Disclaimer: The characters used herein belong to DC Comics/Time Warner and I am using them without permission. I am making no money of this itty bitty little story.

No Trains This Year
By Smitty

"No trains this year, Alfred."

It's a heartbreaking phrase to hear from a seven-year-old-boy. Master Bruce loved his trains when his parents were alive. But no longer. I'd only suggested we set them up to run around the Christmas tree. It had been a family tradition. Now Master Bruce and I were the only family left…but surely the trains could still go up.

I called Dr. Leslie, highly agitated.

"It's normal, Alfred," she told me. "He associates them with happier times and seeing them will probably make him heartsick for his parents all over again."

"But shouldn't I put them up anyway?" I inquired. "To show him that life still goes on? That there are still people who love him?"

"No," Leslie told me after a long pause. "He'll ask for them when he's ready."

"Very well," I acquiesced, hanging up the phone.

There were no trains that year.

I asked the same question again, but there were no trains the next year, either.

Or the next.

Or the next.

It's been over thirty years since that first night but again I ask, "Shall I set up the trains, Master Bruce?"

"No trains this year, Alfred."

Very well then. An old man can still hope that one year a different answer will be spoken. And that will be a very happy year indeed.

Fin

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