I am standing at a bus stop with my invisibility shield on.

‘So when yous gon be red to see mans?’ The older boy asked his friend.

‘sup to bo man if em wan ait sum or not’ came the reply

I have been sent to earth to gather data and evaluate the use of the English language in 2100 to decide whether we upgrade our current use of it. Our planet went through an upgrade of how we spoke English back in 2013 and the elders need to know whether another one is needed so we can continue to monitor the humans.

As I had no idea what those boys said I was pretty sure we were going to have to upgrade. I reach into my pocket and pull out the digital translator that can translate everything a person says into the version of the English language I understand. I hold the digital translator up towards the two boys

‘sopping yous’lp on job mans’ave furm?’ the older boy said

I look down at my translator – it reads

‘I was hoping you will help me on a job that these guys have given me?’

‘moms’ll go crz tho if sh’atch us’ow,’ the younger boy replied. He paused for a second before continuing, ‘bus’nt gober whil’lts cut.’

I shook my head in disbelief and looked down at my translator. This was going to be harder than I thought.

‘Mom will go crazy though if she catches us you know,’ he said, followed by, ‘the bus isn’t going to be here for a while so let’s go.’

The two guys leave the bus stop and start walking. I keep my invisibility shield up and follow them. We walk past two women pushing babies in their electronic prams, they are laughing.

‘he’eed alov me whn I woz’ang’im, reetme’ace’ said one woman

Their laughter is contagious and I laugh even though I have no idea what she said or why I am laughing. I check out the translator.

‘He peed all over me when I was changing him, right in my face!’

I couldn’t work out why the human thought that was funny but I didn’t have time to contemplate that right now. I had to continue with the task at hand. I was no longer following the two boys because I found myself in the middle of an arena filled with people and conversations abound in this stunted version of the English language.

I translate over a million conversations and then set my intention to be back in my office. Once I materialise there I get to work on writing my report. The last upgrade had been hard work. We were talking the English language of 1834 at the time and upgrading to 2013 was difficult for many. Why do these humans insist on changing something that works so well I wonder?

 

Flash fiction story – 2100 Visitor

has been written by Diane Corriette

September 2013