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«Wait, what?»

Of course, the phone didn’t answer her. She went quickly through surprise, shock/embarrassment and relief: no one heard her dumb question.

But the question remained, just not in a form that she could perceive. Humans perceive questions as language and mostly process them as part of a whole, needing an answer. Humans perceive questions as letters, syllables, or fluctuations in air pressure, or something else that ultimately ends up in the brain.

There’s a particular kind of being that comes into being by virtue of a vacuum that needs to be filled. A question is often a good enough vacuum, small enough to go unnoticed by larger, avid beings like local gods. A little some-thing popped into existence with the same certainty and memories as if it had always existed.

After all, why wouldn’t it? It’s obvious that this «Wait, what?» had a different meaning than the one uttered an ocean away, on the subject of a badly translated kitchen order. Even though the words were simple, they hid a whole building of facts, assumptions and previous knowledge. The foundation for that question had been laid years and years before, it was merely an accident that she was the first one to listen to the IVR recording.

But someone had put the recording in place. Someone who wanted to raise the point that:

  • Technology whatever it may mean,
  • can affect the quality of life of an abstract person or group,
  • was meant to improve such quality of life again, semantics,
  • and has failed to do so.

«Thank you! Your question has been recorded. You are being forwarded to an agent. Please hold, your call is very important to us…»

DemonCrawl ⇐ Part of Brevity Quest 2020 (283 words) ⇒ If You Have to Ask