Chapter Twelve: Easter
Trevor looked across at the Vicar's Easter Fete, and was amazed to see that despite all that had happened yesterday, it had all come together in the end.
The fields were crowded as always, with every car space at the church and on the surrounding grass completely full, many people having to park down the road and walk five minutes to get here. The stalls had nearly been swallowed up by the massive crowd, but they were all making a roaring trade in selling food and drinks, giving children and adults alike a chance to win prizes, and showing off their craftsmanship with hand made knick knacks and gift ideas.
Music from the brass band swelled out of the big tent, the white flag seeming to flutter in the breeze almost rhythmically. The horse riding competition was about to get underway and people were already starting to make their way over in order to get a good seat to watch the show, while others were looking at what performances would be occurring in the shelter of the large tent.
Trevor, on the other hand, sat alone and silent next to the fence, watching everything through the trees. It turned out yesterday that he had suffered more damage than expected, a combination of the car park incident, trying to hold the bridge up and then rolling down the hill. A tow truck and crane combination was used to get him back up the hill and bring him back to the orchard, and it was obvious how dented and banged he was. The Vicar planned to have him taken into his shed, but Trevor had begged and pleaded to be able to stay out and watch the Fete: if he was taken down to the shed, he would be left there until there was enough money to fix his many faults. The Vicar had half heartedly agreed, and Trevor had spent the night watching lorries racing past with their beds fill of broken road and stone.
And Trevor couldn't have been happier.
He had spent all of yesterday worrying about his future, worrying about what the Vicar would say and whether he would ever be able to take his cart around the fete again. Trevor had let himself get built up to a big state of worry, and he had nearly destroyed himself with selfish worry and confusion.
Yet, when he was lifted back onto the road, Trevor had seen the fate of the bridge: both sides had collapsed, piling up like a big mound of stone, only small bits of Daniel's silver paint visible underneath. Trevor had then watched as a twisted, wrecked digger was taken past later that night, and he even felt a touch of sympathy for Daniel as he was taken away to be scrapped. But Trevor knew that it easily could have been Edward that was taken away, or Elizabeth, or George, or even one of the workers could have been killed. His swift thinking in holding the bridge up had worked, and driving in front of Edward had saved countless lives from severe injury and death.
Thinking back on yesterday, Trevor knew he had done the right thing. He could have been easily harmed yesterday, and had nearly been torn apart, but the traction engine didn't care. He had always been around to help the various Vicars out around the orchard, and he had now been able to return the favour Edward had done for him many years ago. Taking the children had always been more of a treat, a thank you for his hard work, and Trevor should have appreciated it while he had the chance, and could see this now.
My place is here at the orchard doing what I do best, Trevor thought to himself, smiling at a family as they strolled past. When I am better, I can take the children again, and I think I can wait until then. At least I am still around, and so are Edward and Elizabeth.
Almost on cue, a whistle cut through his thoughts, and Trevor looked forward in shock to see Edward chugging slowly and carefully towards the orchard. The fallen bridge had blocked his path, forcing several buses to come down and take his passengers, and the track was going to be inspected for damage once the holidays were over. This left Edward to spend the night at Wellsworth with his coaches, and it appeared that he was putting the spare time to good use.
"Hello Trevor, Happy Easter!" Edward cried, coming to a steady stop directly in front of him. "It is lovely to see you back to normal!"
"Hello Edward! I didn't think you would be coming today," Trevor said with a wide grin.
"I didn't either, but the traffic and parking problems were getting a bit too serious and the stationmaster figured I should be able to bring a few passengers down," Edward explained. "I willing accepted, mostly as I never got the chance to properly thank you for what you did yesterday!"
"Oh, it was nothing," Trevor said, blushing slightly. "You saved me from scrap all those years ago, so I was merely saving you from becoming scrap!" The two managed a laugh, by which time all the passengers had gotten out of the coaches and were making their way towards the entrance. A loudspeaker announcement went out about the horse riding competition, and some people sped up in order to make their way over.
"It's a pity neither of us can see it," Edward said sadly, and Trevor could only agree: he would like to be amongst all the excitement and see the events, though he was happy sitting here talking to his friend. "Do you know if your repairs are going to be brought forwards?"
"I am really not sure. The Vicar didn't have the money on Friday, and two days will hardly change anything." Trevor sighed, his mood beginning to drop again. "I do feel a lot worse though, and I won't be able to do anything until my flywheel and brakes are fixed, and my front axle does feel a bit wobbly. I really am just a rolling disaster, aren't I?" The two old friends began to laugh, and Trevor felt good to be able to make fun of himself again, his acceptance of his age and eventually age beginning to settle in. But as the two laughed, they didn't notice something pulling up alongside until they heard an aggravated grunt.
