Happy Thursday, everyone! How’s your day going so far?
Last weekend a lot of my buddies were in Chicago for Worldcon. Me? I went to SacAnime with my daughter. Had a lot of fun people-watching while standing in really long lines, met a couple of cool artists, and enjoyed the cosplayers even when I didn’t know what character they were playing.
This week’s story is about a different kind of cosplayer — a guy who pretends to be someone he’s not just so he can make time with the ladies. All well and good, until he tries his patter on the wrong woman. I hope you enjoy “The Galaxy’s Most Wanted.”
The Galaxy’s Most Wanted
Copyright © 2012 Annie Reed
Published by Thunder Valley Press
Cover and layout Copyright © 2012 Thunder Valley Press
Last time I counted, I had two hundred fifty-seven wives and four hundred thirteen children. Five hundred forty-one nieces and nephews. A couple hundred pistol toting fathers-in-law. And a dog.
I’m also wanted on seventeen planets in sixteen different systems. That’s not counting all the outstanding interstellar warrants against me for child abandonment, failure to support, and back alimony.
Yeah, I used to be something, all right. I don’t look like much, not anymore. At least not compared to the pretty woman who brought me out tonight. Yeah, that’s her. The brunette. Curves in all the right places. She’s sitting on the bar stool to my right, flirting with the hunky bartender, he of the bulging muscles and piercing blue eyes, full head of blond hair, and easy smile. If I had looked like Mr. What Can I Get A Pretty Little Thing Like You To Drink Tonight, I wouldn’t be in this mess. Guys like me, we have to try harder.
That’s how the whole mess I’m in started, trying to get women to pay attention to me. A little lie here, an embellishment there. What’s the harm? So I don’t actually own a star cruiser (I am – or was – the third assistant to the second shift lead maintenance tech on the refuse recycling scow that ran between Omicron and Zeta Sawh, but who’s quibbling?) and I’m not the man who ran a high quality bootlegging outfit on New Marris Prime (although I never said no to a decent alcoholic beverage), but a guy like me’s got to have a little edge, you know? Something to get a girl to look past the receding hairline and paunchy belly, and the fact that I’m a little short. Okay, a lot short. But I do come up to at least shoulder height on most humanoid women. Not all that bad from my perspective, if you think about it.
That’s my problem, you see. I just always liked women more than they liked me.
Even the ones I shouldn’t have. Like the pretty brunette on the bar stool next to me.
The first time I saw her I’d just walked into a dark, dingy bar at the end of a long, uneventful recycling trip. I mean really – how much trouble can a guy get into on a ship full of recycled garbage? Bored and more than a little bit lonely for some female companionship, I cleaned myself up, spritzed on my favorite deodorizing aftershave, charged up my tally card with the money I’d earned on the trip, and went looking to get laid.
I found Brina.
(read the rest of the story here)