A light colored sphere circles in the sky before descending upon the land, followed by several other spheres. The spheres rapidly circle each other before shape shifting into people. Venus walks among the tall grasses in her bikini and sun hat, carrying a towel and a romance novel. The moment she sits down, a waiter runs over.
“Ma’am may I offer you something to drink?” The waiter says.
“Hmm, a tall vanilla iced tea would be lovely, thanks,” Venus leans back as her friends shift into human shape and join her.
“Whew, this is fun,” a star says turning a cartwheel. “Here, take my picture,” says Star, handing Venus a camera.
Venus smiles and says, “Cuties coming our way.”
Star rights herself, “Where?”
“Right behind you,” Venus licks her lips, “The one with the dark hair is mine.”
Star casually turns around to get a better look. “Quick, do I have lipstick on my teeth?”
Venus laughs, “Star, you are beautiful.” She looks around, “Where are the others?”
“They went for ice cream,” Star says primping her hair.
A ball is tossed in their direction and Venus jumps up, catches it and tosses it to Star.
A man comes over, “Hey, sorry about that. Can I get the ball?”
“Can I get your name?” Star asks.
“I’m Saturn,” he says, reaching for the ball.
“Not so quick,” Star steps back, out of his reach, “Can we get in the game?”
“Toss me the ball.”
Star and Saturn begin to play a little one-on-one game of keep away with the ball.
Suddenly Star steals the ball from Saturn, just as her other friends arrive carrying ice cream.
“All right, come on, you can get in, after you share the ice cream,” Saturn motions towards his friends, calling them over.
“Mars!” Saturn yells to his friend, who is walking away from the group, “C’mon man, join us.”
Mars yells back, “I’m going to look for Pluto.”
“Ah, you know he’s probably with the Sun,” says Saturn.
“I’m worried about him. He’s been sulking ever since the downgrade,” Mars says.
“Might I help?” Venus offers.
Suddenly the moon eclipses the sun.
“Oh boy…they’re at it again,” Mars says
Saturn laughs, “I thought Moon said he’d come down today.”
“You know he and Sun have a ongoing love affair. Once they get close things heat up.”
Venus looks to the sky, “Well, I hope they make it quick. I want to soak up some Vitamin D too.”
Suddenly the sun comes out again, and a light haired man appears in khaki shorts and a polo shirt.
“Hey Moon,” Saturn slaps him on the back, “You and the Sun are a couple of exhibitionists.”
“Yeah, we saw you,” Venus adds.
“Everybody on the Eastern Seaboard saw you,” Star chimes in.
“God and everybody saw you,” Saturn adds, laughing, “Why didn’t you bring her down too?”
“She works the day shift, and I work the night shift. She will be down tonight,” Moon explains, taking off his shirt and putting on his sunglasses. He lays down by the pool.
Star wanders over to flirt with Moon, “There’s a band playing this afternoon. Want to go with me?”
Moon’s cell phone rings, “Hello? Hi dear.”
“Who’s that talking to you? Tell the little fast heifer that I can see her,” The sun insists.
“Yes dear, shouldn’t you be well on your way to another hemisphere?” Moon asks.
“Never mind where I am. You just make sure that you let them know you’re mine,” The sun berates.
Saturn grabs Star by the arm, “Um, let them have their privacy. That relationship is a little crowded.”
Star looks confused.
“Yeah, you don’t know? I thought everyone knew. Sun and Moon both have it going on with Earth. I hear they take turns, but it all works out.”
“They’re in a threesome? Get out, no kidding?” Star laughs, “Is that even legal?”
Saturn offers, “I think the Sun is holding something on the other two. She seems to have all the power.”
Star shrugs, “Ew! I like being single.”
Pluto rides in on a bicycle, “Hey, did anyone miss me?”
Star brightens, “Hey, I know you. You were a planet back in the day.”
“In some circles I still hold that status,” Pluto replies.
Mars looks to Venus, “Is she always so fresh?”
“You know how stars are. They have to live brightly for the day, because their lives burn out fast, Venus leans forward and whispers, ”Poor thing doesn’t know that by the time we see her, she’s been dead for a while.”
“She’s a ghost?” Mars asks.
“No, it’s just that looking at her is like seeing a snapshot from the past,” Venus explains, “Don’t tell her.”
The band begins to play and Star is suddenly the center of attention as word spreads about her health condition.
“Hey, don’t cry for me. I was there at the beginning. I will see you all again, or one of my sisters or brothers will, besides Stars don’t die we form constellations that ordinary people watch from their bedroom windows and on camping trips. Everyone wants to be a star,” She places a hand on her hip and sashays away.
Copyright © 2011 Kimberly Yarbrough Carpenter
Music suggestion: Gustav Holst, The Planets