"Do you have to make so much noise?" Elizabeth scoffed as she came to a halt. "Honestly, they can properly hear you over by those smelly old horses!" Trevor only laughed at this and shot the steam lorry a smile.
"It's lovely to see you as well Elizabeth," the traction engine retorted. Elizabeth's expression suddenly softened, and an almost apologetic look appeared in her eyes that Trevor had never seen before. He imagined she was shaken about everything that had happened to her and Madge yesterday, though good news had come in that Madge's driver was recovering in hospital and Madge would easily be repaired within a fortnight.
"I am sorry for mocking you yesterday," she whispered, looking down in shame. "Your plan with holding the bridge up probably saved my life, so I promise never to point out how old, slow and rusted you are again."
"I'll take that as a compliment," Trevor said, bursting into laughter once more, but it lasted only a few seconds. Two figures had emerged from Elizabeth's, talking amongst themselves at first but then turning towards the traction engine with smiles on their face.
"Well Elizabeth," the Vicar said with a wide grin on his face, "Trevor won't be old and rusted for much longer. I have just been speaking to several local businessmen and Jack Parker, our event organizer, and we have arranged enough money from personal donations, fundraising throughout today and by using a share of the stall fee, to go towards paying for your repairs."
"Really?" Trevor asked, completely taken aback. "I thought that it was going to have very expensive?"
"Some people are very generous," Fred said with a booming laugh. "Your heroics yesterday with saving Edward's train balance out what happened with those taxis. For a little while yesterday, I was beginning to doubt you there Trevor, wondering how much longer I could keep you going. And then you just went and blew me away by saving the day that I knew it didn't matter what your used by date is, I will keep you going for a few decades later!" Trevor blushed with embarrassment: Fred usually kept his emotions to himself, and it was overwhelming to receive such high and kind praise from him. The traction engine wasn't sure what to say: after getting an apology out of Elizabeth and news that he was getting repaired, too many things were bouncing around inside his rusted old frame.
"I think you've knocked all the words right out of him," Edward said, setting off another chorus of laughter that managed to soften his mood.
"Thank you sir… I can't think you enough for giving me this chance," Trevor said in his most humble voice. "Yesterday, I felt like I was ready for the scrap heap and that I had to prove myself why you should keep me around. But when I came across that bridge, I knew that there were others that I needed to focus on and thoughts on my own gain went straight out of my mind. I should really be lucky that you have kept me around this long, and the fact you are willing to keep me around a bit longer means the world."
"I hope they fix you well enough that you'll be around for more than a bit," the Vicar joked. "But you are welcome Trevor, and I hope you know that this orchard will never be the same without you."
"And the Fete is not the same without its star attraction," Elizabeth said slyly, suddenly moving forwards. Trevor was confused as he looked down and saw a large chain and hook dangled from her back bumper. A whistle suddenly sounded, and the traction engine looked up and gasped: there was George, trundling towards them with an unnatural grin on his face, a grey trailer rattling behind.
"A gift from Sodor Building Incorporated for what you did yesterday," George cried out. Trevor was completely taken aback and couldn't even think of what to say. He merely let Fred attach the hook to his front axle, and then attach the trailer once George had come around. Then, with a loud whistle from Edward to set them off, Elizabeth began to tow the traction engine around the field.
It was one of the happiest days of Trevor's life. Once the horse show was over, the children poured out in delight to see him in action, not even noticing the lorry pulling along. The trailer wasn't that nice, but it had been cleaned and could seat a dozen children and their parents in. Their cries and shouts of delight were like music to Trevor, and he savoured the familiar flash of cameras as his photo was snapped. Many people said it was the surprise delight of the Fete, and there were talks of doing a spread once Trevor was fixed about what had occurred.
Trevor the Traction Engine slept well that night. It had been many years since he had been rescued from scrap, but never had he felt as happy and as grand as he had that day. He hadn't intended for it to turn out this way, but his wish had been granted whether he had asked for it or not, and Trevor couldn't have been happier. His friends were safe, the threat of Daniel was gone, the Fete had been a success and he was finally going to get his repairs. And, best of all, Trevor had managed to take a version of his cart.
"I wonder how next year's will turn out," Trevor whispered to himself. "And the next… and the next… and the next…." He smiled softly, and glanced up at the stars and the shining moon above. Scrap had never looked so far away, and Trevor hoped to stay around for many decades yet. He loved his friends, his loved his job, he loved taking the children around the orchard, and he loved simply being able to move, and he would never let anything take that thought away.
And after that, Trevor never had another restless night.
That was the last chapter. I hope you all enjoyed the story. Sorry for the updating delays compared to my previous holiday specials. I am considering doing a Halloween themed one, but nothing final yet. I had fun writing this story and telling a tale about everyone's favourite traction engine, and I look forward to revisiting the Sodor roadways again to look into Trevor, Elizabeth, Madge and all the other vehicles at another point!