Orphan Train: A Short Allegorical Story, Part 1

OrphanTrainCover

I was a young orphan when I boarded the train, probably not yet ten years old. My friend told me  that when they asked who was paying for my ticket to say “Joshua Masterson,” so that’s what I did. We took our seats among many others, and once the train got moving the conductor entered the car. At least, his uniform was that of a conductor, but he was a boy not much older than my friend and I. He then called for everyone’s attention.

“On behalf of the Master, who owns the railroad, welcome aboard,” he began. “You may or may not know that this train’s final destination is the home town of the Master himself. There are some things you need to know, and it is my job to let you know these things.

“Once we arrive in the Master’s town, a select few orphans from among you will be chosen to live on the Master’s estate. The master has prepared homes for the Chosen Ones, nicer homes than you could ever imagine. All that you could ever need or want will be provided, including all your meals–gourmet banquets, no less.

“The rest of you orphans, the ones not chosen, will be allowed to live within the towns and countryside surrounding the walled estate. There you will have the resources that you need to provide for yourselves a good living, certainly much better than you have ever experienced as orphans.

“You must keep in mind, and this is important, that you should not try to figure out whether or not someone you know is, or is not, one of the Chosen Ones. There is no way you can tell who is, or who isn’t, one of The Chosen. Think about it. If someone claims to be one of the Chosen Ones, they could be an impostor, or they might end up being quitters, leaving the train somewhere along the way. Or they might just be deluded. You can’t know, so don’t even try.

“You will find in the seat pocket in front of you a document. This document is the contract that the Master has made with his Chosen Ones. The Master has signed this contract, so he has committed to providing a number of benefits to the Chosen Ones. For example, he will be legally adopting the Chosen Ones as his sons and daughters, which means that they will also be his heirs, receiving an inheritance from him. And that adoption will also make them naturalized citizens of the Master’s province. And part of their inheritance will be that they will be placed into leadership positions, governing the province along with the Master and his son.

“Speaking of the son, if the Chosen Ones have any concerns, or want to convey a message to the master, the Master’s son will hand-deliver their concerns to the master, because the son is the mediator for the Chosen Ones.

“As you can imagine, this new life for the Chosen Ones will be so different from their previous life as orphans, it will be like being virtually re-born.

“Now, some of you will be wondering, if you’re not one of the Chosen Ones, is that somehow unfair? But consider, your train passage, something you could never have paid for yourselves as orphans, was provided for free by Joshua Masterson, the Master’s son himself, and you will be enjoying a far better life than you ever had as orphans. Your proper response should be humble gratefulness.

“Okay, so please read all about the Master’s contract in the publications also provided in your seat pocket; they will help you understand the contract better. Once again, welcome aboard.”

My friend raised his hand, and the conductor came to our seat.

“Sir,” said my friend, “I have some questions.”

“Yes, what is it?” he said, with what I thought was a hint of annoyance.

“Well sir, those of us who are not chosen, will we be allowed to visit the Master’s estate sometimes?”

“No, you will not. That will be impossible.”

“Oh, then, surely the Chosen Ones and the Son will come and visit us then?”

“No. They will certainly govern over the province, but only from within the Master’s estate.”

[Tune in next time for part 2.]

Link to location on Amazon to download the whole story: Here.

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