Liam crunched into the apple. Juice ran from the corners of his mouth and stuck in the bit of stubble he called a goatee. “That is so good.” He sat hard on the curb outside the store, held the apple high, and marveled. “I think I’ve found it.”
Emma shouldered her pack. “Congratulations. It’s an apple. You ready? We’ve got miles to go yet.”
“No listen. I read about this fruitarian diet and…” Crunch. “It could be for me.”
“That’s fine. Will’s grilling burgers tonight though.” Emma began walking.
“Just pick one already?” Josh said. “The game’s on soon.” They walked back through the gallery yet again.
Cindy shrugged. “I like them both. What do you think?”
“I’ll go with whichever’s cheaper.”
Cindy rolled her eyes before cutting him a look. “Men,” she mumbled as they neared the painting she was leaning toward. A red barn set beneath a blue sky on a field of green. It conjured memories she thought lost to her, causing tears to well in her eyes. “This one.”
Josh flipped the paper slip up to check the price. He thought he may cry also.
Sammy knew what he had to do. It wouldn’t be easy, but if he could mange, it would be worth it. He hoped it would anyway.
He pulled in a deep, steadying breath and went for it, peeling the plastic from the tray and attacking the contents. All the nutrition he needed and no taste. It all went down with hardly a chew. Hardly a taste.
“Very good,” his mom said smiling. “Slow down for dessert. You don’t want brain-freeze.”
She needn’t have worried. He would savor this. His favorite with none of the nutrients and all of the taste.
The airlock clanged jarring Sarey from her thoughts. It was a months long trip of stars and blackness, and she was both happy that it was over and apprehensive at what awaited her. She already missed the color of Earth.
Heavy doors hissed open. The Captain greeted her in the gray tube that ran from docking to Control. They walked gray corridors, wore gray uniforms, and lived on a gray, lifeless world.
She would change that.
Her workstation was gray and barren. She stuck a photo to her monitor.