Chapter One - B

"Okay. Would you get the chain for me and maybe ask for a few volunteers to help us? I'll go inside and tell the rest of the train what's going on." I told him, glancing around at the icy mountains with hidden mountain tops.

"Rather you than me," the driver mumbled, walking away. I returned to the warm engine room, found the microphone and pressed the button next to it.

"To all passengers," I started confidentally. "There has been a little problem with the track right now, which may cause delays. We are trying to sort it out as soon as we can. For now, please stay calm and patient. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused." Normally, I hated it when someone say that, but this time, I was the one talking. Stepping outside again, I walked to the back of the engine carriage. The chain linking the two carriages together was in no worse state than the last one -worn down by weather and time. I detached the two carriages, then returned to the front of the train.

A group of people had gathered around, listening to the driver explain the situation. Everyone hopped on their toes to fight the cold and rain.

"Right, let's get started. Uh..." I looked at the train driver, question in my eyes.

"Thomas," the train driver grunted.

"Thomas, if you could move your tank engine over to the other side, it would be a great start. Don't worry, I've already detached it." I turned to face everyone else, some of whon were grinning slightly. "I'm Rephina Fossell, but call me Rephy."

A few minutes later, the engine was on the other side of the arch bridge. Part two, I thought, smiling to myself. Linking one end of the chain to the end of the engine carriage, I told a business man to link the other end to the front of Carriage A, but to shorten the length of the chain used to a minimum so it was tight. Carriage A had already been detached from Carriage B. I signalled for Thomas to run the engine again, which then brought Carriage A over the weak track. As the carriage grunted past me, I stepped back onto the track on the other side. It was wet, and I slipped, the wind howling around me. My frozen fingers clutched the edge of stone with strength. I dared not to look down.

"Rephy!" A few people shouted. I was scared to fall. It wasn't like any indoor rock-climbing, where if you fell, soft matting would be there at the bottom to greet you. No, this time a freezing river would welcome me if I fell. The bit of sandy stone I held on to broke into grains, my grasp unstable and I fell. Then my feet landed on a ledge. I was safe! Nervous faces looked down at me, I smiled back reassuringly, before climbing up the bridge proffesionally, my fingers found cracks and holes in the stone easily, despite the numbness in them.

After we attached carriage E to F on the other side of the problem, we were ready to set off again. A mist had setted just above the bridge, but we'd soon be gone from here. I climbed back onto carriage C, then I was handed a cup of hot coffee to warm myself up.

The End

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