Cendrillon A.D. 4037 – 3rd Terran Dynasty

It’s cold out here
starfields and solar radiation
rumble of the sublight engines
stale air and canned heat
hate this scratchy material of my uniform
can’t stand to raise my arm to salute

I crave the open Air

To see the stars by natural gravity
in the open sky instead of behind
pressure compensation class

No Vertigo
No Spinning
No damage Reports

My thoughts drift back
to last night

The Imperial Palace
mandatory attendance
the dna in my blood drags me to it
and makes me a VIP

Standing in the receiving line
wanting to eat my shoes

Anything but this
handshaking on auto-pilot
Engage, Dock, Undock, Disengage

Smile
Head-nod
What was his name?
Fuck it

Commotion at the gates
heads turning but I can’t see
over the sea
of human ornamentation

My chance to light-jump out of line
No course-plotting
Steady as she goes

She…
She goes…
whoa! who is that?

Tap my infonode, left ear, near lobe
Facial recognition:
database failure:

No File found
Hmm…
Intrigued

She’s lost in the shuffle
Skirt the edges of the crowd, listening for chatter and intel
She’s instantly popular, but no one has seen her before
Don’t believe if I ever met her
that I could have forgotten her

They’ll be looking for me soon
to recall me back to the line

Reengage Diplomatic Protocols
back to the boring
smile, nod
handshake auto-pilot
engage, dock, undock, disengage
fuck that

She’s on a approach vector
intercept course plotted

Shit!
She moves like a wisp of cloud
Anti-grav? Repulsers?
nah… 4 inch heels, most likely.

Proximity Alert!
Steady now!
Smile
Her accent?
Antarean.
No, wait…Victory Station, FarReach?
Pay attention, you moron, this is it!!

Bow
Take her hand, light kiss on the top
her smile the size of Jupiter’s spot
white opera gloves
Flesh at the top
pink in her cheeks
dimple, left side

Is that jasmin or cardarrian lotus?
Diamonds at her throat, like ice on her skin
moves with her
Lips parted, like she’s got something to say
Eyebrows slightly raised

Fuck! Did She ask a question?
Focus you moron!

Music is starting, slow driving beat
Reverb bouncing back off the courtyard walls
She light-jumps in
closes to a few inches

Her hand out to the right in mine, palm to palm
The other on my upper arm, fingers getting tangled
in my epaulets

I hate these damn things!

My arm around the small of her back
1 2 3 – 4….1 2 3 – 4
Don’t snag her on your medals!

She’s strong, biceps have definition
Not Money
Not Military
Not Nobility
Not My Concern…….

Her eyes are singularities, I keep getting sucked into them
draws the lights from the walls

Easy, watch her feet!

Shots fired, port side
Those are fireworks you idiot
Replicas, high explosive yield
Reds, Blues, Greens, Yellows
Her face is a rainbow

She’s smiling so fully, did she move closer?
Proximity Alert!
Captain we’ve got a blush leak on both cheeks!
Easy, back off
Maneuvering thrusts at station keeping

Song’s ending…sustained note on guitar…hums to quiet
Chronographic display, upper end of the great hall
faint booming of chimes
midnight

Her face goes flat, the color light-jumps out of her cheeks
She curtsies
To me?…Why?
Let her hand go, you moron!
another light-jump and she’s across the courtyard

Pursuit course?
Are you kidding?….

Ouch!
Almost fell on my face
Stepped on Something….
Recovered nicely, bend over and get it
Hmmm…4 inch Heel….made of….glass??

Now I wonder if a genecode scanner can get me a match?
Scan Status: 85%
Guess I’ll know in about 30 minutes

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About Eric

Writer/Plumber/Poet/Father/Gentleman/Romantic
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