This is a piece of Thomas fan fiction written for The Small Controller. I am currently building a train table layout to go with it and will add pictures and a link to a post about making it and a new engine, as soon as possible. I wanted to post at least the story before Halloween. Hope you enjoy it!
It was Halloween day on the island of Sodor. Brightly coloured leaves were falling from the trees, and pumpkins carved into jack o’lanterns decorated Knapford Station.
Sir Topham Hatt was giving Henry a very special Special that he would have to do after his other jobs, that night. Now, you might think Henry wouldn’t like Halloween, with its ghosts and goblins, because Henry is a bit of a worrier, but the truth is Henry loves Halloween.
On Halloween, Henry knows that the strange creatures he sees racing past the schoolhouse are just the children in their fancy dress costumes. He knows that the spooky music he hears near Ulfstead Castle is just Miss Alicia Bottie preparing for the Halloween party. And he knows that the squeaking, creaking and crashing coming down the rails behind him is … Wait, who is that?
It’s Thomas! – Delivering his Halloween special.
“Good morning, Henry!” Peeped Thomas.
“Good morning, Thomas. My, the Earl wants all of that … scrap for the children’s party tonight?”
“Yes. He’s built a special haunted house for the party, and he wants it to look old and abandoned.”
“Oh my!” Henry laughed, “with all that it certainly will, Thomas.”
Toot! Toot! Thomas peeped and went on his way. Henry went on his way too. Everyone had lots to do to get ready for Halloween.
Henry chuffed along, taking heavy goods trains from Brendam Docks and making deliveries. He was having a very fine day.
His last delivery before his special was to Ulfstead Castle. While he was there he had to get directions to the Earl’s special Halloween party house from Millie, but poor Millie was very busy! When Henry arrived she was chuffing and huffing, going to and fro trying to make sure everything and everyone got to the right places.
Henry waited patiently while his cars were unhooked. Millie was still busy helping the trains who were taking food and decorations to the party. Now normally Henry would be getting worried, but he was having such a good Halloween day that he remembered what Sir Topham Hatt had told him that morning; “Finish your other jobs first Henry, your special delivery doesn’t have to get to the party until after dark.” So Henry wasn’t worried at all.
Millie came to see him, “Oh Henry, I am sorry to keep you waiting, but there are so many things to be done!”
“That’s okay, Millie. It’s important to get the food and decorations to the party first.”
Millie smiled and tooted, “But your delivery is important, too! The Earl is so excited about all of his Halloween surprises. Did Sir Topham Hatt tell you where to pick up the –” Millie stopped and giggled as a group of children dressed as ghosts, robots and pirates ran past. Millie whispered to Henry, “Um, the package?”
“Yes, Millie. I just need to know where I’m supposed to deliver it to.”
“Of course! Take the main track away from the factory. Look for an old branch line on the right, where there’s … Oh!”
Toot! Toot!! Thomas had arrived with Annie and Clarabel to take the children to the party. The children were laughing, talking excitedly, and running around.
“Millie!” called the Earl.
“Coming, sir!” Millie tooted back. To Henry she wheeshed quickly, “Follow the track into the woods and you will find the party! Stephen is there pretending to be a scary ghost engine. So don’t be frightened if you see him!” Millie raced over to where the Earl was waiting, then she braked and called back to Henry, “Henry, I forgot to tell you; there’s a big pumpkin by the switch, that’s how you will know you’ve found the right track!”
But Henry was already gone.
Henry puffed down the track away from Ulfstead Castle. He had to pick up his delivery at the Sodor Dynamite Factory.
When he got there the sun was just starting to go down. Henry was a little bit worried, but once again he remembered what Sir Topham Hatt had said about the package not being needed until after dark. It was a very big, heavy crate!
Once the workers had the crate safely on Henry’s flatbed and his driver had lit his lamp, Henry chuffed away, down the main line, just like Millie said.
Henry looked to his right for an old-looking track, but it was getting a bit dark. Henry didn’t go to the Dynamite Factory often and he didn’t know this part of the railway. He wasn’t sure where the old branch line might be.
Henry chuffed very slowly and carefully. Suddenly the wind blew some leaves away and he saw a track leading off into the woods. His fireman jumped down to switch the points. Henry was happy, but there was no big pumpkin by the switch. Henry hadn’t heard Millie, and he didn’t know about the pumpkin.
Henry chuffed down the old branch line even more carefully. It led into a deep valley, and the track was covered in leaves and branches, as though no one had gone that way in years.
“The Earl must have had someone cover the track to make it spookier for the children.” Henry tooted to himself, but he still thought it was a little scary.
Then Henry banged and clattered over some bumpy track! “Oh my!” he wheeshed, “The Earl must have left the tracks bumpy so Annie and Clarabel would rattle and roll.” But he was beginning to get even more scared.
