The sun was feeling more ok with the moon lately. For awhile it hated the moon because the humans on planet 3 thought it was "the night sun," which is 100% not true at all. But now the humans were a little smarter and they knew the sun was way, way better than the moon.
But for awhile there ... the sun wanted to smash the moon into 15 smaller moons that would take centuries to form into little moon balls, rotating stupidly around the earth and making weird kinds of tides that would punish the humans for their ignorance.
The sun wondered if other stars hated a moon quite like the sun hated the earth's moon. Probably not.
A girl named Kaylee lived on the sun, in a small white house with a lawn that was on fire all the time. Kaylee wore pigtails every day and had lots of temporary tattoos on her right arm, tattoos that changed every day. Today she had one of a butterfly and one of a small piglet.
She had been bummed lately because she didn't have a job. Her tax return was slowly running out and she needed something quick. She would have tried to become a waitress but she was always afraid that she would drop the tray full of drinks because her wrist seemed thin and weak.
Instead of looking at job websites, Kaylee looked at her eHarmony profile. In her picture she was laying on her stomach, smirking at the camera with blonde bangs over her eyes, and you could see her monkey pajama pants in the back. This picture had received a lot of interest from men, who would say things like, "You seem like a sweet pea" or "looking comfy in that bed."
One guy was named Joe, and he worked at a frame shop. He was young and divorced but had a nice face, like a yellow bird or a smiling lion. Kaylee liked looking at his profile and thinking about how he said he liked sleeping with a fan on at night.
She sent him a message asking if he wanted to come over and watch Hulu and eat popcorn and he said yes.
Things were odd on the sun starting from about January of that year, because it seemed to be getting colder and colder. This was mostly because of a strange mood the sun was in. It felt like exerting massive pressure on its core and creating chemical reactions was not that interesting anymore, for some reason.
On the day that Joe came over, Kaylee's lawn wasn't even on fire. It looked sad and crispy, and she found a basketball in the corner that she hadn't known was there. She threw it over her fence for the neighbors.
Joe was wearing a flannel shirt and had two sub sandwiches wrapped in red checkered paper. They walked to the kitchen table and Joe put the sandwiches on it. He looked at Kaylee and thought that she looked pretty like he thought she would, and kind of shorter/skinnier, but he didn't say so. Kaylee thought that Joe looked maybe "too cute" for her but felt that he was divorced so that was a weird/bad thing that might be hard to explain to her mom.
"Do you have anything to drink?" Joe asked.
"I have some ginger ale."
She produced 1/3 of a bottle of wine and a bottle of peppermint schnapps and Joe looked confused. They decided to take one shot each and then they sat on the couch together and watched old episodes of SNL. They kissed during a commercial for mascara and both felt that the other one tasted like mayonnaise.
They decided to hang out that Sunday night. By then, it was even colder on the sun, and the sun was even more depressed. Its initial drop in temperature was on the news, and people were talking about the sun "failing." This seemed kind of glamorous in a way, and the sun started to fantasize about becoming a rock.
Joe lived in an electrical zone, where there were constant storms all the time that sometimes zapped thousands of miles into space. He lived in a house made of rubber, where he spent a lot of his time making his own guitars and then selling them on eBay. He had a small dalmation that was named Howard.
He volunteered to pick Kaylee up because she was worried about getting electrocuted on her bike. He tried to find music she would like and ended up just putting on The Foo Fighters.
When they got back, they ate cheeseburgers together and drank about six beers each. Kaylee hadn't drank very much and got drunk easily. She made a strawberry Pop Tart and stared out the window. She felt like touching, and also suspected that the right corner of the ground was spinning or at least swooping around. She heard a loud thwack and saw a curl of lightning hit the rubber house.
Joe had gone into the bedroom while Kaylee ate her Pop Tart, and he was sitting on the bed thinking about GIFs. She finally came in and took off her tank top and fell asleep on top of the covers.
People said the sun was shrinking. Scientists even on the earth could see it. Every date the two had, it got colder and colder. Kaylee felt depressed about this, but also thought, "Maybe I won't need a job cuz I'm also going to die soon." Sirens started going off with such frequency that people's blood started pumping in the same rhythm. Everyone got small brown, recycled-looking letters on their stoops marked "Urgent," that said they were supposed to evacuate.
The sun knew it was alienating people, but it seemed like time to just hang out. It felt like maybe it wasn't spending its energies right, and instead of burning hot all over, it should occasionally send out one huge flare that would reach like a billion miles into space. That would be cool, like something not that many stars have done.
Joe and Kaylee moved to the earth together even though they didn't know each other that well. They thought they might live somewhere like Baltimore. When they got there, they went to McDonald's and bought some chicken selects and french fries. Joe asked, "What do you think of it here?"
"Seems pretty cold."
< Ani Smith
Brandi Wells >