Then I could.’ He laughed. ‘I was staring straight into the curious eyes of people in the glass-walled viewing-car. I laughed so hard, I almost fell off.’

    ‘Then what happened?’

    ‘I left at the next stop. I’d be nicked otherwise.’

    ‘And that’s how you ended up here?’

    He nodded. ‘And I’m happy as a partridge in a pear tree here in Banff,’ the old man said. ‘My train-hopping days are long gone.’

  5. FX : one train whistle, and sounds of train moving along the tracks briskly, continually

    Narrator – Jumping from one car to the other, Jack Brandy searched for the open boxcar he had seen from the bridge.

    Jack – “Damned winter wind! I’m freezing!”

    Narrator – pausing briefly, Jack looks up to the sky, and lifts his hands as if to catch something.

    Jack – “God, there’s got to be a better way. I don’t NEED this!

    Narrator – Seeing the open door, Jack climbs down, into the boxcar, closes the door and settles into the corner of the car among the crates of valuable merchandise..

    Jack – (murmuring to himself) “I should have listened to my father. Infinite possibilities for your your life, he said. You can do anything you set to mind to, he said. Why didn’t I listen?”

    Narrator – Caught stealing a sandwich, Jack was running from the police, today; Christmas eve. One minute everything was calm, and the next second, he was up and running … again. It didn’t help matters much that he was wearing a bright orange hat, and flaming red jacket. He had seen the train coming and jumped from the bridge.

    Jack – (murmuring to himself) “And here I sit, a veritable partridge in a pear tree.” (sarcastically) “Merry Christmas!”

    FX: One more train whistle. Train sounds fading.

  6. “And a partridge in a pear tree,” her voice came ringing from the lounge.

    I sighed and rose from my desk. What was this sudden fascination with Twelve Days of Christma…


    Gifts had been coming for her for four days now – regular. Could it be…?

    The weight of my assumptions and grumpiness hit me, pushing me into my seat. There were things that should have been obvious to me at first – things I conveniently ignored.

    A sudden realization started my heart pounding, and I made my way to the lounge where she was on her knees by the giant tree. “Mosun?” I called.

    She turned and I saw her cradling a silver-white dog who was licking her face enthusiastically. “He must like the taste of foundation,” I remarked wryly.

    She laughed. “Oh, go train-jumping.”

    “Trains hardly work around here,” I retorted, stroking the dog’s neck. It curled up and looked at me with delight.

    “My point exactly.” she responded.

    “So what’s with the singing?” I asked. She turned a bright red and waved her hand. “Oh, nothing.”

    “Mosun…wait. Is he back?”

    She lowered her eyes and nodded shyly. I hugged her tightly.

    My sister’s runaway husband was back.

  7. Ryan hunkered in the woodline next to the tracks, mentally inventorying the items in her rucksack. The pack contained, amongst other things, five pairs of socks, four pairs of underwear, two canteens, three books of matches, “and a partridge in a pear tree,” Ryan sang softly. It was frigid, and Ryan shivered even inside the layers in which she was cocooned. Thick, heavy snowflakes collected in her lashes, making prisms out of the streetlamps that shone in the distance. Still, if this worked, if the legends were true, everything – the cold, the months spent planning, even the life she left behind, would be worth it. There were tales of a train, a train that traveled not just from state to state, but from world to world, in and out of time itself. One every hundred years, on the solstice, it was said to travel through Decatur, flashing by the cornfields and rattling the decrepit old depot. Ryan had dreamt about the train for as long as she could remember, would send her Barbies leaping, their matted hair flying, onto the train tracks that she’d lay across the kitchen floor. A noise. Was it the wind? They said that it sounded like a tornado. They said that you didn’t try to board the train; they said you just jumped, that the wind would pull you in. They said. They said. The wind blew harder, pulling at the strands of hair that had escaped Ryan’s woolen cap.

  8. Nerve Endings
    Danielle Lee Zwissler
    Day I
    I had once watched this program where this guy performed incredible stunts, like jumping from train to train, or walking a single cable from a 145 story building. The show was just painful to watch, and attacked your nerves like crazy.
    And now, years later, I’m up on stage getting ready to sing the Twelve Days of Christmas in front of a bunch of teenagers, and those same nerves are working in overdrive.
    I began, and then it ended so poorly that I couldn’t even get out the last A Partridge in a Pear Tree before I heard the booing, and it went on until I made it to my car. Needless to say, Christmas would be blue, and Elvis was definitely the only one that would be singing.

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