Little Red Engine had been living in its tiny little bubble now for six years. The bubble was the only thing that kept it alive and well. Even after six years, it was extremely and exceedingly frustrated living in this bubble as it was isolated from all the 'normality' the life of an engine.
Believe me when it said it tried to live as 'normally' as it could. It tried attending F1 races but it kept sputtering out black smoke the moment it smelt the exhaust of the racer cars.
It tried going for a 'drink' from 'here' and 'there' like the OTHERS and its engine sputtered and died.
It even tried hitchhiking on different tow trucks for a free ride but ended up with a bad leak as their engine fumes were so pungent and smelly.
It did try to be 'normal'.
But sadly, other engines' normalcy wasn't Little Red's normalcy.
Little Red withdrew into its bubble again to stay safe and alive. But its bubble was never ever 100% safe.
Little Red did have support from other 'normal' engines. They would drop by for visits and stayed over to give Little Red some company. Little Red had Blue Engine around too for help.
The thing is, the fuel that they consumed was interfering with Little Red's system. It wasn't as if they deliberately brought in chemical fumes into Little Red's garage. It was the concoction of the fuel which they consumed which made Little Red ill. Sometimes it was the caffeinated fuel. Other times it was the nutty-fied fuel. Sometimes it was even the veggy-fied fuel. Those fuel weren't poisonous fuel but to Little Red, the engine fumes which were from these fuels made it sick.
Little Red did have talks with the other engines. Hell, it even banned them from using those fuels which made it sick. They did comply but it wasn't fair for them to be living in such restricted manner for such long periods of time. It certainly wasn't fair or healthy for Little Red either, as Little Red's garage was its safe haven.
So the visits grew shorter. And Little Red fled and hid whenever Blue Engine had to consume its caffeinated or certain type of veggy-fied fuel. Little Red then noticed that whenever its garage was totally free from all the radicals that made it ill, it felt stronger. It could be exposed to the F1 racers' exhaust for a little bit longer without feeling ill. It could indulge here and there in different types of fuel. It could go to other engine's garage and not sputter and die from their engine fumes.
Little Red was in a dilemma. It knew it had to make the garage totally radical-free. But how could it impose on others to live like it? And yet how could it live in a compromised manner?
Little Red knew that there was only one solution. It felt very burdened by the solution. There had to be a change...
(... to be continued)
'It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go one indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.' - C. S. Lewis