A SPACE PIRATE BALLAD, Christopher Wood-Robbins

A Space Pirate Ballad
by Christopher Wood-Robbins

Two pirates from Earth
plundered the universe
until they brought upon themselves
a karmic curse.

Across planet Zykonia
they ran in thick silver suits
with three humanoid birds
in angry pursuit.

The gems of Zykonia
could scratch diamonds to dust.
They would bring a fortune
from any black market they could trust.

One of the Earthmen
spun furiously around
aimed his laser pistil
and shot two pursuers down.

But the third shot stun beams
and knocked the killer down;
breaking his carrying case
and scattering the stolen gems on the ground.

He tried to grab the loot
that spilled out of his case,
but when he tripped and fell, a stray gem
smashed the plate over his face.

The alien atmosphere
choked his anguished cries.
Then he was vaporized by a beam
shot from Zykonian eyes.

The other man fled
in the hijacked starship.
Loss or no loss,
he had to continue the trip.

He planned to use the wealth
from his ill-gotten gains
to lord it over the colleagues
who once called him names.

But he wrestled with torment while navigating
the black starry skies
as he tried to find excuses
for his partner’s demise.

Distracted by fear
and recovering from that mental blow,
he failed to notice until too late
that his fuel was running low.

He was forced to make a landing
in an icy glass-like station
run by thick-shelled humanoids
of reptilian persuasion.

“Dear Lord!” he cried. “I’ve landed
in a cold transparent hell
run by thick-skinned humanoids
who often hide in their shells!”

One of these turtle-people
marched on over to tell
this pirate face to face:
“Speak for yourself, pal!”
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About barkingsycamores 81 Articles
Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, artwork, short fiction (beginning with Issue 3), creative nonfiction (beginning with Issue 8), and hybrid genre work (beginning with Issue 9) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature and book reviews (beginning with Issue 10).

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