Cinnamon Apple Dessert Rations

     by Aidee Ladnier


Giving thanks is important, even in space.


“So, tell me honestly, what are you thankful for?”

Ardent tilted her chair back until it squeaked. She could just make out the back of her synth-companion Dori’s hunched form as she sorted through a box of ship parts.

Dori stilled and turned to face Ardent. Her smooth face was flawless, surrounded by short blue hair. A delicate frown pulled at the corners of her mouth and her brows rose.


Ardent let her chair zomg back into its proper orientation. She turned, resting her arms over the back to see Dori’s puzzled face. Good. She was bored. They wouldn’t reach planet-side for at least another day and Ardent was tired of watching vids.

“Yeah. It’s a question my grandmother always asked me around this time of year. Where she was from, they used to have feast days for like a week or something.” Ardent smiled remembering her grandmother’s stories over the pre-packaged rations they’d shared on the mining colony. They’d gotten an extra dessert ration on that day. Always a good day when it involved extra dessert.

At Dori’s continued silence, Ardent thumped the back of the chair.

“You know, thankful. As in conscious of a benefit received. An expression of thanks.”

Dori waved away her explanation. “I am perfectly aware of the definition of thankful.” She plucked one of the oily pipe fittings from the box. “I suppose I am thankful we have enough parts to upgrade this rusting piece of space trash you call a courier ship.”

“Hey, hey, hey! Don’t talk about my baby that way.” Ardent smoothed a hand along the worn dash of her skimmer. “She’s old but she has character.” Ardent glanced up then, catching Dori’s eye. Primed and ready. Commence flirt. “Rather like me, I suppose.”

Dori’s grin broke across her face like a planet-rise. “You’re barely sixty revs. I’ve already lived twice your lifespan.”

“But you don’t look it.” Ardent fingered a long gray strand that had escaped her ponytail. She peeped at Dori through her lashes. Move in slowly for the kill.

Dori dropped the metal fitting back in the box where it clanged discordantly. She rose in a smooth movement, to stand beside Ardent’s chair, gazing down into her face with a soft smile.

“Are you performing a data search for compliments again?”

Ardent’s mouth quirked up in a grin. Would she be able to coax a kiss from her lover? Or perhaps more?


“Then let me help you find one.” Dori’s strong arms pulled her from the chair. Ardent had seen those formidable sinews, wrapping artificial bone and blood but not the human mind inside—no, not the human mind, dead lift the side of the ship like it was a toy. But Ardent only felt the smooth caress of Dori’s fingers as they glided against her neck and into her hair, pulling her bushy gray hair free of its tie. Dori’s forehead rested against hers and Ardent squinted trying to see her lover’s silver eyes, to discover if they dilated showing her interest.

Dori’s fingers cupped the back of Ardent’s head. “I have never found anyone like you in two lifespans, Ardent Mapping. I am thankful each and every day that I met you in that waystation bar and followed you home.”

And Dori kissed her then, the smooth mobility of her lips pressing into Ardent’s mouth, opening it to the cool lick of Dori’s tongue.

Dori always tasted like home, like cinnamon apple dessert rations, like the endless stars in front of her skimmer. Dori tasted like permanence and forever. And for that Ardent was honestly thankful.

Copyright 2016, Aidee Ladnier. All rights reserved.

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