He pressed a knob, and the motor clicked and whirred. At the flip of a switch, lights about the miniature village started to glow. “It’s kept me busy in retirement,” he said. He pushed a lever, and the model train began to pull its trolleys around the circular track. It glided past the toy village and up a hill. It disappeared into the paint-spackled tunnel, its headlight guiding the train to the other end.
The boy ran wide-eyed circles around the track, following the clicking train. He trailed it as it rounded the plastic farm and started the loop again. He reached out to join the machine in its joyous cycle, but the model was derailed. “For God’s sake,” the grandfather said as the motor whirred motionless on its side. The boy cried and ran up the stairs, leaving his grandfather to fix his model.