Yee and Lan: A Romance

Kirk Israel (

a version of this work has been beautifully illustrated by Marissa Saradpon
	Once upon a time, in a solar system that is *so* so far away from 
here that you wouldn't believe me if I told you, were two planets.  Their 
names were Yee and Lan, and they loved each other very much.  Every time 
they saw each other they would whisper planet secrets, or share wisps of 
atmosphere, or tell silly jokes that caused them to shake with contintent-
sized giggles.
	But they were a little sad, because it was *so* long between 
times that they got to be near each other, what with orbital mechanics 
being what they are and all.  Most of the time they had to gaze from 
afar, and make up little songs about the stars and the cold and the one 
that they loved.
	Centuries went by, and one time as they passed, reaching out 
through the cold and emptiness to be with one another, Yee slipped Lan a 
moon, because Yee had three and Lan had none.  Lan looked so perfect
with the new moon that all the other planets were a little jealous, and 
Yee didn't mind giving up that moon at all.
	So the planets kept on dancing to the math-music ofthe universe, and 
Lan's moon was admired by all, until one day an evil-minded ice-hearted 
comet viciously slammed into it, shattering it into a thousand thousand 
pieces.  At that time, Yee was all the way on the other side of the sun 
and couldn't hear the wails and shouts that rocked Lan through and through.  
All the nearby planets, who were jealous anyway, made fun of Lan.  Lan 
was so ashamed of what had happended to the moon, so generously given by 
Yee, that Lan began to dread their next meeting.  
	But the old equations had their say, and after so long they were 
together again.  Lan was almost afraid to look at Yee, but Yee reached 
out a wisp of atmosphere in comfort.  Yee hesitated a minute, because 
all planets know how beautiful moons are, but then went ahead and smashed 
the two remaining moons together so that Lan would have no reason to be 
feel bad.  
	So around and around they went, so very much in love that they 
thought they would burst, even though they looked a little bare, and felt 
a little cold without their lovely moons.  But then, something beautiful 
happened- their shimmering bits of moon dust started to flatten out, and 
make two large circles, one for each of them.  And before too long, the 
circles became rings, great big wonderful rings, sparkling in the pure 
sunlight, the wonder of that solar system, and some said even the galaxy.
The other planets were too awed by Yee and Lan's new beauty to 
feel even the slightest drop of jealousy.
	And that is why, even on this planet, when two people have strong 
feelings for each other, so much love that they think they'll burst,  
sometimes they'll give each other rings, in memory of the planetary love 
of Yee and Lan.

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