Jane and Mark found the cycle path that had once been the railway line to Selby. Now models of the planets were spaced out to scale along the route. The sun was just down from Tesco near the edge of the racecourse. They sped past Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter. They stopped beyond Saturn at the Trust Hut and bought Fruit Shoots.
“This is marriage,” she said.
“Drinking Fruit Shoots?” he said.
“This. The solar system,” she said. “Light and explosions at the start, then so much happens so quickly. Planet! Planet! Planet! Work! Children! Houses! And then the planets spread out.”
“It’s not our marriage because I couldn’t be an astronaut,” he said. “They wouldn’t have a vegan astronaut.”
“We’re not astronauts,” she said. “Marriage is just the solar system.”
Uranus and Neptune were miles apart. Jane and Mark spent a long time looking for Pluto. The track stopped at a small car park by the A19. They leant their bikes against a fence and poked around the hedges.
“Maybe they took Pluto away,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a planet anymore.”
Pluto, they found, was at the top of an overgrown slope. Pluto was pea-sized and on its plinth someone had written tosser.
“Isn’t tosser a bit eighties?” he said.
“Time and space,” she said.
“So your marriage solar system thing,” he said. “Marriage ends up near a car park just short of Selby and someone’s written tosser? It doesn’t really work.”
“It works,” she said.
William Davidson lives in York, England. His stories have been published in Synaesthesia Magazine and The Puffin Review.