Finally Henry saw an old, dark ruin of a house at the end of the line. There was a big letter H above the door, and there were old and broken things all around. “That must be the scrap that the Earl asked Thomas to bring, so the house would look old and haunted.”
But the house did look old and haunted, and no one came to get the crate Henry was delivering. In fact, Henry couldn’t see anyone at all. Henry began to get very scared indeed.
“Hello? Thomas? Is anyone there?” Henry blew his whistle as loudly as he could, but he heard no whistle in return.
Then there was a rattle and a shudder from near the house. Henry huffed slowly toward the end of the line. At first he thought he saw buffers, but then his light shone on an old, broken engine whose colour seemed to shift and change in the cool night air!
“Ss.. Stephen?” Henry peeped, but Henry knew deep in his boiler that the engine wasn’t Stephen, that this wasn’t the Earl’s party and that he was all alone in the dark with a spooky, scary engine he had never met before!
At the Earl’s party, Thomas and Stephen were beginning to get worried.
“We need Henry’s delivery soon, Thomas. Do you think he’s alright?”
“I don’t know, Stephen. He left to go to the Dynamite Factory while I was picking up the children. He should have been here by now.”
Stephen was still pretending to be a ghost engine to entertain the partygoers, and he couldn’t leave, so Thomas decided to go and look for Henry.
Henry was frightened and he didn’t know what to do. He’d taken an old branch line, and he’d found a spooky, haunted house, but this house looked too spooky and haunted, and he couldn’t see any party.
Henry’s light flickered, and the old engine seemed to change again! “Whoooo?” It huffed in a deep, low voice.
That was enough for Henry. He tried to reverse back down the track, but the track was so steep that instead he moved forward and biffed into the old engine! “Oh! I’m sorry! Oh, my!”
Henry got into reverse and went clattering and banging back over the bumps and sliding on the leaves. Up, up, up out of the valley he went, but he wasn’t alone. Creaking and groaning, the old engine came after him!
Thomas had looked for Henry at the Dynamite Factory and was just going down the main line when he heard Henry’s whistle tooting loud and fast.
“Henry?” He peeped, and then “Henry!!” Thomas blasted his own whistle, because he could see Henry coming backwards down the track towards him.
Henry went over a very large bump, rattling his wheels up in the air. Luckily he stayed on the track, but he could hear Thomas’ whistle coming from behind him.
Thomas whistled again as he tried to move away. Henry heard Thomas again. He was scared of the old engine who had been chasing him down the line, but he knew that if a big engine like him and his cargo crashed into Thomas, he could hurt Thomas very badly indeed.
Henry put on his brakes, and his cargo car came to a stop just in front of Thomas.
Thomas wheeshed with relief.
Henry looked down the line, but he couldn’t see the old engine anymore.
“I’m glad I found you, Henry. The Earl’s party has started and they need your delivery!”
Henry was scared, but he wasn’t alone anymore and he did want to be a Really Useful Engine and deliver his special.
“Of course, Thomas. Do you … think you can help me find the party?”
“Of course!” Tooted Thomas. Henry looked down the old branch line one more time, as he let Thomas get in front of him, but he still couldn’t see the spooky old engine. When Thomas was ready Henry backed out onto the track he’d taken from the factory and followed his tank engine friend. Henry had never felt happier to be with another engine.
When they got to the Earl’s party house Henry was relieved. There were children in costumes, and even with the old scrap that Thomas had brought to decorate the house it looked cheery and happy, even if it was in kind of spooky Halloween way.
Sir Topham Hatt and the Earl came to see him. “Henry,” Sir Topham Hatt said, “Where have you been? The party has started and it was dark long ago, and … Henry?”
In the light from the jack o’lanterns and decorations the Earl had at the front of the house Sir Topham Hatt could see Henry’s expression. He could see that Henry was scared. His voice softened, “Henry, what has happened?”
The Earl peered around at Henry’s front buffer. “Henry! Your coupler has snapped.”
“It has?” Tooted Henry. Thomas pulled up beside him. Henry was quiet.
“Henry went down the wrong branch line, Sir. But he came back very fast. He knew you needed his delivery right away, Sir …”
Henry interrupted Thomas. “That’s not why I was going so fast, Thomas. I’m sorry, Sir. And I’m sorry, Thomas. I almost ran into you.” Henry wheeshed steam. He felt very bad, and he was still scared. “Thomas is right, Sir. I went down the wrong line, and I found a spooky looking house. I thought it was the party at first, but then I ran into an old engine, and I knew it wasn’t Stephen. It chased me down the line. That’s why I was going so fast Thomas.”
“An old engine?” Thomas wondered.
“And another old branch line.” Sir Topham Hatt said thoughtfully.
“How wonderful!” exclaimed the Earl. “This sounds like a perfect Halloween adventure. Sir Topham, are you up for it?”
Sir Topham thought for a moment, and then said, “Yes. The Earl and I will ride in Thomas. Henry, can you take us to this old branch line?”
