Eagerness to Work
rating: +1+x

Darkness. A small, enclosed space. Time seemed to have stopped.

All ten of them stood there, motionless. There were no panicked cries, however. None of them seemed to be afraid, they were used to being in such conditions from time to time, waiting for someone to free them from outside.

"How much longer do we have to wait? I'm getting sick of standing still in this cardboard box," shouted the one with the scythe in his hands, acting as impulsive as ever.
"Whatever it's necessary. You'll get sick of movement once they take us out," replied the one with the shovel.

Much more time passed. Seconds became hours, days became years. They were still standing there, impassive and patient. But something was wrong, they had never been locked up for such a long period of time.

"I'm starting to think that they're not going to take us out anymore," said the one holding the rake with sorrow.
"Did they replace us with electronic tools?" Asked the one with the axe, "I may be a little slow at times, but no chainsaw can match my efficiency. No gasoline, no electricity, and in total silence!"
"Don't be pessimistic, it's impossible for them to replace us with that junk," said the one with the watering can, who until now had said nothing. "Look at me. It would cost a lot to create an irrigation system that knows what to water, when, how and with what. The same goes for you, and for all of us. We are an irreplaceable team."
"So why don't they take us out? Did something happen to them?"
"Fuck it, I'll cut open the box right now and I'll go see what's going on," shouted the one with the scythe with his usual impetus.
"Don't move," said the one who never left his insecticide sprayer.
"Why not? I want to know what's going on."
"You hold on. Remember, none of us can move yet. Have you forgotten our oath?"
"How can I forget? We all made the same oath that day."
"Well, get your curiosity out of your head with that pointy cap, and stay there," he exclaimed in a firm tone. "We'll stay here, even if a meteorite falls and destroys the planet and everything on it."

No one spoke again that day, or the next, or any other. It was not until a week later that the silence was broken again.
"Have you thought about what would happen if we are no longer needed?" Asked the one with the rake.
"Don't be ridiculous, the purpose for which we exist is necessary for any society," said the one with the watering can.
"What if no one has gardens, orchards or forests anymore? What would happen if they were replaced by machines that do the same as trees, but need no one to take care of them?"
Before anyone could answer him, the small room began to shake.
"Someone has grabbed the box!" shouted one of the two men armed with a submachine gun.
"Finally, the idleness is over!"
Despite the fact that the ten stood stiff as statues, inside the tiny space there was an atmosphere of cheerfulness and joy that replaced the usual monotony. Although from the outside it was imperceptible.

Light flooded the room, and giant hands pulled the ten of them out of it. The view outside was something they had only seen for a relatively short time, very different from what they had been accustomed to since time immemorial. Huge men and women dressed in white coats, suits, military attire, orange jumpsuits…
All ten of them already knew these people, who used to point their fingers at them while calling them a series of letters and three numbers. They didn't behave like owners of a country house, it was more like a workplace. But it could be an oil refinery or a pig slaughterhouse, it didn't matter. As long as there was a garden, they were happy.
"Now that they've classified SCP-ES-054 as Safe, what are you going to do with them," said someone behind their back.
"I thought about leaving them out there in the gardens. A few good caretakers with no rest would be quite nice, plus their color matches the front of the building."
"I agree. Besides, we'll be able to watch them work in our spare time."

At last, the corridors ended after a door and they reached the outside. One by one, the ten garden gnomes were placed upright on the lawn. The humans began to talk about an irrelevant topic and walked away.
"For a moment I thought they were going to break us again." The one with the axe sighed, remembering his work accident.
"Me too, those people are insane."
The gnomes snapped out of their immobility and gathered in the center of the garden.
"The place is pretty neglected. We all have work to do."
"I'm going to start by pruning that oak tree."
"As soon as you finish, the two of us will remove the dead leaves and put them over there," said the one with the rake, next to the one holding a handcart.
"That blackberry bush is infested. Those bugs better pray as hard as they can," declared the one with the insecticide sprayer, preparing his tool.
"How long has it been since this grass was watered?" Asked the one with the watering can, while water appeared inside it as if an invisible faucet was filling it.

Once the ten gnomes had settled on their tasks, they lined up side by side in a straight line, standing firm as stakes.
"What are they doing? Why are they acting like that? pondered a man in a suit who was looking at them."
"I don't know. It's as if they were reciting an oath, or singing a hymn before getting to work," answered a woman in a white coat standing next to him.
"Yeah, it's even funny. Can you imagine what they would say if they could talk?"
As the two humans finished their coffee, the gnomes broke formation and scattered into the garden, ready to begin their own tasks.

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