Hello, World

"Hello, world," said Steven, not really expecting a reply. When he got one, he was astounded.

"Hello, Steven," said the world.

"Aaaa!" cried Steven. "What was that?!"

"That was me," said the world.

"Where are you?" asked Steven.

"I'm right here," said the world.

Steven backed into a corner, his lips trembling. He tried to speak, but was unable.

"Earth to Steven," said the world. "Are you still there?"

"Wh--who are you?" Steven managed to ask, timidly.

The world was nonplussed. Steven had said, "Hello, world," yet now he was acting as though he had had no expectation that a conversation would ensue. "Who were you expecting?" the world asked.

Seeing that this disembodied voice apparently intended him no harm, Steven became a little bolder. "How did you get into my house?" he demanded.

The world laughed. "I'm way too big to fit in a house!" it said.

"Then where are you?" asked Steven.

"I'm right below you," said the world.

Steven looked down. Could he possibly be standing on some large, talking bug? No, there was nothing under his feet but floor. "Where are you?" he asked.

The world was confused. How could anybody not know where his own planet was? Could it possibly be that Steven had never been out of his house? It seemed unlikely, but....

"Why don't you step outside," suggested the world, "where you can get a better view of me?"

Steven moved hesitantly towards the door. He stepped outside.

"Hello, Steven," said the world.

"Where are you?" asked Steven, with a combination of fear and frustration.

"You're standing on me," said the world.

Steven looked down. All that he could see was grass. "Are you the grass?" he asked.

"No, I'm bigger than that," said the world.

Steven thought for a moment. "Are you a bunch of talking earthworms?"

The world was offended. "No," it said, "I am not a bunch of talking earthworms!"

Steven thought for a moment more. "You can't be the dirt," he said.

"Close," said the world, "but I'm much bigger than that."

At this point, Steven lost his patience. This conversation was making no sense! "Whoever you are," he said, "will you please just go away and leave me alone!"

The world was hurt. It was Steven who had started this conversation, whether he wanted to admit it or not, yet now he was telling the world, essentially, to get lost. Well, the world wasn't one to stick around where it wasn't wanted. It left.

Steven found himself floating in space. "Gak!" he said. "What happened to my planet?!"

"It wandered off," said Mars. "Weren't you paying attention?"

"That's ridiculous!" said Steven. "Whole planets can't just wander off!"

"Sure we can," said Mars. "We've just never wanted to before now."

"Well, how do I get it back?" asked Steven, realizing that he was quickly running out of air.

"Well," said Mars, "I'd think that an apology would be in order."

"I'm sorry!" said Steven. "Please come back, world. Please...!"

The world came back. "Hello, Steven," it said.

"Hello ... world," gasped Steven. "I'm sorry if I offended you. I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!"

"That's okay," said the world. "I accept your apology."