Henry was scared, but he didn’t want to let Sir Topham Hatt or the Earl down, and he knew his friend Thomas would be right beside him. “Yes, sir, I think I can.”
Henry’s cargo was uncoupled, and he and Thomas went back away from the party. It was very dark.
Henry found the old line. Sir Topham and the Earl looked at it, and then they all followed Henry down into the valley.
Henry went slowly, half-expecting to find the old engine waiting for him where he had last seen it, but it wasn’t there. His boiler bubbled. What if the house wasn’t there either? What if he was just a big, scaredy engine and he had imagined it all?
“You came all this way by yourself, Henry?” Thomas peeped, “This valley is dark, and spooky!”
“Well, I thought it was supposed to be, Thomas, for the party.”
“I wish I could’ve made the path to the party this spooky, Henry!” said the Earl. “Though perhaps it is for the best that I didn’t. One doesn’t want the children to really be frightened after all.”
It made Henry feel better that Thomas and the Earl both though the line was spooky, too. Finally they got close to the house.
“It’s just ahead, Sir,” peeped Henry, “You can see it now.”
The old house rose into view. Thomas, the Earl and Sir Topham Hatt all gasped.
“And you said there was an engine, Henry?” Sir Topham Hatt asked, just as the light from Henry’s lamp picked out the strange old engine, sitting as it had been when Henry first arrived, at the very end of the line, beside the house.
“Henry!” said the Earl, “Your coupler!”
And there it was, hooked onto the coupler of the old engine, who was looking at them all in astonishment. “Whooo?” It creaked again, “Who are yooou?”
Henry was scared, but Sir Topham Hatt swung down out of Thomas’ cab and came up beside him to look, first at the house and then at the old engine. He spoke gently, “I am Sir Topham Hatt, controller of the railway on Sodor.”
“Haaaatt?” The old engine wheeshed. And even though the engine was still very strange looking, it seemed to Henry that it was maybe a little bit scared too.
Sir Topham Hatt continued, “Yes, and I think you are Luna. You have been lost for a very long time.”
The old engine smiled, as Sir Topham and the Earl came closer. “Goodness! You’ve been out in the weather for a very long time, haven’t you? Well, no matter. If Victor could fix Stephen after I found him, he’ll be able to fix you too, Luna.”
The old engine looked up at Henry and Thomas. Henry could see that she was scared. “It’s true,” he peeped, “Victor fixes me all the time, and he’s fixed very old engines before. I’m sure he can help you too, but um, who are you and what are you doing here?”
The old engine coughed and rattled.
“I have some oil in my cab,” whistled Thomas.
Sir Topham Hatt picked up the can and oiled Luna’s joints.
“Oh,” she said. Her voice sounded much nicer now. “That’s better. You’re right, Sirs, I have been here a long time. And my name is Luna.”
Sir Topham Hatt looked up at the house. “And this was where Amelia Hatt retired to, isn’t it?”
Luna smiled at the name. “It is.”
“Amelia Hatt, Sir? I’ve never met her, have I?” peeped Henry.
“No, Henry, nor you Thomas. Amelia was before your time. Before mine, too. Amelia Hatt was an inventor. Her brother, Sir Stephen was the controller of the railway. Amelia was always inventing new things: signal lights, or parts for engines. She built Luna, and gave her special paint that changes colour. Amelia was Really Useful, but she found life in the towns too busy. She moved to an unsettled part of Sodor. Sir Stephen ran a special branch line out to her house, and she took Luna with her so she could visit. Back then there were no factories and no towns nearby. After Amelia no one wanted to move into the house and I suppose it became the ruin we see here tonight.”
“I heard about Amelia in school,” said the Earl, “This is fabulous Sir Topham. What wonders might we find in the home of the famous inventor?”
“And it’s all thanks to you, Henry!” said Sir Topham Hatt, “If you hadn’t gone down this branch line with your special, I don’t know if anyone would have found this old house or Luna.”
“Yes,” Luna whistled softly, “Thank you, Henry.”
“And what about your special, Henry?” peeped Thomas, “I never even knew what it was. What did the Earl need from the Sodor Dynamite Factory for a Halloween party?”
“Oh, I think that mystery will reveal itself in a moment Thomas,” said the Earl, “Look up!”
They all did as the Earl suggested, and suddenly the sky was changing colour! There were bursts of white and blue and sparkly pink.
“Fireworks!” whistled Thomas
“Ooh!” said Luna
“And I can’t think of anything more appropriate to welcome you to my railway, Luna.” Said Sir Topham Hatt “Welcome.”
Henry and Thomas blew their whistles in welcome too.
Henry gazed up at the sky, lit up with the beautiful fireworks he had delivered from the Dynamite Factory, and then down at the spooky old house and at the not-so-spooky-anymore old engine named Luna. He was happy to have a new friend, and happy to have been a Really Useful Engine.