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A Train Ride To Paradise - a short story by A.B.King

   Once upon a time, in a place called London a young boy named Chris, climbed aboard a train. He was running away from home. He was running to better place. Anywhere had to be better than the way things were at home.
   Minutes after settling down on his seat, he found himself in a conversation he didn’t want to be in with a boy who was a little older than himself. After introductions, the older boy whose name was Joe, told Chris that they had a lot in common. Chris scanned Joe from head to toe, taking in the repulsive sight of his shabby clothes, unkempt hair, yellow teeth and old age stricken boots which although were white, looked like they used to be black a long time ago. Chris doubted that he had anything in common with Joe but he didn’t say it out.
   Joe told Chris that when he was his age he ran away from home too. Joe told him of all his adventures. Of how much freedom he now has. Of how much fun his life has been ever since. He told him stories of how he had to steal when he got hungry, how he got caught, got beaten with a horse whip and how he escaped. He told him of the time he was mistaken for a robber and the sheriff chased him through the mountains and he gave the sheriff the slip by hiding in a dark cave. He also told him of the time he had to take a job managing pigs; cleaning up after them just so he could have something to put in his stomach.
   Chris couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He then remembered the words of a preacher who said that, you shouldn’t run away from your problems you should confront them head on and overcome them for we are OVERCOMERS;we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. But if we run away from our problems, not only would those same problems chase us wherever we go but all new problems would pop up and join the chase too.
   Chris taught about the words of the preacher for a while but soon cast it aside. He feared that a part of him knew that the preacher was right but that would mean returning home was right thing to do, and he just couldn’t afford to do that.
   Joe continued his welcome to the life of a runaway speech, and for hours he shared his adventures and experiences which he clearly treasured and was sincerely happy about.
   However, the more he spoke, the more Chris got disgusted. The more he spoke, the more Chris wanted to throw up. Is this what I am about to turn into? Chris asked himself as he studied Joe.
   After lots and lots of adventures had been told, Joe said to Chris, “So new runaway what town did you take this train to stop at and begin your wonderful new life of freedom, paradise and unending adventure?”
   Chris looked at Joe and said, “I’m stopping at the next town so I can hop on a train that would take me back home.”


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