Friday, 26 May 2017

The Adventures of Lando Erif :: The Day I Stopped the Steam Train (Pt. Two)

Hello and welcome to Jane-freaking-out-because-where-is-May-gone. Today's episode is all about steam trains and duct tape and oh-man-where-did-the-time-go.

Not saying that I wrote this late at night *cough*early*cough* or anything.

BUT ANYWAY. Before I go on a tangent about my bad habits of forgetting to go to bed before midnight, I'm going to drop you off with the story.

Have fun.

The twins disappeared off the platform, leaving me alone on the empty station. I slumped down in a seat, wondering how long until another train came. Pulling my book out of the backpack at my feet, I started idly flicking through the pages, still unable to concentrate.

Knowing the evil fairy of destruction and heat is trying her best to misplace your head isn’t a most comforting thought.

After about thirty minutes of waiting I had become decidedly bored. Maybe I should’ve gone with the twins and stayed until the next train was due. Then I suddenly remembered that I had no idea when that actually would be.

I walked over to the booking office and looked at the timetable sheet. The times and dates kept trying to mix up and I stared at it for five minutes straight, trying to get my head around it.

“Did you need assistance?”

I spun around to find a short man dressed in a painfully ironed uniform. “Er…” I glanced back at the timetable. “When’s the next train coming?”

He looked morose. “Not until seven tonight, sorry.”

“Oh,” my heart sank. “Isn’t there usually one around midday?”

“Usually, except today it is cancelled because of the Hunter Valley Steamfest. There will be a steam train coming in—” he checked his watch “—about three quarters of an hour.”

“Oh,” I said again.

“Sorry,” he repeated. “Is there anything else?”

“Ah no, I’ll be fine,” I said. I turned back down the platform, sitting in seat again.

The phone in my pocket buzzed.

I frowned, wondering why Thomas would be calling me. Pulling it out, I touched the ‘answer,’ hoping that nothing had happened to them.

“Oh hello, Lando dear.”

My heart froze at the distinct mocking tone of Zana Bradford.

“I just thought you should know, there are two sorry looking boys duct-taped to the train track and I was wondering if they were yours,” she paused a moment to see if I had anything to say.

I stared dumbly at the phone.

“Well, they’re about three and a half kilometres out of Singleton, and I was just a tad concerned for them since I thought the track had been closed because of the Steamfest. The steam train is only a little way away from where those two poor boys are,” she ended in a sorrowful tone.

“You—” I managed but then the phone bleeped, signalling that Zana had hung up.

A surge of hatred flashed through me, first Zana had gate crashed my party and tried to kill me, then she’d tried to get me with the evil white kittens, and now she’d duct taped the twins to the train track.

This was going too far.

I jumped to my feet, dashing back over to the booking office. The man looked up from his smart phone as I skidded to a stop in front of his desk.

“Got a problem?” he asked, clearly bored.

“Is there any possible way to stop the steam train?” I panted.

“Sorry, what was that?”

“Is there any possible way to stop the steam train?” I yelled at him.

He leaned back in his seat. “No need to yell,” he frowned.

“Just tell me then,” I bit back my frustration.

“No,” he shook his head. “The train will get here in about half an hour.”

“But my friends are tied to the tracks,” I protested.

He leaned forward. “Look kid, that steam train is coming whatever you say. If your friends are idiots enough to lie on the tracks then that’s their prob. Okay?” Dismissing me with a wave, he returned his attention to the phone in his hand.

I gaped at him for a moment. Why did no one ever believe me?

I spun on my heel and stormed out onto the platform again. I wasn’t going to just stand around waiting for my best friends to get flattened by some steam train. A flash of inspiration hit me and I picked up my phone again.

Thomas had mentioned something about having put several phone numbers from some of the other Dragon Island Recruits into the contacts. I scanned through the list of names, finally finding the one I wanted. Scarlette Broome.

She’d once said she worked on steam trains in Maitland, and this train came from that way somewhere. There had to be a chance that she’d be connected somehow.

