The Strongest Man in Klah

Most people emerge into the world reasonably helpless, unable to lift anything other than their own fists, or carry more than a small teddy. Maximus Musculus, however,  since the moment he emerged into the world, had always been exceptionally strong. As a baby he often gave his mother piggybacks when she was tired, and when he was barely twelve, he singlehandedly lifted a fallen boulder off a claustrophobic ladybird. Not long after this dramatic & heroic rescue, he obtained his first lycra leotard and became a professional weightlifter. Year after year he took out all the awards, until eventually he had to sleep in the woodshed as his house was filled with trophies. Small children idolized him and his face appeared on the boxes of several noteworthy breakfast cereals. His name became synonymous with strength, and sometimes people even said things like, “This wind is rather maximus”, or, “Good golly these false teeth are maximus” and everybody knew what they meant. Nobody wanted to know about his weaknesses, for they didn’t need another real person with fears and needs and hopes and dreams, they needed a star. Every night as Maximus lay in his woodshed, with only his nightlight and several piles of leotards for company (he was afraid of the dark and not very good at folding his washing), he felt very alone, and often wondered, “Will I go to my grave without a soul knowing my terror of chickens and my weakness for spongecake?”