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Monday 16 September 2013

KBR Short Story: How to Juggle Planets

by Yvonne Mes

I can juggle anything. I can juggle balls, scarves, even my sister’s dolls. I love being in the spotlight. Teacher walks out of class? I juggle a few pencil cases and everyone cheers, but the new kid, Alvin, was after trouble.

When the teacher left and I started my usual routine, he began. “Oh, that’s nothing! My cousin can do better than that.” On and on he went. Seems like his cousin was a regular Captain Marvel.

That’s when the words flew out.

“Well, I can juggle anything.”

“Oh, yeah? Anything?” He scrunched up his eyebrows, trying to think up something impossible. “See if you can juggle the planets.”

PLANETS? No way! But the look of expectation on the faces around me made me shrug my shoulders. “Sure, no worries.”

There was only one thing to do: come up with a plan. I like a bit of a challenge, so my mind went into hyper drive. What were the planets again? Mercury the heavy one, Venus the hot one. Now, Earth is a bit watery, but not too much of a problem. Mars—bit like Earth but drier. Easy.   

The real problem was that I was up to four planets, and I couldn’t juggle any more than four things at a time.

“Meet me in the library during break,” I squeaked, covering the squeak with a cough. Didn’t want them to think I was worried now, did I?

When I trudged to the library, my brain began to hurt. Juggling eight planets seemed impossible. By the time I arrived, it looked like Alvin had spread the word because the whole school was crammed inside.

“Give him some room. Planet juggler coming through,” Alvin shouted, elbowing people out of the way.

I stood smack bang in the middle of the library. My plan was simple. I looked up, climbed a chair and took down the solar system display hanging from the ceiling. It had been there so long, most people forgot it was there. Not me, I like planets.          

I removed the sun and moons.

“Quit stalling,” sneered Alvin, “You got your planets—nice trick. Let’s see if you can keep them up.”

I didn’t even know how to hold them all. Jupiter was way too large and heavy. Funny, as it was supposed to be made up of gas.

That was the answer! Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are gas planets! Being puffs of gas, they’re able to float by themselves!

I dumped them in the fish tank and there they bobbed between panicked fish.

“They’re floating.” I told an astonished Alvin. Before he could protest, I threw up the remaining planets and juggled to the sound of the roaring crowd.

Alvin turned a fiery red. If he was a spaceship he would have combusted.

I was pretty spectacular in my planetary spotlight.

KBR Short Stories are a way to get your work ‘out there’—and to delight our KBR readers. Stories are set to a monthly theme and entries are due in the 25th of each month. Find out more here.