The SLEDE train slit the air.

Corwin pulled out of his office to consider life outside the work center’s broad windows. SLEDEs were almost everywhere but beyond some were serious gray clouds over dark chocolate mountains. Lightning tongues flicked Earth to sky, holding his gaze and propelling him down a might-of-been road. Unbelievable from some perspectives, they were going eighty miles per, forty feet off the ground. Dad and Mom would’ve been impressed. Or depressed. Maybe angry or resentful.

Tall, skinny, energetic with hypnotizing exuberance, Cake bounced into the room. “Alongsides coming up. Me and Elf are hailing eats. I’ll fly and buy. You in?”

“Hell yeah. Just in time. You’re a hero.” Corwin grinned, standing, stretching. “Shift is about over. I’ll take a cheeseburger with it all, and fries.”

“Plant okay? Can’t afford true bee. Or chick. Or anything but plant.”

“Course. And a beer shake?” At Cake’s smiling nod, Corwin specified, “Stout. Alongsides got a good one.”

“Or had.”

“Yeah. Well, you know me. Anything dark, ‘kay?”


As Cake descended, Corwin called, “And thanks.”

Cake’s generosity made him happy. Corwin returned to his seat, manifested the office anew, finished admin matters, and logged out. Minutes later, Alongsides docked beside them. Leaning, he looked down and watched Cake leave their SLEDE and hit the stofe. Elf followed three seconds later.

A ping lit Corwin’s Backhand. He shifted attention to the cute guy on the fone. Only after joking with Karlyl, hanging up as his stomach rumbled, did he realize, food hadn’t arrived.

Alongsides was gone. Forty minutes, too.

He flipped the fone to Cake.

No, screw that. Corwing galloped down the spiral. “Cake?” He’d eat down there anyway. Get out of the work area where he’d been for nine hours.

A glance left. No one in the cockpit.

He swung right. No one in group. Kitchen. Dining room.

Nor the patio.

“Cake? Elf?” He tapped their doors.

Tried to enter.


Using the fone, he called, wondering, did he misunderstand? Did they stay on the stofe to eat?

Cake’s number said it was unassigned. Try again.

“Call Elf,” Corwin told his fone.

The fone couldn’t comply, explaining, he needed to be more explicit about who or what he was attempting to reach.

Corwin didn’t bother providing more. This was too much like what had happened with Mom and Dad.

He wasn’t ready to go through that again.

3 thoughts on “Cake

Add yours

    1. Thank you. It was a whim to write. Might be the next novel project. Don’t know. Have a million directions to take. Characters keep interrupting things I’m doing during the day. It’s beginning to firm. We’ll see.

      Liked by 1 person

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