91 – Checkmate

Dear Lucy,

You’ll be pleased to hear that my temporary career as Mail Train driver has been going well and Bert is now fully recovered having spent the last couple of months on light duties assisting Gertrude down at the depot.  Last week however there was a slight hiccup in my exemplary service record that saw a calling into Millie’s office. 

Ron and Reg have been joining me in the engine for the purpose of shoveling coal into the big oven thing that fuels the locomotive.  They’d proved extremely diligent at their duties up until last Friday when the whole – cat –Bert – flea epidemic – plan came to fruition in one cunning journey of misdirection.

It all happened so quickly I didn’t really have time to understand what was going on until it was too late.  Ron raised the alarm to stop the train after supposedly spotting something on the line, having screeched to an abrupt halt Reg rapidly disembarked and pulled on some sort of lever that he’d reportedly used to dislodge an unusually large leaf from the tracks.  On firing up again the train veers off in an unexpected direction before terminating at some random station in Khomyakgrad village.

To cut a long story short, it would seem Ron and Reg have, over the last six months, been playing postal chess with a community of Russian Hamsters and, just before the flea epidemic hit, had been invited by said fluffy Eastern European cousins to enter into an outdoor chess tournament … it all makes sense now doesn’t it! 

Despite being 24 hours late on the mail run I must admit we all had a fine time, the hamsters couldn’t be faulted for their welcoming hospitality and although I didn’t really understand what the hell was going on, the games were jolly exciting.  Ron and Reg only won once over the entire tournament but agreed the experience had improved their game considerably.  I should be angry with them I suppose but it is nice to see Ron and Reg exploring activities that will largely keep them out of the youth detention centre. 

Not wanting to drop them in it I went along with the story of engine failure during our debrief with Millie.   When Millie asked me if this was true I thought it best to avoid incrimination by pretending to choke on a biscuit, this didn’t go quite as planned, she waited so long for me to compose myself that I had to notch up the dramatics a bit and pass out on the floor.

Ron and Reg invited me to join their chess club but on reflection I think I’ll stick to tiddlywinks, it’s far safer!

Much love,


Are you a chess master or are you like Morris and have absolutely no idea what's going on?  Morris would love to hear from you, just drop him a line here or under his Instagram, Facebook or Twitter shares.

© All images and story content copyright of lynncf

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