I tapped the ‘ring’ icon and waited, jumping from one foot to the other in my nervousness. Eventually the faint ringing stopped and sound suddenly exploded into my ear. I made out a vague voice behind all the roaring background noise.

“Er, what was that?” I said loudly.

“Sorry, I can’t really hear you,” Scarlatte’s indistinct voice came through the noise.

“Uh, this is Lando,” I raised my voice slightly.

“Huh? Still can’t hear you.”

“I’m Lando,” I yelled into the phone.


“Lando Erif,” I repeated.

“Lando? What about him?” Scarlette seemed confused.

“I am Lando,” I shouted.

“Oh. Wait, how come you have my number?”

“I…just do,” I said. “Where are you?”

“Really can’t hear you. It’s a little loud here,” Scarlette replied in a yell.

“Where are you?” I hollered.

“I’m on a steam train on the way to Singleton. If there’s some Dragon Island emergency ask someone else. And why do you even have my number?”

“You’re on the steam train?” I shouted in relief. “Great, can you stop it?”

“Stop what?”

“The train.”

“Why? Is there a dragon on the tracks or something?”

I took a breath to calm myself. “No, the twins are duct-taped to it.”


“The twins are duct-taped to the train tracks,” I yelled.

“They’re…Oh, why? No, never mind. You’re not serious, right?” Scarlette asked.

“Yes, I am serious. Have I ever mentioned what happened on my twelfth birthday?”

“Eh? Oh yeah, the fairy thing? You’re saying she’s tied the twins to the railway track?”

“YES,” I howled. “Now just stop the train!”

She paused a moment. “Okay, I believe you. Not even you guys’d take a practical joke this far. I’ll do my best.”

The phone bleeped again.

I slumped back onto the seat. That was not the best phone call I’d ever made. I made a mental note not to try ring someone on a steam train ever again.

Zana wasn’t going to get away with this one.

Not if I had any say in it.

Jumping up, I strode to the edge of the platform, looking down at the tracks for a moment. Then I jumped down.

Don’t ask why some people call me an idiot.

I started running along the train tracks, stepping from one sleeper plank to the next, doing my best to avoid the shifting gravel in the center. There is something incredibly fun about running on a train track, although I had the downside of knowing that my friends were duct-taped to it just a few minutes away.

If there was one thing Dragon Island had taught me, it was how to run fast.

Running from dragons. Running from exploding lunch machines. Running from furious Island Co-directors. You name it. I’ve probably done it.

I mentally added ‘running to un-duct-tape the twins from the train track’ to the list.

My feet pounded along the tracks as I sprinted out of the town. The sun beat down hot on the back of my neck and I wished I hadn’t lost my cap.

I was panting for breath by the time I caught sight of a dim shape on the tracks. Pushing forward a little faster, I tripped and fell sprawling onto the boiling hot metal of the rails. Yelping, I scrambled up, running to the twins.

Zana had certainly duct-taped them sufficiently.

I dropped down beside them and started searching for somewhere to start. “Jeez, she doesn’t go in halves,” I muttered.

Both the twins looked on in silence, unable to speak with the duct tape over their mouths.

“Sorry,” I said, and ripped the piece off Titus’s face first.

“Agh,” he gasped.

Thomas gave a similar reaction only a little louder. Loud enough to have one or two exclamation marks at the end.

I flinched back, waiting for my ears to regain hearing. “What happened?”

“Zana jumped us on the way through town, gave us a dragon joyride, tied us here and left, saying that there was a steam train coming soon,” Titus said, attempting to wrench one of his hands free.

I hurried to help him.

“And she took my Com Hack,” Thomas added miserably, chewing on a strip of duct-tape.

I set to work, slowly unwinding the masses of silver tape.

“Can’t you go any faster?” Titus gasped. “I think I can hear the train coming.”

I untangled a strip and tossed it aside, setting to work on another. “I’m going as fast as I can.”

“Try a rock,” Thomas suggested.

Picking up a sharp piece of rock, I shrugged and used one edge to saw through a band of tape around Titus’s legs and looped around a part of the rails.

