Friday, April 22, 2016

Tinned Peaches

The Sandflea’s interior was always crowded and never more so than at the beginning of a mission.  Extra supplies were crammed into every possible nook and cranny.  The ship was fast and maneuverable but she was built for speed, not luxury.  Even basic comfort could be hard to come by at times! Her crew had long since figured out how to make the most of the available space, of course.  During take-off, the captain and the navigator were in the cockpit and the rest of the crew were strapped into hanging seats just behind the cockpit. Take-off could be a bit of a bumpy ride until they reached their desired altitude and leveled off.

Once they were well underway the captain and navigator remained in the cockpit usually. But since the Sandflea had a splinter new crew-member, Captain Willy thought she should get acquainted with the airship’s layout as well as with the other crew-members.

Kennia and Tira had already headed to the crew area (it was too small to call it crew quarters!) In the back of the airship and were settling in. Tira  climbed over a carton of tinned peaches to get to her usual hammock, pulled her cap over her face, and promptly  started to snooze.  Kennia sat down on the carton and sized-up her new crew-mate.
“I envy her” said Little Red. “I get so wound-up at the beginning of a new mission that I can’t sleep to save my life.” She shook her head. “I just keep thinking over and over about all the mission details and wondering if I’ve missed something.”
“That doesn’t sound like much fun.” answered Kennia.
“No, it isn’t!”
 Kennia shrugged. She pointed to the crate on the floor. “This is the last of last year’s peach harvest. I get on good with the folks in Supply,” she grinned.
“Hope these don’t have too much sugar syrup in the cans. I hate when I taste more sugar than fruit.” Tira spoke from under her hat.
“Same here,” said Little Red. “I haven’t eaten peaches in ages!”
Tira just grunted a reply and pulled her cap further down over her face.
“Good to see that y’all are well-stocked. Who usually has kitchen duty? Or do y’all take turns? I’m not half-bad in the kitchen, even if it is a tiny one.”
“Mostly me,” replied Kennia, “and I am glad that there is someone else onboard who knows the way around an airship galley. Why don’t ya go down there now and see what ya think. We could use some better cookin’ on these trips.”
Little Red grinned and headed down the ladder to the galley quick as a wink.

Tira pulled her cap off of her face and looked around. “She gone?”
Kennia nodded.
“My god, we’ve got us a chatty one this time!”
“Least she’s awake! That’s better than Harry was. I used to wonder if we would even notice if he’d had a heart-attack and died in his chair,” answered Kennia.  “‘Sides, she’s supposed to be some kinda expert. That oughta come in handy if things get heated.”
“You mean when, don’t ya, not if,” replied Tira. “Things always get heated sooner or later.”
“Well, here’s hopin’ for later.  I for one could use some peace and quiet. Boredom even.”

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