We are proud to share the work of our Cactus Cancer Society community writers here on our blog, including this piece, which is part of a series entitled Fresh Ink.
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All Sales Are Final by Ceiba Koru
Sleek. Shiny. Maybe even a little sexy. That is how the salesman was describing the ship they were looking at. Best in its class. All the bells and whistles and comforts anyone could want. Well, she wasn’t just anyone, but he didn’t know that. Yet. Sleek and sexy wasn’t for her. She wanted something proven, trustworthy and hardy. Something a bit rusty and shabby at the edges, with peeling paint and more than a few dents. Careworn, but with signs of a good life well lived.
She turned her back to the blathering salesman, scanning the shipyard for the perfect specimen. The one that would take her far from this place, away into a better unknown. Her gaze skimmed the dark corners of the yard and landed on a small triangle of chipped, blue paint – just the color of the ocean near her old home during a winter storm. It drew her in for a closer inspection. The salesman stopped yammering when he noticed her walking away, quickly waddling after her. He couldn’t afford to lose another sale. She had her hand on the engine housing when he caught up, her eyes closed as if the hunk of metal were speaking to her. Which it was – loud and clear.
She stepped inside, slowly turning and taking in every little detail, touching walls and railings as she moved. When she faced him again, she was beaming. Well, shit, he thought…there goes my big commission.
“This one” she said, her stance and decision firm, her voice reverent. “This is the one.”
“You will never get anywhere in this hunk of junk. Be dead within the week, more likely. If it even gets off the ground.” the salesman replied. “You need something new and fast. Something reliable, for where you are going.”
“There is nothing more reliable than a ship like this” she said, staring up into the dim recesses of the cargo hold. “It has been to the edge and back. Seen the blackness, but also the light of a billion stars. Watched cities crumble and witnessed a thousand new sunrises over the ruins. Felt the care and love of those she carried, giving it back tenfold. Every scratch, every crack, every inch tells that story.” She turned back toward him. “My chapter of the story is next.”
He sighed, knowing he wasn’t going to talk her out of it. He knew tenacity when he saw it. At least he would get *some* cash out of her. He heaved a long sigh, shaking his head and throwing his hands up in defeat. “Fine. Your funeral. All sales are final, though.” he said.
She handed him the money and turned back toward her new home. “Don’t I know it?” she whispered.
When not reading, writing, or binge watching sci-fi TV shows, Ceiba enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and senior chihuahua Mabel. She is also a jigsaw puzzle enthusiast and on a continuous quest for the perfect gluten free waffle.