Dear Mister Space Pirate, With Love by James Mapes

It’s been three hours since I last saw you, and my insides are still squirming. I can’t stop thinking about you. I don’t think these feelings are going away, not for the rest of my life cycle, and I need to tell you how I feel.

I like you. I like you from my tail to my nose, like an ache in my exoskeleton or an acid burn in my blood.

I like everything about you. I like your big stompy boots, your bulky spacesuit, and especially your handsome-yet-craggy face, perfectly lit up by those little lights in your helmet. I like the way you move, the way you breathe—so hot and heavy in your radio—and the way you shine your flashlight around the dark hallways of this space station.

I’m sorry it’s so dark. We must have blown a breaker or something. Doesn’t really explain why the lights keep flickering, but I’ve got bigger things to think about. Namely, you.

I can’t stop thinking about the way you spent so much time examining the little objects you would come across, like the ripped teddy bear, or the photo of the family with the cracked glass, or the barricade in the hallway outside of the nursery. You really seem to care about your job as an illegal salvage space pirate, and I think that’s really admirable.

I hope I can see you again. Did you just duck back to your ship for dinner? Maybe… you could invite me over sometime?

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. I kept hearing someone who must be your girlfriend over your radio. She must be back on your ship. Always telling you to be careful, or wondering where all the people went. I can just tell by her voice that she wears a jumpsuit that isn’t zipped up all the way.

Sorry, that’s mean. I’m not a mean kind of person. But I just don’t think she’s right for you. You need someone who’ll go anywhere with you. Someone who’ll be by your side.

Okay, I admit that I’m a little clumsy sometimes. You got me. I’m the one who’s been bumping into things when you think you’re alone, that’s my bad. I’m really quick, though. I bet you haven’t even seen me dart across any doorways, or crawl up the wall, barely out of your field of view. I’m just shy, is all.

And the truth is, if I’m being honest, I just think you look super cute when you get a little scared.

It’s not just me who thinks so. My brothers and sisters don’t articulate things the way I do—Mom always says that I’m the poet in the family—but they’re definitely into you too. I mean, they say things like how they want to sink their claws into your back. Which, I don’t know, seems a little forward, I guess.

I know how to talk about my feelings, though. I look at you, and I just want to lay one on you. I want to kiss you with both of my mouths. I want to jump on you and hug you and never let go.

Why won’t you come back? Maybe you don’t think anyone’s here? But I’m here. In fact… I bet a bit of radio static will bring you back around.

A-ha! Is that the airlock?

Oh my god. It worked! There you are, on that flickering video monitor! You’re back!

Okay. Straight talk now. I’m going to tell you that I like you, that I think you’re the coolest guy in the whole universe. I’ll ask, Do you want to have dinner with me? Could you see yourself with me?

Here you come. This is the time and place, girl. Just do it. Okay, game face. Oh, hey there. I’ve noticed you around, and I… I…

Sorry, but what’s that big thing you’re carrying? Is it for me? Is it a present?

What is it?

What…?

What the heck is a ‘flamethrower?’


James Mapes is a lighting designer, theatrical technician, and writer born, raised, and living in Portland, Oregon. In addition to his other work, he plans to release his first board game, Saga of a Dying World, to Kickstarter backers this summer.

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