Ok, just had to put this one up on the blog. I wrote it for Donna Cunningham's "Skywriter" blog for National Humor month..don't know if y'all are still around...
Pluto sat at the head of the table looking back and forth from his son, Saturn, sitting to his left and his grandson, Jupiter, sitting to his right. Uranus, the drunken uncle was walking toward Jupiter's back, unseen.
Pluto, the patriarch, was mediating an argument between his son and grandson. His granddaughter, Venus, was the subject and Mars, the antagonist and her angry boyfriend, stood against the wall with his arms crossed. Jupiter wanted Venus to experience life on her own and her father, the righteous one, wanted her as far away from Mars as she could get. Neptune, the drunken uncle's wife was in the kitchen making the potent Swedish drink, cosmic glug. It was part of the evening they had all planned and everyone was going to get snockered.
Pluto was dressed in his usual black suit with the wide lapels, black shirt and gray tie. He had hung his wide brim hat on the hook by the door. He had a drooping moustache and dark, piercing eyes. He didn't look four billion years old; he looked like five.
Saturn, somewhat more than four billion, wore a staid gray suit that draped him like sheet rock. His clothes were a throwback to days less complicated. His visage was stern and unyielding and he believed in tough love and education. But in this instance, he wanted Jupiter to compromise with him and Venus to abide by their construct. If she didn’t, he thought she was in for sex without ending and would probably get pregnant. Mercury and his twin, Ditto, sat on the floor making plans to get at the glug.
Jupiter, a large man, wore voluminous sweat pants that hung low and showed too much of his rear end when he bent over. His polo shirt was too small and rose up over his belly and he was hirsute to say the least. He didn’t care what the construct was going to be, he just wanted it to be big, negative or positive. He was one who liked to feed the fire and with Uranus stumbling toward him, everyone was waiting for an explosion. When Saturn and Uranus got together, especially with opposing viewpoints, you could expect some cracks in the sheet rock and flashes of temper. They all knew nothing would be the same in the morning.
“She doesn’t need this wild and crazed idiot with no common sense or direction” said Saturn. “All he wants to do is fight and have sex. How is he going to support our Venus? Go start a war and bring home some plunder? Hire himself out as a gigolo?”
Venus tried to hide a smile at the mention of sex. Pluto glowered at her and she quickly turned away, a little embarrassed but content in the knowledge that Mars would bring her what she needed most. Just as long as he didn’t get carried away.
Jupiter, his belly rubbing against the edge of the table, said, “She’s old enough to decide for herself, Pop. Heck, in a millenium, she’ll be four. We have no right to decide her life for her. Besides, Mars is a pretty cool guy, though I admit he can get full of himself, especially when he’s hanging with the Lions.” He was full of energy and determined to go straight ahead with this.
Uranus, never satisfied with the status quo, leaned over Jupiter and glared directly at Saturn. He was dressed in an ultra modern style with sharp edges and razor creases. His outfit was colorful and his ideas radical. And he was drunk. No one knew what would come out of his mouth next.
“I say let ‘em be, Saturn. Who in the hell are we to get in their way? I kind of like the boy lately and I can identify with him. Besides, if you try to corral them with your crappy old ideas, they’re gonna run off by themselves.” He coughed, then sneezed and his breath smelled like absinthe. Jupiter tried to move away but Uranus had him pinned against the table. He felt the back of his head for foreign material.
“Look, you upstart! said Saturn. “No one even knew about you until recently and we all know you’re liable to go off in any direction, maybe all of ‘em at once! You need to chill here or I’ll shut you down like a bad idea!”
“What!?” screamed Uranus. He wasn’t going away without a fight. “I’m your brother. I can’t help it if your mother isn’t my mother, but you gotta get with the times! The world wants more freedom to choose than you’re willing to give. I’m telling you, Jupiter and I are gonna give you more than your money’s worth. The two of us together can create a lot of havoc!” Jupiter perked up at the sound of his name. His eyes grew wide and he had a silly grin on his face because he had always chafed at the limitations set down by his dad.
“Don’t you threaten me, you half baked son of a drunken bitch!” Saturn was beginning to turn red with anger and everyone knew that he could cause a lot of pain and misery if he chose to. You don’t have a clue as to what I can do! I’ll lock you up so tight it’ll take you another billion to get free!”
By now, Pluto had seen enough. Always calm and supremely dangerous, he could draw upon resources that the others wouldn’t believe. He could cut the legs off anyone who doubted his power. He was already tired of this childish bickering and decided to do something about it. He turned slowly toward Saturn, his eyes flashing.
“Okay, boy, I’ve heard enough. You’re trying to exert controls that have no place here. You’re going to change your attitudes about your daughter and her boyfriend, Mars. I’m the one who’s going to determine the new structure around here. Nothing is going to be the same, and if you fight me, I tell you that you’ll crumble. There’s no place left for this rigidity you’re always forcing on others. You will change with the times or you’ll never see peace again!” Then he turned to Jupiter with the same fire in his eyes.
“Grandson, you have always been too big for your britches. No common sense and no caring where you send that energy of yours. It’s up to the choice of the individuals in this world to use or abuse it. It’s generic, boy, and you give it out like candy. You need to start all over and decide how to present yourself. I suspect that in about twelve years you’ll have figured it out, but right now, with Uranus on your ass, you’d better think fast.”
He turned his head toward Uranus, who was growing more sober by the minute. “You, too, boy rebel. If you’re gonna blow in here and upset the place, you’d better have a purpose in mind because you and Jupiter together with Mars over there, can turn this world upside down.” Venus was now sitting quietly, her eyes wide. She wasn’t sure what was going to happen now. She did know, though, that come August 20, she and Mars would connect regardless of what was decided here. It was inevitable.
Pluto looked around the table his gaze settling on one planet at a time. He had everyone’s rapt attention and it was time for his ultimatum. “What we all need to do is get my daughter-in-law, Moon, to open her arms again and provide all of us with a place to go when it gets tough. No matter what’s going on, what mischief you create, you can always come home. I know all of this fighting is upsetting her, she’s just so damn gentle.”
Everyone turned to see Moon coming out of the kitchen with two freshly baked loaves of bread. She took her seat across from Pluto and smiled the sweetest smile you’ve ever seen.
“He’s right. Home is always sanctuary and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So you guys go out and change the world and Venus, Neptune, the twins and I will work to make this the best home you’ve ever seen.”
“Uranus, sober up, Jupiter grow up, and my wonderful, faithful husband, Saturn, loosen up. Mars you’re going to have to make me proud to have you as part of this family. A lot of refinement is in the cards for you. If you’re going to lead, you have to sacrifice some of that ego of yours. Calm down and make us proud.”
And to Neptune, still in the kitchen making the booze, she called, “Just for once, don’t cloud the issues with that cosmic confusion of yours! You’re in a position to offer creative new ways of working through the chaos. Pretty soon you’ll be asked to join them.
Is that brew ready yet? I’m pretty thirsty and I know everyone else needs a jolt!” With her smile wide she was happy and satisfied with her family. Each had their own talents and she knew that they would work together to bring Spirit into the world.