The Scumbug has taken Julia to a tiny planet in the Big Empty, the space between galaxies infested with Easy Cheese, whatever that means.
I read The Little Prince for the first time just a few weeks ago. It’s a novella, and there are pictures, so I wonder why I never bothered reading it before. I guess it was just time for me to read it now, while I’m writing Scumbug Scrambag, because I think I want to hit some of the same notes. Besides Julia now living on a small planet, I think the rest of Scumbug Scrambag should present a Little Prince-style message about what it means to be a kid, an adult, or a mortal in general.
Most characters in The Little Prince never interact with any other characters except the Prince as he visits them on their isolated space-rocks. Meanwhile, on The Little Prince’s Earth, adults interact only via a rigid, empty worldview and are therefore might as well be on isolated space-rocks.
I suppose Scumbug Scrambag is something like Leon the Professional told in the style of The Little Prince. We only meet two humans:
- Earth’s ambassador, a morally bankrupt but thus financially successful tech-CEO
- and Julia, a little girl who’s grown up coping with a world run by people like the ambassador.
Oh, also a bodyguard who got beat-up in chapter one, and all the ambassador’s bodyguards, but they only exist to be killed by evil alien hit-men, so they don’t really count. It’s the fact they don’t count that counts.
Aside from humans we meet aliens who, as the Scumbug suggests, fit into one of two categories: those who eat their parents, and those who eat their offspring. That relationship continues a cycle called the Big Cheese.
Flaybos wouldn’t dare eat their jeorbs. Flaybos exist to be eaten by jeorbs who continue to tell their story! That’s all a flaybo is! Eating their jeorbs would be like eating themselves.
The seahorse protects his children and sends his salary back to his home-planet. Metaphorically, he lives his life for them and they therefore “consume” him.
Germa the Gerbil knows his momma could’ve snapped him up with the rest of his clutch.
In the next chapter, maybe we’ll see how Lady Mantoid’s species works—but I’d say we’re due to see another alien eat the hand that feeds it.
And how does the Scumbug fit in? It claims to have eaten its kids, but what could it’s parents even be? Bigger sludge with bigger lumps?
And… us? Where do we fit in? Are we doomed to be like the ambassador? I hope not.