Leaves On The Line

Slightly tasteless entry for Friday Fictioneers this week. Sadly, I was unable to think of anything better.

Incidentally, if I can be permitted a quick plug, my short story anthology will be out on Amazon on 31st July.

Thanks to Dee Lovering for the photo.

For Ralph, this is as good as it gets. He’d wanted to be an engine driver, ever since he was a little boy. It never worked out that way but, now he’s retired, they let him drive the narrow-gauge train at the garden centre. The pay’s abysmal, but he doesn’t need the money with his pension. It’s enough, anyway, to see the thrill on the children’s faces as he takes them past the begonias and around the leylandii. In his third age, he’s finally living out his childhood dreams.
But, by God, it’s a shame about all the suicidal gnomes.



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34 responses to “Leaves On The Line

  1. micklively

    Great punch-line.

  2. Interesting. I wonder if Ralph has begun to hallucinate, perhaps?

    Leo @ I Rhyme Without Reason

  3. Dear Etienne,

    At least Ralph’s living out his dreams, gnomes and all. Cute.



  4. Very amusing, I like it!

  5. Too funny! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the giggle.
    Congrats on the anthology!

  6. LOL Well, at least Ralph is a good citizen helping to rid the park of those pesky fellows in the pointy hats.


  7. What kind of fumes is Ralph inhaling? πŸ˜‰

    (Just wanted to let you know that you need a space between “his” and “pension”. I often have typos in my work and am glad when someone points them out. Hope you feel the same.)

  8. Well if you can’t realize your dreams you should definitely take out your frustrations on gnomes in retirement.
    Yup..makes sense to me πŸ™‚

  9. The gnomes? I guess I’m slow.

  10. Ow, ow, ow… tasteless it may be, but funny it is, too. Thanks for the groan. Nd congrats for the anthology. πŸ™‚

  11. Hahaha! Poor gnomes are not enjoying his third age πŸ™‚

  12. That warning about it being tasteless had me picturing something much worse. I was a bit underwhelmed, tbh. You should try to be a bit more confident about your words.

  13. Unless its “Hispenic” shouldn’t it be his [space] pension.

    Feel free to delete this comment past its use, Tay.

    P.S. Still looking for options on why gnomes are suicidal! πŸ˜€

    • Thanks. To be honest, it had been spotted but I didn’t go back to fix it because I wanted to keep to 100 words but it’s always useful to have typoes pointed out.

      Re: the gnomes, I don’t know for sure but I suspect a life sitting on toadstools pretending to fish isn’t particularly rewarding.

  14. A man with a passion for trains never grows out of it. I’m so glad Ralph got his chance. What are a few gnomes in the grand scheme of things, anyway? Love this story, by the way.

  15. Here in the Pacific Northwest people put those creepy little gnomes EVERYWHERE! This made me laugh, thank you.

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