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Take some time to get to know Jame
Given Name: Jame Wheatley Age: 63 Home Region: James Park Favorite Food: Chili cheese fries
The name Jame is a Wheatley family legacy, and Speedy Jame happens to be the fifth of his name. Born and raised in the railer parks of James Park, Jame learned to appreciate the simple things in life at a young age. He considers "going fast" to be one of those simple things. Jame earned the "speedy" moniker at age 19, when he famously rode a shopping cart down a hill, off a ramp, and launched into the Righteous River.
When he's not conducting trains, he enjoys sipping sweet iced tea on his porch with his dog, Holmes.
Sure had been a long time since I last hauled folks instead of coal, but ya just cain’t have that personal connection with coal—and somethin’ in my gut told me it was time to get back to transportin’ people. Ain’t had a single problem since I made the change, and I wasn’t plannin’ on ever having problems until one day, taking folks from the Plains to J-Park, I was in sittin’ in the engine room an some kind of static cloud passed over my train.
Swear to God Himself. I saw it dead ahead on the tracks, floatin’ like some kind of fog, all hazy-like—and when we passed through it, it’s like the static-fog came inside the cabin, swept over everything in a straight line, then passed through to the next railcar.
I could feel the whole train rumblin’. Should prob’ly check on the passengers, I thought. But when I did, something was…strange.
The passengers were all fine—none of ‘em seemed to notice anything was amiss—but it was almost like every single one of ‘em had changed into old-timey costumes, like the ones you see in the photo stores at theme parks.
I went from car to car, checkin’ on all the passengers, and found the same story throughout the whole train—all except for the caboose. Sittin’ there in the caboose were two characters: the first was a pig, sitting patiently in a seat like a gentleman, and the second was a person who, to this day, I still struggle to describe. This stranger was dressed like he came straight from the future, and while he definitely had two eyes, a nose, and a mouth, I couldn't tell if they looked familiar or like no facial features I'd ever seen.
“I believe you’re the one they call Speedy Jame,” the stranger said to me, cool as a cucumber, gently scratchin’ the pig behind the ears with one hand and clickin’ shut a pocket watch with the other. I nodded in response. “Welcome to the 1800s,” he said.
The man explained that, somehow, we’d been transported back in time, but insisted he could get me back home if only I followed him and the pig on an “errand of utmost importance:” He had to send a telegraph. We got to the station and I followed the stranger and the pig, and waited patiently for him to send his message, all the while marvelin’ that I’d truly been sent into the past. Next thing I knew, there was a loud bang somewhere in the station, causing the pig to run off squealing towards the trains—and before I could think, I was runnin’ off after ‘em.
I caught up with the pig and laid my hands on ‘im, which made ‘im squeal louder than I ever heard a pig squeal—and when he did, I saw the same static-fog I’d seen on the train, only this time it’s like it was inside my eyeballs. I blinked to clear my eyes, and suddenly…the whole train station was gone.
Everythin’ had gone quiet. I blinked my eyes ‘bout three, four times, makin’ extra-sure the static hadn’t got stuck in ‘em, and when I was sure they were workin’ alright, I turned real slow-like and took a look all around me. The old-timey train station I’d been in with that stranger was gone now, and in its place stood a whole lot o’ nothin’—a swamp ‘bout a hundred yards ahead on my left, a gnarled bush to my right, a big-ole jungle behind me, an’ the sun beatin’ down harsh above me.
“Well, sheeee-it,” I said out loud. That pig had did it again.
Suddenly, the pig squealed—I thought because I’d stepped on ‘im on accident, but when I moved my feet, he scampered on ahead toward that bush, stopped ‘bout a foot in front of it, then started oinkin’ and honkin’ to wake the dead. The bush rustled a bit. And after a few seconds, a second pig tumbled on outta that bush—but pig was prob’ly the wrong word for it: It was too tall, had an arched back and long hair, with big-ole tusks stickin’ out its snout.
My lil’ piggy did a happy lil’ hop. And then the bigger pig ran into the jungle.
My piggy chased after it. Which means I chased after both of ‘em. What else was I gon’ do? He was my only way home.
The jungle was hot and dank. Smelled like mud and animal piss.
Next thing I know, I’m breakin’ through the trees into a clearin’, an’ in that clearin’ is my pig, the boar-thing, an’ four little boarlets, all snuggled up like a regular family. Now that gave me pause.
See, my lil’ bubba’d found himself a family—an family is a beautiful institution that any livin’ being is lucky to settle into, whether it’s a wife an’ chillen’s back in James Park or a nice lady-boar and piglets in this jungle in God-knows-what year.
Made me wish I had a family o’ my own. I almost thought to leave ‘im there. But I had to get home. ‘Specially if I wanted a family.
I crept forward.
Well, now, that was the wrong thing to do, because I stepped on a daggum twig which snapped and set my buddy to squealin’ again—an’ when he squealed, the static came and went again, jumpin’ us forward to nighttime. The boars were gone. An’ I heard a squelchy, chomping sound. A cloud must’a moved past the moon, ‘cause the pale light grew bright an’ shone down on a lizard, big as I am—swear to God, maybe bigger—face buried in the carcass of the mama boar.
I didn’t even think about nothin’, my body moved on its own: I scooped up the pig an’ hightailed it outta there, hollerin’ all the way, prayin’ that I wouldn’t trip, or that the dinosaur would, squeezin’ the pig, tryin’ to activate his powers. “C’mon, lil’ buddy,” I said to ‘im. But he must’a been too scared to do his thing—poor thing was shakin’ like a leaf in my arms—an’ I didn’t have time to stop and come up with a plan B. So I kept runnin’.
I burst outta the jungle, back where I first started, and made toward that swamp I seen earlier, figurin’ I didn’t have anywhere else to go, and that’s when I felt something slide and give way under my right foot, sendin’ me fallin’ forward, tossing the pig into the air. “Oh God, don’t eat me,” I hollered, layin’ on the ground outta breath, too tired to keep runnin’, countin’ down the seconds until that scaly bastard’d sink his teeth into my gullet. I rolled onto my back to look up at the moon, and realized my hand was resting on the thing I must’ve tripped on: a piece of paper with the words “Telegram Receipt” printed on it.
“There you are,” said a familiar voice—and then that stranger from earlier stood over me, the pig tucked under one arm with the other stuck out toward me, offerin’ to help me off the ground (an offer that I accepted.) “We gotta go!” I yelled. “Say no more,” he said.
An’ then we was back in James Park.