Antique Photo Contest - Looking Down the Tracks

Old photos fascinate me. I find them rather sad, especially if found in a flea market or dusty barn. I look at the faces and realize that it is someone's wife or mother. Who are they? What is their story?

When Ritty challenged us to write an excerpt from a story about these characters, I had to write it. I had to give them names and a reason to be. I give this story the title of Looking Down the Tracks.







"Mommy, is Papa's train going all the way to France?"

Ella squeezed Albert’s shoulder and stared down the empty tracks. She couldn’t answer his question. She couldn’t make her voice get past the burning ball in her throat.

“Mommy, when Papa comes back from France, how old will I be?

Ella couldn’t tear her gaze away from the railroad tracks. She couldn’t let her mind consider that last question.

A puff of steam rose above the autumn leaves down through the valley. The train rumbled and rattled over the trestle, closer and closer. Ella’s eyes ached, but she mustn’t blink. She mustn’t miss his face.

“Mommy, is that Papa’s train?”

Ella counted the cars. Henry said he’d be in the third one on the south side. She gasped. There he was!

“Mommy, I see Papa!”

The train was chugging past. Albert jumped up and down and waved. Her muscles ached to run after it. Ella stared into Henry’s eyes, and nothing else mattered.

His lips moved!

She knew the words. "Be brave, my love."

Albert waved until the caboose disappeared around the corner. A puff of steam rose above the autumn leaves down through the valley.

Ella squeezed Albert’s shoulder and stared down the empty tracks. 

~ ~ ~


To see more about the contest and the other entries, 


4 comments:

Rhonda Ritenour said...

I love your entry! And thank you for participating! I live giving life to these old photos!

Rhonda Ritenour said...

I *love* giving life to these old photos. :-) I'm constantly looking for them when I go to antique stores. :-)

Yvonne Blake said...

I'll have to write about old photos more often, Rhonda. That was really satisfying.

Catrina Bradley said...

I'd love to read this story - such emotion.

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