Monday, September 24, 2007

THE GRAVY TRAIN

By Dick Nelson

The townsfolk stood in the gathering darkness, empty buckets and pails in hand. A light drizzle danced around them in the cool autumn wind, and they warmed themselves with thoughts of gravy, thick with giblets and piping-hot.

A whistle shrilled in the distance, and soon a beam of yellow light blazed through the twilight, illuminating the tiny weathered train depot. The townsfolk hurried to the edge of the platform, and now they could see the mighty locomotive rounding the bend. Their mouths began to water as it chugged down the tracks toward them, black and gleaming like liquid obsidian. And as the train drew near, the townsfolk were surprised to see hobos ― gravy-covered hobos ― dancing wildly on the roofs of the railway carriages like ghastly apparitions.

The rain fell harder now, and the shivering townsfolk watched in silence as the train sped past the station. And when the sounds of wine-soaked revelry and the fragrance of rich, homestyle gravy had faded into the night, they began the long walk home, empty buckets and pails clanging together softly on the dark and mournful road.

(Dick Nelson is a frequent contributor to The Bindle Stick Quarterly and Vagabondage magazine.)

2 comments:

HOboPatrol said...

I love the hobo related stories. Just ask Chris Lindland.
I am hobo-centric.

Rock on.

Dick Nelson (Author) said...

Thank you, Hobopatrol. You give an old man hope that maybe one day, we can rid this world of hobophobia once and for all.