by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

Many years ago, I was born from a great spark of life.
Some years pass and finally, within the night I drive away, leaving behind my ever luminous father. And so begins my epic journey. . .
I come upon first my big brother, Mercury. He tells me, “You can’t stay here, dear brother, although you are most welcomed, I know you will find yourself too close to home. You are still too young and there is much more to see—expand yourself, like our family has done so.”

I take my brother’s advice and continue my travels to meet my inner relatives. I next came upon auntie Venus. I stopped to greet her. She is envious of her twin sister, Earth, whom was bestowed upon with such beauty and radiance, and she given a yellow glow.

“Auntie Venus, I am sure there is much more to it than meets the eye. Surely mother Earth doesn’t think you putrid, and like you, I am sure she is in pain. You are beautiful too, auntie Venus—your radiant glow is unique, so please, do not despair.”

Auntie Venus lightly sighs, and sheds her sulfur tears. She calls to mother Earth, “I am sorry, sister. Please converse with me. . .”

I wave auntie Venus “farewell” and continue my trip, for my next stop is mother Earth. The pale blue glow you can see for miles and miles. Until finally, as I come near and converse what the matter is. She quivers with pain, and is sick. . .her inhabitants, detrimental to her health. “Oh, dear boy, I am sick. I am bring continuously poked, and prodded. My gifts to them, as I’ve tried to befriend, only become vanquished. They war, and toil over the slightest thing. My natural balance checks become criticized, and I am hated, damned, and cursed. I am so sad; I do not know how to keep going on.”

I comfort mother Earth, and reassure her. “Surely they are thankful, dear mother, and auntie Venus would surely understand your sadness as she thinks you prettier than she. Perhaps you should converse with her, as it would offer support. For soon I must go.” Mother Earth nodded; her oceans swelled, and she began to cry.

As I left mother Earth, I came to be greeted by my other elder brother, Mars.

“Brother Mars! What has happened to you? You have so many scars!” I questioned my ginger space-pocked brother.

“Ah, it is you, Pluto! You have come quite far and are so young. The scars are from my travels, dear brother. I have earned many and they remind me of each event, and formation. As you travel, brother, you will accompany some, especially, when you find your place. You are young now to understand, but you will come to know with time. Fare thee well, brother, and thank you for visiting me!” Brother Mars shook my hand and waved me off goodbye.

Sometime later, I would come upon uncle Jupiter. “My, Uncle, how you have grown!” Uncle Jupiter laughed heartily as the jolly soul he was. “Dear nephew! My, my it has been so long since I last saw you, you have come quite far. Yes, yes I have grown, but with it comes indigestion, I am afraid, ha ha,” Uncle Jupiter joked.

I pointed to a red spot that swirled relentlessly. “Uncle, how did you get that scar there?”

Jupiter shook his head. “My boy, that is no scar, but a gift with time! For you see, we all have our flaws and features—your father too.”

I nodded in understanding. “I see uncle, thank you for letting me visit!”

“No, dear boy, thank you for visiting me! I wish you well on your journey.” Uncle Jupiter waved me off—goodbye.

I come next upon my sister Saturn. “Dear sister, how have you been? You have matured into such beauty, and I see you have wedded!

“Oh, brother, it is you. I see you have made quite the trip. Have you seen the others?” She kindly replied.

I hugged my sister Saturn. “Why yes, I saw our brothers, Mercury, and Mars. I also saw auntie Venus, mother Earth, and uncle Jupiter, before coming to visit you.”

“Yes, brother, far before you were born you, with father’s blessing, I was wedded. As you can see I have several children who still are but babies.” Saturn showed me her sleeping satellites.

“I hope to one day find my place as you have, and one day be as fortuitous as you, farewell, sister.” I waved goodbye to my sister Saturn, my nieces and nephews.

“Goodbye, brother,” she waved back.

As I continued on my journey, I came to my old friend, and closest brother, Neptune. He was alone, and blue, his sadness apparent and clear. I came unto him and questioned what was the matter.

“Dearest, Neptune, how are you fairing? Why are you so blue?”

“Ah, dear Pluto, it is you. It has been ages since I last saw my wife, Uranus. She comes and goes, but it is never for too long. I know she is faithful, and I, her, for there is never a doubt. I only wish to be off the road and be one with her.”

Neptune weeps as his blue hue is lightened for just a bit as he speaks with me.

“Tell me, young Pluto, you have grown so much—even if you are but small—you’ve journeyed far and wide, tell me is it only to reminisce?”

I shake my head. “No, old friend, for I am now growing too old. I wish to find a place to settle. Albeit, I enjoy the company and conversation; I think soon you may call me “neighbor,” for then you will not be so blue!”

Neptune genuinely laughs. “You always did have a sense of humor Pluto. I wish you well on your journey, and if you see Uranus, please tell her I miss her greatly. I bid you farewell, Pluto.”

As we wave goodbye to one another, I drift along further along alone. For I now understand of Neptune’s depression of being away from his love. Occasionally, I speak to the stars that I pass, to pass the time wandering the starry road; each one’s story more complex, unique, and everlasting.

How much time has passed during all this traversing. At long last, I come upon Uranus.

I wave hello to her, and she welcomes me.

“Uranus, Neptune tells me of his great chasm of missing you. His heart aches as you have been distant from him for some time.”

Uranus sighed. “I know and it is not my choice, sir friend and brother of my Neptune. My travels alone have become so that I end further from my love.”

“He knows you be true, Uranus. As he waits for you and commits himself to endure as long as it takes, and will surely remain happy for when he sees you pass.” I assured her.

Uranus smiled, “Thank you for your kind words, Pluto.”

“It has become that time; I must venture dear Uranus. I bid thee farewell, and I shall look for the day when you are reunited with Neptune.”

“You are so gray Pluto, seemingly old, yet so young and small. Are you well?”

“Uranus, your concern is noted, as I am well. Size does not matter as I have come to see on my journey, as it seemingly has begun.”

“Thank you, dear Pluto, at least we won’t be sad when we are apart, as we will have you in company.”

We waved goodbye to each other, and I further drifted away out to the outer reaches of space.

At long last, what has passed has become the past. My epic journey I had set off for concluded, for I have finally arrived in my place—my home. With Uranus and Neptune as my neighbors, I keep one company when the other is away. We converse on day’s end, to one another and with the stars. Although my journey has concluded, time still sifts through the sieve, and while it will be some millions or billions of years, when the others and I will be called home for when father’s light goes out. As for now, however, we have only just begun.

I am Pluto. . .and I am now home.

Pluto is a short story by Robert J. S. T. McCartney, available at A.B.Normal Publishing.

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