The Conversation

A Short Story by Arne Sommer

The Conversation

'We find it quite amusing, you know', he said.

He had interrupted me mid-sentence. 'What?', I replied bruskly.

'Time. The concept of time'.

I looked at him, not knowing what he was getting at.

'It took quite a while to grasp it, and when we did, it still didn't make sense.' He looked sardonically at me. 'It was the devil who invented it in fact', he confided, leaning closer towards me.

I did not get it. 'Invented what?'

'Ah. The concept of time. Well, time as well; probably. We haven't quite ascertained that bit yet.' He shrugged. 'And do you know why he did that?'

Perhaps he was crazy. 'I haven't got the time for this nonsense', I started.

'You got it!' he exclaimed. 'He got stress into the bargain.'

I looked bewildered at him.

He looked amused. 'You still haven't got it, have you. The devil don't like you!'

'Me?' This was way beyond my grasp, but it sounded frightfully personal.

'Well, the human race at large, that is.'

'But why?'

He looked confused. 'Why what?'

'Why doesn't he like humans?'

He shrugged. 'Part of the job description, as you probably would say. No, seriously; we haven't grasped that one either.' He chuckled a little. 'But it wasn't a complete disaster, from our point of view. 'He hasn't had time, so to speak, to do something really evil since.'

Something didn't add up, but I didn't quite know what it was.

'We'll get it right; eventually.'

'We?' There it was. 'Who are you?'

'Yes, that is a tricky one.' He smiled. 'I guess you could call us the Good Guys'. He tried to look humble.

'This does not add up!' I complained.

'Quite. That is why we don't support numbers. They tend to confuse things.'

'Now, listen', I protested. 'It's the base for science.'

He shrugged. 'Well, you humans haven't proved our existence yet. The one, the trinity, and the combination; one equals three. That one does it all the time for you! Science!'