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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2158097
Children's Story: Rebellion on a planet of Garbage Makers vs. Garbage Eaters
Written for "Adaptive Writers Contest

Prompt: You're the general of an army tasked with stopping an odd rebellion, but what makes the rebellion so odd?

We are allowed to take liberties with the prompt, so I'm not a general of an army. It's just a story about the rebellion.
Also, somehow it turned into a children's story, but whatever. I didn't say it had to be an adult story.

Word Count: 1428

Currently, in a galaxy far, far away, there is a planet where everyone is divided--divided by every division possible. There are Sprinters vs. Distance Runners, Money Makers vs. Money Spenders, Dessert Lovers vs. Ben, etc. It used to be Dessert Lovers vs. Jerry and Ben, but then one day Jerry tried some ice cream and immediately defected. Well, not immediately. There's actually a lot of paperwork involved with changing sides, but in the end, it was worth it. Anyway, I digress. This is a story about the Garbage Makers vs. the Garbage Eaters. (What? Did you think they just through their garbage away like a bunch of trolls? Of course not! Someone has to eat all that garbage!)

You see, the Garbage Makers just make garbage as they go about their daily lives. They make garbage during breakfast. They make garbage during lunch. They make garbage during dinner. They make garbage during work. They make garbage during play. Some even make garbage during sleep. They make a LOT of garbage. What happens to all this garbage? Well, enter the Garbage Eaters. Well, they don't really "enter." I mean, they don't enter the home of every Garbage Maker. That would just be weird, but you know what I mean. Now, stop making me digress...

So, one might think that the Garbage Eaters would, themselves, be quite tidy. One would be wrong. Just as on some planets, the mothers think they have a right to be messy in the kitchen because they are the only ones who clean it...or the fathers think they have a right to be messy in the workshop because they are the only ones who clean it...or the children think they have a right to be messy just because they are children--wait, that's not a good example, but you know what I mean. And, for all you Earthlings reading this, I'm obviously not talking about Earth. Earth children are considered to be among the tidiest in the universe. And Earth mothers and Earth fathers often interchange duties. Or at least there is a lot of complaining if the duties aren't shared. Wait, how do I keep digressing?

So, the Garbage Eaters eat Garbage Makers' garbage. And the Garbage Eaters eat Garbage Eaters' garbage. Interestingly, exactly along this division is the division of Polite vs. Unpolite. Now, they aren't impolite. They just simply aren't polite. The Garbage Eaters are polite. They tell the Garbage Makers thank you for the garbage they receive. But the Garbage Makers never say thank you to the Garbage Eaters for eating their garbage. They never even say, "You're welcome." They simply aren't polite. They may smile or nod. As I've said, the Garbage Makers aren't impolite. They just simply aren't polite. But being polite is a very important thing. After all, without politeness, feelings could get hurt, anger could brew, rebellions could break out. This isn't another digression. That's exactly what happened. A rebellion broke out among the Garbage Eaters.

Plain and simply, the Garbage Eaters were tired of eating everyone's garbage without so much as a "thank you" or even a "you're welcome." And certainly a "please" was never uttered. Though in the defense of the Garbage Makers, the Garbage Eaters also never said "please." But they really didn't have any call to. The garbage was usually just lying around, free for the taking, or at most, handed to them, so they never had to ask for it. Yet another digression. I apologize. You might be interested to know that there is also a Digressors vs. Non-Digressors division on this planet. I belong to the first group, though I'm not even from this planet. Nor am I a part of this story--another digression.

In any event, the Garbage Eaters were fed up, so to speak, with the Garbage Makers...or "the Unpolites" as they tended to call them. The Garbage Eaters got together and decided to rebel. This was it. No more garbage eating for the Garbage Eaters. Of course, this is a bit ironic. Partly because of their name and partly because they also made garbage, but they refused to eat even their own garbage, just to spite the Garbage Makers.

Now, it didn't take long for the garbage to begin building up. With both the Garbage Eaters and the Garbage Makers both making garbage, it quickly gets out of hand. There is garbage from breakfast. There is garbage from lunch. There is garbage from dinner. There is garbage from work. There is garbage from play. There is even some garbage from sleep. There is garbage in the kitchen. There is garbage in the hall. There is garbage in the yard. There is garbage building up a wall.

The Garbage Makers were very confused. They couldn't understand why the Garbage Eaters weren't eating the garbage any more.

All the Garbage Eaters would say is, "You know why." But in reality, the Garbage Makers didn't. They'd never been mean or even rude to the Garbage Eaters, so what could have caused this to happen.

Finally, "The One Who Did Not Love Desserts," also known as Ben, decided enough is enough. He got tired of climbing up garbage hills and drudging through garbage valleys. He called the Garbage Eaters and the Garbage Makers together. (Notice I'm doing much better at not digressing now that the story is really rolling along.)

"We have a problem," Ben says to everyone.

"We certainly do," says one Garbage Eater.

"Yes, we do," agrees a Garbage Maker.

So, tell me, Garbage Makers, what is the problem from your point of view?"

"The Garbage Eaters stopped eating all the garbage!"

"And why is that?" He asks.

The Garbage Makers look at each other, then look at the garbage around them. In truth, they had no idea why.

"Now tell me, Garbage Eaters, what is the problem from your point of view?"

"The Unpolites are never polite. They never tell us "thank you" or "you're welcome." They don't appreciate what we do."

"Ah," says Ben.

"Ah," say the Garbage Makers.

"Ah" says one of the Garbage Eaters, but everyone ignores him.

"So," says Ben, "the Unpolites are simply being as they are, unpolite. They are not being impolite, but just unpolite."

"Yes, it is so." The Garbage Eaters say, less strongly now, realizing that they were expecting an Unpolite to be a Polite, which is not what they are...at least, not without a lot of official, defection paperwork.

"And tell me, Garbage Eaters, what did you do to help the Garbage Makers understand your feelings?"

The Garbage Eaters all look at their feet, or rather, where their feet should be, if they weren't all covered in garbage.

"So, now Garbage Makers, you are, in fact, unpolite, which is, in fact, not polite. Why do you never tell the Garbage Eaters "thank you" and "you're welcome"?"

This time it is the Garbage Makers' turn to look at the space where their feet should be, hidden beneath the mounds of garbage.

Now, keep in mind, that Ben had no right, no power, and no authority to deem what was right. He only had common sense, but in some cases, that is all that is needed for one to be listened to. Ben speaks again.

"So, from here on out, there shall no longer be a divide between the Polites and the Unpolites. The paperwork shall be done and all shall become Polites."

Grumbling begins to rumble and rumbling begins to grumble.

Then finally, someone speaks up, "But there must be a divide. There must be some division. We cannot all be as one or we do not know who we are!"

"So be it," states Ben. "The Garbage Makers shall become Polites and shall, from now on, say "thank you" and "you're welcome" to the Garbage Eaters. And the Garbage Eaters shall say "please" and "thank you" to the Garbage Makers. And the division shall be the Polites vs. Ben, also known as the Super Polite, because I will say "please,' "thank you," and "you're welcome."

Again, there is grumbling and rumbling, but then a cheer breaks out through the edges of the crowd and overtakes them all.

Ben smiles to himself. It would take a little getting used to, but he feels this new way of life would be even better than before.

"Garbage Eaters?" Ben says, "Would you please begin eating our garbage again?"

"We'd be happy to," they say. "Thank you!"

"You're welcome and thank you for eating our garbage again." Ben smiles again. This wouldn't be as hard as he'd expected.

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