“Not good,” Thomas groaned, jerking on his duct tape bonds. “Really not good.”

Titus was half free, enough to start working at it himself to I turned to Thomas. As I raised my head I froze, staring at the horizon.

“What?” Thomas asked nervously.

“Er…just the train,” I started ripping through the duct tape, my heart accelerating at the distant sound.

The train didn’t sound at all how I’d expected a steam train to sound. It grew closer and closer, shrieking like something alive.

The brakes, I realised. Scarlette had managed to put on the brakes.

But it wasn’t going to be enough. At this rate they’d stop just after flattening us.

Not quite what I’d planned.

The silver tape gave way under my tearing rock, and Titus had almost completely managed to free himself.

The steam train bore down on us, brakes screaming death.

“Get out of the way,” Thomas gasped. “You’re not tied up.”

“Like I’m gonna leave you to get flattened,” I choked, stubbornly wrestling the duct tape 

A trickle of sweat ran down my forehead, I looked down, jerking away the silver tape, not wanting to see the train just before it crashed into us all.

Then, with an ear-splitting squeal, it shuddered to a halt just meters away.

I couldn’t believe it. We were still in one piece and just as not-flat as we should be.

To say that I was relieved would’ve been an under exaggeration.

Scarlette jumped out of the driver’s engine. “Hey, are you guys okay?”

I collapsed backwards, laughing weakly. “We’re fine,” I panted. “We’re all fine.”

Titus pulled free from the last restraining bits of duct tape and stood. “Scarlette! I never realised you actually liked us enough to stop us from being squashed.”

She snorted, covering up the anxious look that had been in her eyes moments before. “I just didn’t want to have to clean up the mess,” she retorted.

The driver climbed out of the engine, followed by another grease-covered man. “What are you kids doing on the tracks,” the driver asked, obviously relieved that he’d avoided a kid pancake for the day.

“It’s a bit of a long story,” I replied wearily.

“But first,” Thomas interrupted in a pained voice. “I know, tragedy diverted and all that, but would someone be kind enough to untie me? And my nose is getting itchy, d’you think you could itch it for me?” He shot Scarlette an innocent glance.

She looked down at him and shook her head. “Don’t make me regret rescuing you, Kanter.”

- end -

SO GUESS WHAT. When the twins duct taped Zana in the bathtub, it was revenge. For this time. This is actually chronologically the first time that anything duct tape related happens.

I really need to make a timeline of events for this series. >.<

Have you ever seen a steam train?
Do you normally go to bed at a sane time of night?


  1. Wow, this one was a teensy bit frightening o-o (mostly suspense :D) I loved it :D

    Accidentally read this one before the first part (don't ask me how-- I'm still trying to figure that out myself..) and thus it was a little bit confusing, but once I actually read part one, everything made sense xD

    1. Eee yess. *grins* Alll the suspense. :D

      Oh wow that would be interesting. XD

  2. This is a great story, I like the suspense. Samuel says, "They need to get Thomas' com hack back before they can do anything else."
    Joshua says he liked the story.

    1. Yayy good! :D
      Thank you all for reading. :)

  3. I hardly ever go to bed at a sane time, except if I'm sick. I tried last night, but I only managed to make myself go to sleep around twelve, that's the sanest time I've gone to sleep in a while! XD
    And will Lando ever stop having adventures? (Please say no).

    1. Haha it seems like we have a similar problem. XD
      Noooo neverrr! XP

  4. YAY!!!!!!! I LOVED THE SUSPENSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ha, running from furious Island Co-directors... that's priceless. XD
    Nope; never seen a steam engine. Where I live, there's not too many trains. Mostly just delivery ones that aren't really used. :-(
    Yes, I normally do go to bed at a sane time. :-) Need my sleep, I do. XD

    1. Yesss. XD *flails* Thank you for being so excited about this. <33
      Aw how sad. I've touched a steam train before and it was pretty cool.
      GOOD FOR YOU. XD It's a lot healthier that way. :P

  5. Ha! That's a good reason to duct-tap Zana! Lando is such a good friend. :)


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