What If… There Were No What Ifs

“But what about the rules?”

“RULES?” the creature rounds on her incredulously. “Whatever do you mean, my sweet child?”

“Surely there must be something you follow,” the girl says cautiously. “You can’t really expect me to believe you just sit around all day and write or do whatever madness flows to mind.”

“Oh, but you’ve nailed the hammer right on the head,” the creature howls with laughter. “Everything is ever-flowing, ever-changing, ever-different, effervescent!”

“But how are you supposed to know what comes next? What if there’s no plan?” she frowns.

“Listen here, dear. See this? What we’re doing right now? This is life. This is au-natural, spontaneous, unpredictable, chaotic life. You improvise in life, you improvise on paper. You can’t stick everything in boxes. Humans don’t like that, so why should their words be expected to? You’ve got to let go. The rhythm will come. Don’t pay any mind. Pay in gold instead!” the creature squeals with delight.

“I don’t understand,” she protests. “I was always told what to do, and -“

“And are those people who always told you what to do here now?” the creature looks at her sincerely.

“Well, no…” she hesitates.

“So, what’s the problem?” the creature pours itself a cup of tea.

“What if THAT’S the problem?” she cries exasperatedly.

“What if it’s the solution?” the creature bites into the porcelain. The cup shatters and sprays glass in every possible direction, the tea spilling unceremoniously all over its face. Lost in existential thought, the girl hardly flinches.

“But… What if I can’t do anything I want here?” she looks dejectedly at the broken glass sprinkled by her feet, flicking a larger shard she glimpses in her periphery off the table to the ground. It lands with a plunk.

“Can you do anything you want there?” the creature smiles.

“No…” she sighs.

“What if you trust you are exactly where you need to be, doing or not doing exactly what you need to be doing?” the creature slurps at the rolling drops of tea on its face.

“How are you so sure things will work themselves out?”

“How are you so sure they won’t?”

The girl surveys her own tea cup. With solemn contemplation, a quiet conscious decision to say yes to the rules, or lack thereof, as presented, or rather revoked, in this place is made. She picks up the cup with her thumb and ring finger and smashes it with such unexpected force that shocks her more than the ensuing flying glass shards do.

The creature rejoices, its cackling echoing into the still night sky.

Another one is now claimed, it thinks. The others will be pleased.

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