I tell myself I’m not worried when the captain passes his fingers tenderly through my cheek and asks, “Are you ready?”
I tell myself I am when I whisper, “See you soon, Sir,” and recede into the dark compression of the holographic console.
But even here, in the blackness, I feel the ship lurch, the navigational system scrambling yellow, then orange, then red, red, RED as we tumble out of trajectory.
When I finally emerge, a crackle of light in a drifting, dead ship, I know my captain is gone.
I tell myself I should have said, “I love you.”
Lora Gray is a non-binary speculative fiction writer and poet from Northeast Ohio. Their work has been published in Uncanny, F&SF, PseudoPod and Asimov’s among other places. You can find them online at lora-gray.com and on Twitter @LoraJGray