Adventures on the Train Tracks

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Chapter 9

Jett wasn’t in a good mood, to say the least. Her head was spinning, her blackened eye was throbbing, her arms and legs were sore, and she was still nowhere closer to getting back home.

Finn was fine. Young boys have a talent of making fun out of any situation. He had always wanted to go on an adventure. He just didn’t realize that most of it would be spent...walking. His feet hurt a lot. He decided that this was an adventure. He should be admiring every second of it! He played the scene over and over in his mind, his graceful sister- stepsister- kicking that kid right in the face! She was so cool! He looked up at her now, marching ahead of him, her tutu bobbing with every step, stray blonde hairs poking out of her bun, sparkling in the sunlight.

“Want me to carry Finn 2?” he asked eagerly. He was a big, strong man, after all.

“I’m good,” Jett said. They had been walking for how long now, a few hours? “Maybe we should take a break.”

Finn kicked at the gravel surrounding the train tracks, the stones flying about and falling into the daisy meadow. “How long do you think these flowers go?”

“How should I know?”

Jett kept on looking at the bushes running beside the daisy meadow, that lead into the woods. The bushes rustled, and Jett’s eyes narrowed. There was no wind blowing. Must be an animal she thought, turning away from the bushes.

It wasn’t an animal that crawled through the bushes. It was one of them, either Evil or Good, it was hard to tell with the ratty scarf. Finn was the first to notice, and his hand shot out to grab the back of Jett’s camo tank top. She stopped, ready to snap at Finn, when she noticed the girl.

“Ugh. You.”

“Ugh. Me,” she held out her arms.

“Which one are you?” Finn asked.

“I’m Good, sweet thing,” Good lovingly ‘booped’ Finn’s nose as she walked by him. “Oh dear, what happened there?” she asked, glancing at Jett’s black eye.

“Cut the crap!” Jett snapped. “You know how this happened!”

“I swear, I don’t,” Good said innocently. “That must have been Evil. I would never try to harm such a pretty face. It ruins your whole look,” she smiled, as if what she was was kind. Jett snarled.

“Like I’m going to believe you’re two different people.”

“Evil showed you her neck, right?” Good asked, picking at her scarf. “Is that not proof enough?”

“No!” Jett tried to storm away from her, but Good stepped in her path.

“Look, I’m done beating around the bush, Jessica,” Good said calmly. “I need that baby.”

“That’s so weird!” Jett held the baby to her chest.

“I can’t tell you why, you just have to trust that it’s for a good cause.”

“A good cause?!” Jett scoffed. “You’ve been nothing but creepy since the first second I met you! Like heck I’m letting you take her!”

“I don’t understand!” Good groaned, desperately trying to keep up with Jett’s long strides (with poor Finn nearly sprinting to keep up with them both, red tie bouncing and flapping). “You don’t even know the baby! You just got her! How could you possibly cares about what happens to a complete stranger?!”

“Cause I’m not a monster!” Jett skidded to a stop, turning viciously towards Good with a glare in her blue eyes. “She is a baby, Good, Evil, whoever you are-”


“You’re not getting the baby.”

Good’s eyebrows furrowed. “Your mistake is not trusting me, Jett,” she said, voice suddenly low and menacing. She stepped forward, and Jett stepped back. “I’m Good. I’m the one you’re supposed to trust.”

Jett kept backing up as Good approached. “I don’t trust anyone around these damn train tracks.”

“A stupid move,” Good continued. “People around here aren’t against you, Jett.”

“I’ll believe that when I stop getting stalked by freaky kids. Kid.”


“Whatever,” Jett scoffed.

“Jett…” Good sighed, holding out her arms. “I’m not playing games. The baby.”

Jett kept on backing up until she hit a tree. She held the baby to her chest. “You freak! You’re never getting this baby! Get AWAY FROM ME!”

Good winced, her eyes not looking directly at Jett. “I-I was…” She flinched again, and Jett’s eyebrows furrowed, realizing that Good was no longer paying attention to her. It was Good’s turn to start backing up, her eyes stuck on the bush beside Jett. Jett looked over and saw that the bush started to rustle. She yelped, stumbling away from the bush, stepping in front of Finn.

“I’m leaving!” Good snapped at the bush, before glaring at Jett and Finn. “For now.” She tossed her brown scarf over her shoulder and stormed away. Jett and Finn looked at each other.

Finn rushed over to the bush.

“Finn, no!” Jett snapped. “Why do you run towards the danger?!”

Finn was already on his knees, digging through the bush’s branches. He gasped, his eyes widening, and Jett’s heart stopped beating for a second.

“A puppy!”

Jett’s fear was automatically replaced by confusion. “What?” she slowly started to approach the bush.

This must be the critter those cowboys were talking about! Finn thought. And that thing that keeps following us in the bushes!

A tiny pug popped out of the bushes, barking eagerly. Jett stumbled backward, grabbing Finn by the back of his jacket and tugging him to his feet, away from the dog. “Be careful! It may not be friendly!”

