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LJI:9 Trolley Problem
Trumpets sounded.  King Friday XIII stepped out onto his balcony.  “Queen Saturday, I presume?”

“Correct as usual, King Friday.”

“Why are you standing on the balcony?  Here in the outdoors you might take a chill, you should come back inside.  It’s nearly time for a snack.”

“Trolley is behaving oddly, my King.”  The Queen gestured down into the courtyard where several of their subjects had gathered around Trolley.

Trolley whistled once and rolled a few feet further into the Land of Make-Believe.

“What is the matter with you, Trolley?” the King asked.

Trolley rang his bell three times, slowly.

“Sire, I noticed that Trolley was still here when usually it would have left by now,” said Daniel Tiger, pointing to the watch on his wrist.  “I know we don’t have regular time in the Land of Make-Believe but elsewhere it’s different.”

“Trolley seems out of sorts,” said X Owl.  “All the past week it arrives here quickly, and leaves slowly.  Yesterday it hesitated at the tunnel and blew a minor-key whistle before departing.”

King Friday put his hands on his hips; “I didn’t know Trolley had a minor-key whistle.  What could be the matter?”

Just then Henrietta Pussycat stepped off trolley.  “Meow, meow Trolley meow sad,” she said.

“Trolley can’t be sad,” blustered King Friday.  Then he turned and said more quietly “It can’t be sad, can it my Queen?  Trolley doesn’t have feelings.”

“Everyone in the Kingdom has feelings, my King.  Perhaps Henrietta is right, and something has made Trolley unhappy.”

Trolley rang his bell several times and moved back and forth on the tracks in front of Henrietta Pussycat.

“What would make Trolley sad?” said Daniel Tiger.

X Owl flapped his wings once.  “It must be something outside the Land of Make-Believe, Trolley is happy enough here.  It’s only sad now that it’s time to go.”

Trolley once again rang his bell several times and moved back and forth on the tracks.

“Then let Trolley stay here in the Land of Make-Believe,” King Friday declared.  “Now that’s decided let’s go in the castle and have a snack.”

“But King Friday, Trolley has a schedule,” said Daniel Tiger.

 “King Friday, Trolley is a part of all lands.  Travelling is what it does, if it only stays here in the Land of Make-Believe, it might lose its purpose and I don’t know what would happen.” Said X Owl.

“Trolley, are you unsafe or in danger if you leave?” Queen Saturday asked.  Trolley’s bell rang twice.  “I think you might be feeling like Prince Tuesday when he doesn’t want to go to school.”

Daniel Tiger sighed.  “Sometimes, it’s hard to do the things we’re supposed to if they’re not fun, but growing up is learning to do them anyway.  Right everyone?”

Henrietta Pussycat put her hand on the side of Trolley.  “Meow, meow need meow go.”

Trolley sounded a minor-key whistle.

“Now listen, Trolley,” said King Friday.  “Of course our Land of Make-Believe is wonderful and I am not surprised you want to stay.  But everyone is right, your purpose is travel.  You will always be welcome here, we will give you folks to carry and straight tracks to ride on.”

“I do not know what is making you unhappy elsewhere, Trolley, but if you are safe, sometimes we have to be strong enough to do things that are a little sad.  Always remember that we love you,” Queen Saturday took her King’s hand, “and will always welcome you gladly.”

“Meow, meow family meow.”

Trolley backed up a few feet.  It whistled the usual major-tone whistle and held it for a long while.  Then Trolley began to move forward, slowly at first but then gaining its regular speed.  Trolley went through the tunnel out of the Land of Make-Believe, back to the real world.

“When Trolley arrives tomorrow we should have a banner and garlands ready to decorate it with, and take a trip around the countryside,” said Queen Saturday.

“That is a very good idea, my Queen.”  King Friday leaned over the balcony and called down to the folks below.  “Come in, and join our snack.  We will discuss ways to make Trolley feel so happy here in the Land of Make-Believe that it won’t have time to be sad at whatever is happening elsewhere.”

Trumpets sounded as the monarchs left the balcony.  Each of the citizens of the Land of Make-Believe wondered briefly what could be making Trolley sad, but then there were cream tarts.

***This is my entry for week 9 of LJ Idol.  I've done a complete misreading of the topic Trolley Problem, but once I got Mr. Rogers' neighborhood in my head I couldn't get it out.***

This is adorable and had me missing the days of Mr. Rogers. I found this to be well written and very enjoyable.

The prompt is a guide, and you do NOT need to use it literally. (I didn't) So no worries there!

Thank you for the memories! Hugs and peace~~~

Thank you! I'm a little surprised at how easily I could still hear some of the voices in my head.

