It was a very snowy Christmas day in the little valley town of Ozput. Two feet of snow was on the streets, but that did not hinder Tom Sholes from making his way to the train station. He trudged onto the platform through the deep snow to a seat where he cleared off the snow, and he sat down. He took out a paper from his backpack, and he began to read.
An hour went by, and Tom was still sitting on the bench. An elderly man came out to him. “Why are you sitting here?” he asked. “No train is coming.”
“It will be here,” Tom spurred out.
“I don’t think so.” The elderly man looked both ways on the snow covered tracks. “I hope you are planning on waiting a very long time.”
“I will wait as long as I have to.” Tom continued to read his paper.
“You are an idiot.” The elderly man shook his head. “No train can make it through five feet of snow. Besides, the snowplows are not going to get here anytime soon. You might as well…”
“Tooooooooooooooooooot!” A train whistle sounded.
The elderly man was dumfounded. He peeked in one direction, and he saw a spout of snow shooting high into the air, and it was coming towards them.
“Here it comes.” Tom folded his paper. “It was not a long wait after all.”
The train came into sight. It was a steam engine that was shooting snow out of its stack. As it was approaching, it was pushing the snow from the tracks. It pulled up to the station, and it screeched to a stop with the first passenger car stopped where Tom was sitting.
“Impossible!” The elderly man could not believe his eyes. “This can’t be.”
“You’re looking at it.” Tom stood up. “The train has arrived.”
The train opened at the back side of the car. A bare foot reached out the car and stepped into the deep snow on the platform. A wing with bright white feathers stretched out. Then a hand came out. The elderly man had a strange look as the angel with her golden blonde hair and here huge bright white wings wearing a silver robe stepped completely out of the car.
“Preposterous,” the elderly man stuttered. “She is not real.”
The angel walked up to them.
“Hello Angela.” Tom slurred out tipping his hat.
“Wait a minute.” The elderly man was shocked. “You know her.”
“She is always the one who greets me every year,” Tom smiled.
Angela stared at the elderly man. “Touch my wings.”
The elderly man looked down at her bare feet in the snow.
“It appears that you have never seen someone barefoot with snow on the ground,” she said to him.
“Preposterous,” the elderly man stuttered out. “If you were an angel, you would fly.”
She outstretched her wings, and she went up. The elderly man was terrified and fell onto the snowy platform.
“Do not be afraid.” Angela came back down. “We are very friendly.”
“Come with us,” Tom said. “You will enjoy the ride.”
The elderly man slowly tried to get up.
“Come with us.” Angela helped him up. “It is a free ride.”
The elderly man stood there terrified. Tom and Angela walked to the entrance of the car, and they looked back. The elderly man began to shrug. Angela reached out her hand. “You will be alright. You will be glad you came.”
The elderly man looked at the angel. She flew over to him. She picked him up by the shoulders, and she brought him into the car. He looked inside, and he was amazed at the bright white interior. The floor was a white fur carpet. The seats were padded with white velvet. The chandeliers were crystal.
“Let me take you to your seat,” Angela said.
Tom and the elderly man followed Angela past rows of seats. They saw a man dressed in a white suit playing a harp. They saw man and a woman sitting together wearing hiking clothes carrying a large bottle of water.
“Here are your seats.” Angela pointed to where they were sitting.
“Thank you,” Tom said, and he and the elderly man sat down.
“Call me if you need anything.” Angela had a sparkle in her eye, and she went away.
“Where is this train going?” The elderly man was looking around.
“You will see.” Tom had a big smile on his face. “Just enjoy the ride.”
The train began to pull away from the station. The elderly man looked outside, and the town slowly began to fade into the falling snow. He looked across the aisle and saw three men wearing shiny black suits each holding a wrapped gift.
“Hey there!” he shouted. “Who are the gifts for?”
The three men looked at the elderly man.
“He’s a new passenger,” Tom said to the men.
“I see,” the one man said. “I am Managon. I have gold for the king.”
“I am Mortazar. I have frankincense for the king.”
“I am Ussaysays. I have myrrh for the king.”
“King?” The elderly man was dumbfounded. “What kind of city is this?”
The three men looked at each other. “You will be amazed when you see the city,” Mortazar said.
The elderly man began to cringe in his seat.
“He’s shy,” Tom said. “He does not believe that this train is here.”
“There are many who do not believe that this train exists,” Ussaysays said, “but it comes every time. Everyone has been given a ticket to ride the train, but not everyone uses their ticket.”
“Well I never got a ticket,” the elderly man angered out.
“But you are on this train,” Managon said.
The elderly man was confused.
“Relax,” Managon assured him. “You will be glad that you came along.”
The elderly man just sat in his seat.
A day went by. The elderly man was looking out the window, and he saw a golden city.
“We are almost there.” Tom was looking out behind him.
The elderly man continued to look outside as the train pulled into the city. People stood next to the tracks cheering.
“We are here.” Angela touched his shoulder. “Soon, you will be able to get off and walk around.”
The train pulled up to the station. Tom and the elderly man were escorted by Angela off the train.
“Come,” she said. “I will take you to the king.”
The elderly man was overwhelmed with the beauty of the city. The crowds grew to where the streets were impassible. Angela grabbed Tom and the elderly man’s arms, and she lifted them up over the crowd. The elderly man became paranoid.
“Do not worry.” Angela held him tight. “I will not let you fall.”
The elderly man was terrified, but he was enjoying the view of the city. He looked forward and saw a glass palace.
“That is the palace,” Angela said. “The King is waiting to see you.”
They went into the palace, and they landed in the courtyard.
“Welcome to my palace,” a strong voice spoke out.
The elderly man cringed.
“Do not be afraid.” The voice assured him.
The elderly man saw a man wearing a bright white robe and a golden crown standing over him. He looked at his old clothes.
“Worry not,” the man said. “I am glad that you are here. Come, let us dine together.”
The elderly man was shaking, “Greetings, your majesty.” He was trembling.
The King reached out his hand. “Come,” he said.
From there, they went with the King.
It was the next Christmas. There was six inches of snow on the train platform. Tom was reading a paper waiting for the train.
“Can I come with you on this journey?” the elderly man asked.
Tom looked at the elderly man who was standing next to him. He wiped off some snow from the bench. “We could be waiting a long time.”
“I can wait,” the elderly man said.
“Come sit down.” Tom patted the bench.
The elderly sat down next to Tom. Together, they waited.