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Over the Hill

Here is my contribution to Adam Ickes’ Storybook Corner writing prompt.


This one is 100-250 words, and we get a photo to help us along. My story follows the prompt photo below.

Steam engine


And now on KidzTV, the final ever “Storytime with Millie”.

“Hello boys and girls! Today we’re going to hear the story of ‘The Little Engine that Couldn’t.’

“There once was a little engine, we’ll call her ‘Billie’, who worked ever so hard all her life. She did everything asked of her. But one day, children, the railway staff said she was too old to work anymore! They said that today would be her last day. They thought she was old and ugly and past her best and they shoved her to one side.

“Billie was so upset but the railway staff wouldn’t listen. ‘This is your last ever day,’ they said. All of my, um, Billie’s hard work meant nothing to them.”

(What’s going on? That’s not in the script!
Oh hell, she’s trying to make a point.)

“No matter how much she pleaded, the nasty railway staff told her she was over the hill! They wanted to quietly shove her off into a siding. Can you believe that, children?”

(Do something! Cue up a commercial!)

“’Help me!’ cried Mil… um Billie. ‘All my fans, please, write to the, um, railway staff and save me from the nasty asshats!’”

(Good God, now she‘s swearing. Cut her off, NOW!)

“’This cannot stand!’ she cried. ‘All my life I’ve worked…aargh… get off…”

(Get her!
Ow! She kicked me in the nuts!)

“… save Billie! Save Billie aaargh!”

Beep… Beep… Normal programming will resume shortly.

  1. NotAPunkRocker
    January 30, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    It’s almost like “Network” for the under-18 audience. 🙂


    • January 30, 2015 at 8:49 pm

      I had to look it up but yes, it could be!


      • NotAPunkRocker
        January 30, 2015 at 8:51 pm

        You haven’t seen it? Oh wow, definitely a movie that was ahead of its time.


        • January 30, 2015 at 8:58 pm

          I’ll have to track it down 🙂


  2. January 30, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    This is brilliant! Poor Millie – she is really not happy, is she? It’s a sad state of affairs when people are ‘shunted off to the sidings’ just because they’re viewed as being too old. I love the little inserts from the production team. 🙂


    • January 31, 2015 at 9:48 am

      This kind of thing happens with depressing regularity I suspect, especially in the media where there’s a feeling that everything has to be “young and beautiful”.
      The production team had a bit of a panic attack there! The perils of live TV 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. January 31, 2015 at 1:51 am

    So funny…I couldn’t stop laughing. That’s how we all feel when we are put out to pasture. 🙂


    • January 31, 2015 at 9:50 am

      Some jobs value age and wisdom, some seem to only value youth and beauty. I’m glad it made you laugh 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. January 31, 2015 at 3:15 am

    Billie might make Thomas the Train and friends actually interesting!


    • January 31, 2015 at 9:51 am

      “Billie the Disgruntled Engine.” That could work!


  5. merbear74
    January 31, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Haha! Those nasty asshats! You tell them, Millie! 🙂


  6. January 31, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Hahaha asshats. Laughed out loud. I think in the version of “Little Engine That Could” (my brother favorite story when he was little) that my brother had, the engine’s name was Tillie. I don’t know. He drove me and my sister crazy watching at movie.
    Anyway, thanks for the funny read!


    • January 31, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      I’m glad you liked it! I prefer my version of the story 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. January 31, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Poor Millie! Ousted out for a younger model – a sad but true tale in today’s society, unfortunately.
    I had to laugh at asshats! 😉


    • January 31, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      I imagine it happens quite a lot in certain industries.
      They were asshats 🙂


  8. January 31, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    News (and film) at 11! The railroad was going in a different direction and Millie was not part of the new plan. Please clear out your desk and be gone before the end of business. Thank you for your 32 years of service.


    • January 31, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Very sad and common story, I think. At least Millie had the chance to publicly air her grievances.


      • January 31, 2015 at 4:11 pm

        That is not as comforting as you might think. I know MANY people who have gotten dumped … mostly around age 59 (oddly, coincidentally, when their pensions fully vest) and it takes a while for most of them to recover. They do, but it’s hard to believe it’s happening to YOU.


        • February 1, 2015 at 5:28 am

          And it’s very tricky to get another job at that age. Of course, it’s illegal to fire someone because of their age and there is no longer a “retirement” age (in the UK anyway), but the employer can always find some other reason.


  9. January 31, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Haha that’s a great take on the prompt. Poor Millie, er I mean Billie.


    • February 1, 2015 at 5:29 am

      Glad you liked it! I had a little trouble thinking up a story this month initially.
      Poor B/Millie indeed 🙂


  10. gentlestitches
    February 1, 2015 at 8:37 am

    I am nearly demented from Thomas but that was great! 😀


    • February 1, 2015 at 9:54 am

      I’m sure throwing Billie into the mix would spice up Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends 🙂
      Glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. February 7, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Enjoyed…. One learns more from falling than successes… Great idea!


  12. February 11, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Hilarious, Ali. 😀 Sorry it took me so long to read it. The whole thing from start to finish was funny. Odd, isn’t it, that people are let go just before they qualify for a pension. That’s one of the reasons the IRA’s (Individual Retirement Accounts) became so popular. Where I worked in North Carolina, it was a “right-to-hire-state” but I always called it a “right-to-fire-state.” They could walk a person to the door on a moment’s notice. I knew it to have happened. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne


    • February 11, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      That sounds like a pretty rough situation. Fortunately we have laws and employment tribunals and stuff to stop that sort of thing over here. I guess it varies from state to state in the US.
      I’m glad you liked my story!


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