Excerpt from The Crossings
From Chapter 6 – The Journey Begins
“Georgie, how do we know if the next train coming is the one we want?”
“Our train is scheduled to leave at five-fifteen so most likely one leaving around that time will be the one. No other way for us to know,” answered Georgie. “We’ll need to watch for a car with an open door and we need to throw a rock on board so we can jam the door open. We don’t want to get locked in,” he added.
“I’m really getting scared, Georgie. I thought we’d be climbing on board in the yard, not hopping on a moving train,” said Schmitty nervously.
“Schmitty, I think I hear a train coming,” as the shriek of a train whistle pierced the air. “Oh boy, here we go. I’ll hop on first and you grab my hand and jump. If you miss, grab on the ladder and we’ll get you in the car,” he ordered.
The train approached slowly, chugging mightily as it fought to gain speed as it made its way out of the yard. The two adventurers watched for an open boxcar to be the one to give them passage. They thought it made sense to be in the middle of the train rather than near the engine or the caboose. The appropriate target neared.
Georgie shouted, “Schmitty this is it. Run alongside. I’ll hop on, then you.” They took off on a dead run next to the car with their hearts pounding more from the fear and excitement than the exertion. Georgie threw a rock on board along with his satchel, grabbed the side of the door opening and hurled himself on board. He then spun around to grab for Schmitty who was still running next to the car.
“Grab my hand Schmitty. Grab my hand!” The train was moving faster than they had anticipated. Schmitty grabbed for Georgie’s hand and his grip slipped. The fear showed in his face.
“Schmitty, grab the ladder and hop on!” Schmitty slowed a bit to grab the ladder at the back of the car. He grabbed it and climbed on, holding on for dear life. But his foot slipped because the rungs were wet from the rain and he was hanging by his hands from the ladder. In fear, he released his hold and rolled into the gravel alongside the tracks as the wheels of the thundering giant rolled by without hesitation.
“Schmitty!!” screamed Georgie.