What if…? is that mysterious man with the superhuman strength that everyone in the community
revers seems to be afraid of. Tales are told of how he has disfigured the faces of the strongest men, made folly of the proud women and even disarmed soldiers who attempted to get close. As for the little children, the fables they’ve heard are enough to keep them away.
What if…? lives on the peak of highest mountain overlooking the town, where nobody abides. His house may seem haunted, his bed, as we are told, is made of steel. His kitchen has the biggest hearth with the biggest fire you can ever imagine. That is where he puts the cauldron used to boil disobedient children. His dam is what has cut water supply to the rest of the town.
“Do you want to loose your teeth or your limbs?” the older folks always ask when they sense someone is seeking to challenge What if…?
The large tract of land that surrounds his house is fallow yet nobody in the town has attempted to conduct any activity there.
“Are you building close to …?” they stammer, pointing to the mountaintop but unable to mention his name.
What if..? could have easily vied for the topmost leadership position in the community, as some say, because he is the wisest, strongest and the most knowledgeable. No town will conquer ours, in times of war, if he is made the leader. Why he is still not among the leadership is still a mystery.
We have heard so many stories that are enough to put fear into us but as I narrate the story of What if…? I haven’t had any personal encounter with him yet. I am not the only one who hasn’t. None of my friends have had any either.
These stories I tell are what I’ve heard from my father. I confronted him the other day to know if indeed What if..? is as strong as the town makes us believe. That was when he confessed he has never set his eyes on What if..?? He directed me to Grandpa. When I posed the question to him, he also responded he has never met What if…?
Perhaps the town’s sage may have encountered him. The sage is the oldest man in the town. He is known to have fought in World War I and has answers to some of the most absurd questions. I was confident when I walked up to him and posed the puzzling question.
“I know he lives on the mountaintop but nobody has ever set their eyes on him,” the town sage responded
“So you haven’t seen him too,” I whispered, too shocked to speak.
“My dear, I haven’t,” he admitted.
It was then that it struck me. Is it minutely possible that What if..? may not exist at all? Would I be right to believe that the tale of this strong man may be in the imagination of the towns folks? I am not sure but I may find out one day. That will be the day that I will gather courage to climb the highest mountain of the town and take a peep into What if’s..? house. If I come back alive, I will have the answer to my question.
Until then, “What if…? is the wisest, strongest and the most knowledgeable in this town.” Please don’t tell anyone that I haven’t met him yet.
This is Day 6 of the 21-day lock down blogging challenge and the writing prompt is ‘What if?‘