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This is a short one today. I started to get into the flow or writing and then was rather rudely interrupted by having to go to work and forgetting my laptop.


She carried the stack of tablets back out of sight while I finished filling out the forms. Her passion made me smile. It was rare to find someone who truly loved what they did for a living. I wonder if that was true for most long-haulers. Not that it really mattered. Old fashioned water pirates probably loved making people walk the plank, but that didn’t make them cuddly.

I finished the last of the forms as she walked back into view. “Anything else?” I asked.

“That should be about it, uh” she checked the forms, “Mr. Wade.”

“And you?”

She held out a hand. “Call me Story.”

I shook her hand. Her skin was warm and smooth and she let her fingers linger a little longer than necessary. I smiled. “Now, how do I get to the mess hall? I’m starving.”

Story laughed, her voice creaking like an old rocking chair. “You surprise me again,” she said.

“Huh? Why?”

“You’re the first person to talk to me for more than five minutes who didn’t ask me about my voice.”

“Does it matter?”

“It does to me. I didn’t always sound like a spokesperson for a retirement village. I got a bad mixed of cryo gas. It seared my throat. The tissue is regrowing, but I may never get my singing voice back.”

I smiled at the joke. “Why are you telling me this?”

“Because you’re cute.”

I laughed, neither rejecting or accepting. “Mess hall?”

She smiled. “Main corridor, second deck, port side.”