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September 19, 2022

The Space-Trader

By John Grey

The Space-Trader

The space-trader cruised the outer planets
of little documented solar systems
in a rocket with second hand solar-sails,
a navigator with a taste for Betelgeuse Juice
and a habit of steering too close to maelstroms.
He carried the likes of pschyoplegic hair-dimmers,
Aureon gray-fruit of doubtful freshness,
asteroid blasters that were the subject of a recall
three Earth centuries back
and a pile of discarded tele-bulbs
that he'd scavenged from a Syposian dumpster.

He was chased from Orageo III by the local law
but found a welcoming customer base
on the dry, dilapidated world of the Zog
whose citizens were happy to get their hands on anything new
even if it took truckloads of their downtrodden currency
to pay for it.
It was a rough way to make a living
but he managed to survive
and even sent a few Uni-coins back home to his family
from time to time.
When his navigator's fourth artificial liver called it quits,
and Galaxy Insurance wouldn't pay for a fifth install,
he jettisoned his drunken friend
onto some Wino planet in the eighth quadrant
where he could gurgle out the rest of his days.

They say he was killed by an Aleurian,
hit over the head with a busted Astrogon
that he'd sold the creature
when the manufacturer wouldn't make good on its guarantee.
He was the last of his kind.
Wall-to-Wall-Mart have set up shopping domes
on every planet in the known universe.
The days of an Earthling hopefully knocking on the doors
of Ygiarians with Boboloops for sale
are mere remnants of the past
like Gyro-hoops and Holo-pistols.
But don't shed a tear for a passing of the space-trader.
The laser-secreto-sopper he sold you causes cataracts.






Article © John Grey. All rights reserved.
Published on 2021-07-26
Image(s) are public domain.
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