I’ll need to get all of this re-written into my proper diary when I get it back again. In the meantime I hope I don’t loose any of these scraps of paper I’ve been writing on.
So, here I was, sitting in the musty cab of a choo choo I had commandeered from a local railway station, heading into the jaws of a gang of cut-throat barbarians, on a mission to rescue my adoptive son, and possibly a number of other children in distress, from the clutches of a mad county clerk.
I knew the timing had to be right. There was no going back now. Leaving it for another night was just going to make me more nervous and let me talk myself out of it further. I pulled the leaver back towards myself. The whine of the engine increased and my train lurched backwards. I got it up to a slow jogging pace and then threw it into neutral. The engine noise died away, but the train continued rolling along at a steady pace. As I saw the stationary train ahead (or was it behind) through the gloomy night, I started applying the brakes softly, hoping the squealing of the metal on metal brakes wouldn’t be too bad over the sounds of the night life.
My eyes flicked around the train in front, desperate to not see anybody patrolling the perimeter. I’m sure they were too lazy to do this, but I needed to be sure I had as much time as possible before all hell broke loose.
With the length of the engine carriage, and a second passenger carriage between me and the stationary train in front, this was going to be extremely difficult to judge. I kept applying the brake pressure as it loomed nearer. It must have been about 4am, and it was pitch black, but I flicked the red lights on from time to time on the back of the carriage to dimly show up the remaining distance from my train to the one in front. I had to risk being seen. It was this or slam into the back of the other train and be certain to wake everyone up.
When I was a couple of metres away I clamped down hard on the brakes so my train now only travelled at a crawl. At the last possible minute I locked them on, hoping against hope I was close enough.
Running through the engine cab to the back door, I swung it open and ran the length of the next passenger car. I stopped inside the last car and took a deep breath, both to catch my breath and calm the frantic hoof beats inside my chest. I cranked open the last door between myself and the other train. The gap between us was close enough and I exhaled through pursed lips. Crouching down I hooked up the connectors between the carriages, and, although I didn’t think I would have time, I even spent a couple of precious minutes linking the electrics. A move that would prove invaluable later on I was to find.
The carriage in front of me could now be accessed through the door which was once the end of their train, but was now just another door between carriages of our extended push-me-pull-you train. This was the carriage the nutcase had called Third Class. This was the carriage full of undead creatures with a blood lust and wanting to rip my throat out and suck the juices from my eyeballs. This was the carriage I needed to get through if my mission was to be a success.