The First Chocolatier on Mars by Dave Petraglia

Chicago Literati

“The first Italian marble on Mars. Now, that was a big deal,” I said to her.

“Like when I was born,” Arriba replied.

“Yes, my dear, when we became fertile.”

“Dad’s Nobel for Colonization.”

“Shared,” I reminded her, “But a lovely year, all of it.”

“Can I ever trust anything you say again, ever?”

“Of course. You are loved. As ever.”

“As much as my weight in cargo never sent on a freighter from Earth?”

“More than your weight in Arriba Cocoa, my dark-eyed beauty. And no, you never were any one’s ‘ballast’. No ‘Bébés pour le Chocolat’ were,” I smiled, in the way she liked a mother to, “There is no ‘ballast’ in spaceflight. And you, and all your friends know that.”

“It’s the anniversary,” she reminded us.

On this date, my husband Wyatt presided at the loading dock of Hangar Six as the first piece of stone…

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