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Author: Sandrine Spycher
International Question Federation
My name is—oh forget it, that’s not important. What is important is that I work at the International Question Federation. What is that? you ask. Ah… well, that’s the whole point, the core of the Federation: the interrogation mark. I’ve always been amazed by human punctuation signs, especially that one. A big half circle, a little straight coda, and a final dot. “?” Several shapes in one, as disorganized as you could possibly make it; the perfect symbol of the interrogation I guess.
But I’m getting carried away in digressions here. So, what kind of work would I be doing at the IQF? Well, my job is in fact very simple. I just have to answer the phone. After that, everything depends on the question. My job, you see, is to bring answers to people’s questions. Some of them are of the weirdest sort, but the interrogators never expect me to fail to respond. No matter what the response is, there has to be one. I said my job was simple, not easy.
Sometimes I regret that time when the IQF hotline didn’t exist and they just threw their questions into thin air with no real expectation of being answered. Ah, I’m feeling nostalgic now. That time seems so long ago. At that time, I could just overlook the most difficult questions like “Why are there so many wars?” or “Why are some people victims of hunger?” How could I possibly know? No, I mean, seriously, how could I guess? I gave you my best world and you just keep fucking it up, so now deal with it!
Very sorry, I’m getting carried away again. Of course I never actually answered that to anyone. And so came the thirty-first century bringing new technology along, and all of a sudden my mysterious ways were not so mysterious anymore.
Anyway, the IQF hotline is how I work nowadays. What do I get in return? you ask. I get an incredible reward in exchange for my answers, the best that could be: I get to exist. You see, if I didn’t work my ass off to respond to all those questions, people would eventually stop asking them. They would just acknowledge that they cannot know everything and they would live with it. They would stop wondering, and they would stop believing.
And what am I if they don’t believe? I’d lose everything. From the home in the sky some of them built for me to the various names they like to call me. I’d lose my only link to this world I imagined and gave life to. I’d have no purpose and would slowly vanish, carried away by my own wind.
So that’s why I keep picking up this shitty human instrument known as a phone. And I keep inventing, imagining, creating answers. Answers that mostly come from them really. They amaze me with their continuous wars and battles and struggles and misunderstandings and rebellions and ridiculous fears. They entertain me with their questions and I give it back to them in their own words. I guess in the end you could say that they made me as much as I made them.