NOOOOO! No! No! No! No! NO!
Please tell me it’s a mistake! I blink my eyes and look again. No. It definitely says matched, and my profile picture is slap bang in the centre of a heart at the bottom right corner of my universal cell screen.
Oh, why did I sign up for the intergalactic space station dating programme? Oh yes, that’s why, because it was a necessity to get out of this job and off this dreary ship that’s been orbiting the same dull planet for God knows how long and work my own space station, where I’ll get to meet passing traders from all over the universe—oh yeah and the crème de la crème—be my own boss.
It’s the only way to see any action and get away from the gloomy people I’m working here on this ship with—the sad fuckers who got lumbered with the same mundane job as me, but unlike me, have no gumption or ambition in their wretched lives to do anything else. Whereas, I’ve applied so many times to run a space station, I’ve lost count.
The trouble is, the company I work for introduced a compulsory dating app when a couple of solitary dimwits who’d had the privilege of being hired to captain a spaceship went a little do lally after being stationed on their own for the five-year mandatory time limit.
What the hell’s wrong with them? They were, of course, male—need I say anymore! That’s why they introduced the dating app. They figured a couple who could work together and fuck each other would be able to stand the crippling loneliness in between seeing the passing traders.
Why doesn’t the company just hire women? Then they wouldn’t have any problems. If they issued a sexual aid such as Horn, my aptly named sexual pleasurer, to their chosen female captains, their female employees would cope just fine and dandy on their lonesome. A Horn is all they’d need to scratch the proverbial sexual itch—and unlike males, vibrators or dildos don’t talk back.
I close my eyes and count to ten. Maybe I’ve nodded off again while waiting for the garbage system to empty. Maybe the ugly oddball face is just part of my dream. After all, this is the most uneventful job on this ship and thankfully only becomes part of my rota every six months.
There! I pinch myself for good measure too and snap my eyes open.
My howl of frustration reverberates around the metallic walls of the smelly disposal unit. No, I’m not dreaming. The purple face is still staring back at me. He really is my match. I squint at the screen with a grimace. Is he actually attempting to smile while he’s taking the selfie for his profile pic? Or is he trying out for the most terrifying pose of the year competition? My jaw actually drops open in dismay when I notice he’s even giving a thumbs up.
I’ve already judged the book by its cover and know I won’t like the story that lurks beneath its purple skin layer.
On my third inspection of the photo, I notice a small brown creature on the male’s shoulder. As with the monster-looking alien, I don’t recognise its breed or its species, but the corners of my mouth hitch up and I actually coo out loud. At least there is something visually pleasing on the screen.
I scrutinise the male even further and squint my eyes as I stare at his large horns that curl backwards like the horns of a ram…or a devil. My hand slaps flat onto my face and I drag it, trying to wipe away my shock.
“No way! Why? Just…why?”