A Quiet Thank-you



 Linda R. (aka C1Gyramax)


*Orig. version posted on The Sub Pen

Inspired by Sue James story, “Reluctant Hero”, and the episode “Submarine Sunk Here”.




Kowalski looked across the table at Patterson and pointed his chin at Seaview’s cook.   The reply to his unasked question was a pair of widened eyes and a slow headshake.


Turning his head back toward the galley, Kowalski watched as Cookie finished folding chocolate batter into the last of a dozen pans, checked a timer then opened one of the four large ovens.   The mouthwatering smell of warm cheesecake wrapped itself around the galley.


“Hey, Cookie, what’s the deal?”


Patterson rolled his eyes at his friend’s question.  It was always best to leave Cookie alone when he was in the galley.  He was as intense there as the Admiral was in his lab.


Carefully closing the oven door, Cookie swung around to stare at the upstart crewman.  He was a couple of inches shorter than six foot and a few pounds over 200.  Patterson knew bigger guys, but none of them could make a large room feel like a closet by just standing and glaring.  Wonder if Mr. Morton taught him the glare, or if he taught Mr. Morton?  Patterson stayed motionless. 


“Whaddaya mean, Kowalski?” Cookie’s growl wasn’t loud, it didn’t need to be, the walls obediently picked it up and carried it into each corner of the galley and mess.


Blithely ignoring the growl and the glare, Kowalski cocked his head at the counter.  “That’s the third dessert you’ve made today.  Cupcakes, cheesecake, chocolate cake.   We aren’t carrying any passengers, so why all the work?  Have you got scuttlebutt that we don’t?” 


“Maybe I just felt like baking today.  You don’t have to eat any of it.  I’m sure the other guys will eat your share.  Right, Pat?”


“Uhm, right, Cookie.  It won’t go to waste,” Patterson answered quickly.


“Aww, Cookie, you know I love your food!  And nobody makes a better cheesecake than you!” Kowalski placated.  “It’s just…unusual… for you to bake so many things at the same time.   I just thought…” he trailed off, looking at Pat for help.


“That maybe we missed something important.   Maybe the Chief will have all of us swabbing decks and polishing and stuff?”


Cookie continued to glare at the two.  “Nah,” Cookie’s face softened into a pensive look.  “Nothing official is up.   Like I said, maybe I just felt like baking.”


“What are you baking?” asked Pat tentatively.  “You sure put a lot of stuff into that chocolate cake batter.”


“It’s a special recipe from Mrs. Mo – a lady I once met.  Three kinds of melted chocolate, three kinds of nuts, toffee pieces, orange zest and a secret ingredient that no one on this boat will believe, so I’m keeping it to myself.”


Pat looked at Cookie questioningly, a thought tickling at the back of his mind.  “And the frosting?”


“Chocolate fudge with more toffee pieces and sliced mandarin oranges.”


“Wow, that’s some recipe,” exclaimed Ski.  “I better tell the guys to save a lot of room for dessert.”


“Don’t forget about the cheesecake and cupcakes.”  Patterson once again looked at Cookie questioningly.


Cookie smiled to himself.   Patterson was quiet, but he didn’t miss much.  He had caught the scent and seemed to be following it in the right direction.  “Cherry chocolate swirl.  Banana with blue coconut frosting.”


“Oh, man.  I think I’m gonna skip the meal and just eat the desserts!”   Seeing the look Cookie shot at him, Ski quickly added, “I love all your food, Cookie, but I can’t appreciate your baking if my stomach is full.  Right?”


Cookie crossed his arms over his chest, then, after a long moment, he nodded.   “Now, if you’ve finished bothering me, I need to get the pans into the ovens.”


“We’re going, Cookie.  It’s almost watch time, anyway.   Just wait until the guys hear about this!  Thanks.”  Ski looked across the table at his friend, who wasn’t there.


Patterson had moved over to the calendar near the bulletin board.  He smiled sadly.   So much had happened in the past year. 


He understood why Cookie had baked those particular desserts. 


The chocolate cake was Mrs. Morton’s very special occasion cake.  He’d heard the Commander describing it to Angie Hamilton at the Christmas party.   The cheesecake was Chief Curly Jones favourite and the cupcakes had been the highlight of little Harriman Evans christening party.


While the Admiral would announce a minute of silence later in memory of the crew lost when Seaview sank off New London, the cakes were Cookie’s own way of saying thank-you to Mr. Morton and Curly.  


He met Cookie’s eyes and nodded once.  “Yah, Cookie.  Thank-you.  I know they’ll appreciate it.”   He knew Cookie knew whom he meant.

~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~

Author’s Comments:  


Angie has had several last names, but I liked Hamilton.  I have no idea who first used it, but I hope he/she doesn’t mind me borrowing it for a line.


I made up the ingredient combination, so have no idea if it will work.  The “secret” ingredient is zucchini, which makes a wonderfully moist cake.   One of these days I might try substituting these ingredients into a cake.