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Time is an illusion

Another bit of flash fiction I had fun writing. The interaction of it worked for me. If you are not having fun writing it, what is the point?

Time is an illusion

“Time is an illusion.” Was the first words he said to me. His bright eyes smiled mischief and too much of time showed on his face. The robes marked him as an elder priest in the golden temple.

Despite the cliched line. I had to smile back. I hadn’t expected any clergy to be on duty, but I could adapt. It was best to humor him, so he didn’t call for help.

“That is what they say.” I replied with a little bow, “but they also say time is of the essence.”

I tried to push past the old priest, but he humbly stepped in the way. There was no burst of speed, he just stepped lightly into my path. His bare feet barely made a sound.

“That is an interesting point.” He continued, as he blocked my path to the gilded altar. “But if time is an illusion, and time is of the essence, does that mean that essential things are also an illusion?”

“What?” I asked as I failed to move the old man. The gold on the alter was practically calling to me and the diversion I set up for the guards wouldn’t last forever.

“If essential things are illusions, then we surely don’t need them.”

“Okay,” I said as I tried to dance in circles to confuse the priest. For a man of the cloth, who lived in a temple for nearly 100 years, he was a remarkably good dancer.

“And if we don’t need them, then we need not hurry.” The priest said smiling at me. His movements deftly turned me around, so I was facing the wrong way. 

“I suppose so?” I said trying to keep up. I tried to spin back around.  A well-placed walking stick interrupted the spin and I teetered dangerously close to the end of the temple steps. The kindly priest caught my belt and rotated me down to a seat on the steps. The wrinkled face lowered down to mine. His brown face had deep lines from 100 years of smiling.

“Well,” he said with a well-worn voice, “That is it then.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked him with exasperation because I was tired and confused. I generally have a rule against striking men of the clergy, but I was beginning revise that policy.

“There is no need to hurry. Nothing is important enough to worry about, so why bother even keeping track of time. That is what the saying means. That is its truth.”

“What saying?” I asked finally standing back up.  It was a shame to have to kill the old man but he was slowing me down. As I reached for my knife a loud boom echoed through the halls of the golden temple.

The old man smiled and stepped back as guards who were no longer distracted raced into the temple. The jig, as they say, was up.

As I turned to run I could hear the laughter from the priest as he replied. “Time is an illusion.”

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