A sleek white train with a red line streaking down the side of it barrels down the meadow in our direction, coming toward us almost silently as it speeds along the long grass.
A loud squeaking of brakes breaks the silence, causing all sorts of animals to jump to life as they attempt to escape the unfamiliar noise.
A wide window across the front showcases a man in a bright blue uniform with a tight cap, sitting just inside, holding a lever, and looking out at us. He waves with a bright smile.
A hissing noise sounds and a door opens in the side of the train. An odd steamy smoke exits the newly created entry port. Just as it opens, Tenney escapes from within, bounding down the steps to the grass as he excitedly greets us.
“Noll!” he yells, running to his friend. “I’ve been looking all over for you!”
“What sort of beast is dis?” Noll asks the man as they share an embrace.
“They call this monstrosity a Temporal Locomotive,” Tenney beams. “Whatever that means. All I know is that it has taken me on the most extraordinary journey through time and space, only to end up here, with you. What have you all been up to since I saw you last?”
“How long has it been since we last saw you?” Griff asks with a curious twinkle in his eyes.
“Many rotations of the moon, I’m certain,” Tenney answers. “Although, it has been difficult to tell how long anything has happened whilst traveling upon this curious form of transport.”
“I fink time gets wonky when you’re traveling on it all wrong.” Noll replies. “But it don’t matter, cuz I’ve never been happier to see you,” he says as he slaps Tenney across the back.
“Now that’s an understatement,” Griff grins. “Come on, kid. Let’s get out of here.” He runs to the door in the train and disappears within, followed shortly thereafter by Noll and Tenney.
I stare at the train in disbelief.
“Come on, kid. Even if it’s a trap, it’s still an adventure, right? And it’s gotta be better than staying here.”
I look up at him, squinting in the light reflected off the beautiful piece of machinery before me. “But, it could—“
“No more thinking for you, kid,” Griff grins. “Why don’t you let me take over for a while?”
I stare at him silently for over a minute before I finally shrug and run to his side. He takes my hand and pulls me into the magical vehicle.
“Wait!” I say, jumping back out into the meadow.
“What?” Griff asks in agitation.
“The sphere! We can’t just leave it out here, can we?” I run in the direction where I had tossed it.
“Chelle!” Griff yells after me. “We’ve got a time traveling train. We don’t need no stupid necklace!”
I stop in my tracks, approximately thirty feet from the doors of the train and turn to look at Griff. He’s right. I don’t have to think anymore.
I take one step toward him and my foot hits something, making a light clinking sound. I look down and see the pendant.
After a brief hesitation, I decide it would be reckless of me to return home from this adventure without some sort of souvenir.
Go to Chapter Fifty-Two