Finn held out his hand, kneeling down. The pug trotted over and let Finn pet him, panting and slobbering happily. “Seems friendly to me.”

“He might have rabies!” Jett pointed out.

“Look, a collar,” Finn said. “Bruno,” he read. “Huh, it doesn’t say who to bring him back to.”

“Finn, I have a bad feeling about this.”

Finn laughed as the dog rubbed against his leg before plopping over and rolling onto its back. “He likes me!”

“We already have the baby! We don’t need any more stowaways!”

“Do you wanna be friends?” Finn asked the dog. The dog barked happily.

Jett frowned. “You aren’t going to listen to me at all, are you?”

Finn laughed, scratching Bruno’s belly. “I’ve always wanted a dog!”

Jett sighed. “I figured.”

The dog snapped up, licking Finn’s face. Then, he turned around and started to head deeper into the woods.

“B-Bruno!” Finn started to chase after the dog.

“Finn, wait!” Jett called out. “Finn, don’t go chasing after the dog!”

Finn looked over his shoulder and pouted at his stepsister. The pug stopped in his tracks as well, peering over its shoulder at Jett with waiting, expecting dark eyes.

“Bruno’s taking us somewhere!” Finn exclaimed.

“He’s a dog, Finn,” Jett pointed out. “He probably just saw a squirrel.”

Bruno barked once at Jett. Jett frowned, shoulders slumping. “No.”

Bruno snorted and turned around on his pudgy little legs, waddling towards the woods. Finn giggled and started to follow the dog. “Finn! Finn no! I- gah!” Jett spun around in a circle, groaning with frustration, before looking down at the baby. “Why do I deal with this?” she asked the baby, bouncing it gently before rushing after Finn.

The pug moved slowly, allowing the humans to stroll behind him as he weaved between tree trunks, his little paws pitter-pattering down the dirt, hardened under the cold air. Finn skipped behind him happily, and Jett took up the rear, grumbling under her breath and pushing branches out of the way.

It’s been a quiet day for Ana Shuet, though most days are. She was busy sweeping the floors of the museum when she heard scratching on her door. She sighed and leaned the broom against the wall, going and opening the door to a proud little pug.

However, what was chasing after the pug was a surprise. Two filthy, exhausted children ran up to her porch, the older girl apologizing about the dog. Ana raised an eyebrow and looked down emotionlessly.

“Bruno, have you been causing trouble for these two kids?” she scolded.

Jett bent down to scratch behind the dog’s ear. “Is he yours, ma’am?”

“No, no, he’s not mine. He just likes to visit.” She studied the children quickly. “Well, don’t just stand there! The dog didn’t bring you here for nothing, get inside!”

“U-Uh…” Jett hesitated, but Finn rushed right in.

“You too. Hop to it,” Ana held the door open for her.

“Do you work here?” Jett asked, entering the hallway of displays and watching as Finn ran around, admiring them all.

“I live here,” she said plainly. “I’m Ana Shuet.”

“It’s nice to meet you,” Jett held out her hand, but Ana reached forward and grabbed the baby instead.

“Little thing must be starving,” Ana tsked, bouncing the baby lightly. “Are you two hungry?”

“Yeah!” Finn ran up to them. “You got any food?”

“Finn!” Jett scolded.

“Follow me,” Ana ordered, leading them through an Employee’s Only door, which lead straight into a homey kitchen. “Go on, sit, I already have spaghetti made, I’ll just heat it up.” She pulled a cradle out of a storage closet, setting it next to the dinner table and placing the baby inside.

Finn followed his orders, sitting at the table eagerly. Curiously, Jett pulled up a chair as well. Something was making her very uncomfortable with this setup. For some reason, Hansel and Gretel popped into her head.

“It’s not gourmet, but it’s food. Now pace yourselves, or you’ll eat yourselves into oblivion,” Ana warned, placing two plates of spaghetti in front of them. “I’ll set up a shower for you two while you eat.”

“Please, don’t go out of your way, Miss Shuet,” Jett said politely. Ana just scoffed.

“Don’t be ridiculous, you’re filthy.” With that, she exited. Jett turned to Finn, who was already suffocating himself with spaghetti.

"Finn, you can't just drag me along with every stranger we meet!" she scolded. Finn shrugged, speaking with his mouth full of spaghetti.

"She seems nice."

"Everyone seems nice to you!" Jett growled. "I swear, if we don't die from walking ourselves to death, we're going to get killed by some stranger!" Jett lowered her voice. "In case you haven't noticed, everyone we've run into has been insane."

"Not everyone," Finn shrugged. "I thought Mama Mint was really nice. And those knights."

"They thought you were a prince, Finn!"

Ana entered the kitchen, and Jett cut her conversation short.

"You first," she nodded in Jett's direction. Jett looked over at Finn with worry. "What, you think I'm going to eat the poor boy?"

"N-No, I just-!"

"Not everyone out here is out to get you, girl," Ana sauntered into the kitchen, putting her hand on the counter. "Some of us just want to live peacefully in our museum. Now go on, I won't have you tracking any more dirt into my home."

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