Yeah, I read trolley and immediately heard the musical theme that played whenever Trolley went somewhere, this had to be written.

This is awesome and amazing. I love it.

I always loved Trolley and the Land of Make Believe.

Very well done.

Thank you. I wanted to be friends with X Owl because he had the most books.

Oh man, now I miss Mr. Rogers. I used to love watching it as a kid.

Thanks for taking me back. :)

Mr. Rogers was the best. It's a bummer the show doesn't re-run anymore the way it used to.

You're welcome, thank you for commenting.

this is so sweet! it really feels like it could be an episode of a kids' show (mister rogers or not), because there are even some nice, gentle lessons in it, and everybody's just very kind. i thought i only vaguely remembered the land of make-believe, but now i can picture all the characters and hear trolley's whistle. nostalgia!

In the first draft no one asked Trolley if it was safe, and I suddenly realized I was not sending a good message to children and had to fix it, I'm glad that comes through.

I always loved the Trolley travel music theme.

I read all of the dialogue in the proper voices in my head... :) This was enchanting. Mr. Rogers would be so proud of you! Great job! :)

It's astonishing how completely those voices stick, isn't it? After I had this idea I stalled for a day or two afraid I wouldn't be able to do them justice, thank you so much for the kind words.

I have no idea about Mr.Rogers(will check it out now) but that didn't hamper me from enjoying this sweet tale. It was so much FUN and I loved it. Nice take!

I am relieved that not knowing the TV show Mr Rogers didn't make this entirely incomprehensible to you - I was a little worried about that. Sweet and fun are perfect descriptions of the thing I was trying to evoke, thank you!

OHHHHHH!!! Thank you for this adorable walk back down memory lane! You really captured everyone so perfectly! Amazing how certain things from our childhood stay with us in this way.

It turns out Mr. Rogers Neighborhood was sticky in the best way; I was nervous about executing on this idea and had to look up a few names, but once I started writing they were all just themselves.

Thank you for the kind words.

I'm really tempted to go find some Mr. Rogers videos on YouTube now. :)

You really captured all the different characters with this piece.

I might have spent part of my Sunday on YouTube, or a lot of my Sunday. It was research.

Thanks, it surprised me how well I remembered some of these voices.

oh wow, even after many years I still remember these puppets and their voices. nice trip down memory lane. thank you.

It's astonishing how sticky some stuff from childhood is, right?

I'm glad I could bring up good memories.

Aww. So sweetly done. I would imagine it would be difficult for trolley to drive through Mr. Rogers's house now, since someone else undoubtedly now lives there. Maybe that new person will become friends with him, too.

I don't know if you've seen the animated show Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, but it carries on the legacy quite well. KFP loved it when he was in preschool.

Trolley seems pretty friendly, hopefully his real world stop is with someone nice.

I have seen Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, it was my niece's favorite show for a while. They really did do a lovely job of updating the stories but keeping the same sweet message.

I was a little too old for Mr. Rogers, so I tended to tune out most of the show, though I remember there being a trolley. And its whistle, which honestly sounded sad to me most of the time.

There's nothing like a little appreciation to make someone sad feel better, though. :D

Yup, I'm hoping that the citizens of make-believe can pull Trolley out of his funk. Not that I blame it for wanting to hide from the real world for a while.

You have another happy Mr. Rogers and the Land of Make Believe fan here! Bravo on re-creating that wonderful world from me too! And I can imagine lots of things that might be making trolley sad, but hopefully whatever it is will pass.

Yay, thank you, I'm grateful this worked for you. And yes, there are several real life things that could be making Trolley, or any of us sad, but hopefully good friends will get all of us through it.

Aaaaw I must say everyone going on a nostalgic trip is getting me a bit too curious. Going to check up on Mr Rogers and the Land of Make Believe ... Youtube Perhaps.

I loved this take on the prompt ... Most would make a non fiction attempt ... but this works really well. Thank u for introducing a much loved character... will check this up for sure.

I was a bit concerned that not everyone would have Mr. Rogers as a reference, but I'm glad this stood on it's own for you. I always loved the idea that you could visit a land of Make-Believe.

Thanks for the kind words.

Absolutely lovely! And that's exactly what I'd call a trolley problem. Kudos!

Please read my entry: http://murielle.livejournal.com/305245.html
I didn't take the bye after all.

Thanks lady! Poor Trolley never got a whole lot of individual attention.

Meow meow Henrietta Pussycat's stuck in my head meow. :)

Meow, Meow no idea meow tempting it was to meow the story all in meow meow Henrietta's meow.