Seeing a stream of ants on the picnic table, Brett began crushing them with his thumb, smiling as he did.

The guy he didn’t know — there were a lot of them at this company picnic — came by and stopped, looking down, sunglasses mirroring the scene in shiny black. “What’re you doing?”

Brett thought it was obvious so he nuzzled a cold beer for a contemplative minute. “Killing ants. They’re invading the picnic. I’m saving the picnic.” He chortled. He was like a superhero.

“Don’t you know that every small creature you kill breeds a new cancer cell in you?”

Squelching his alarm, Brett snorted. “Bullshit. You made that up.” He was ready to stand up and punch the guy. How’d he know about his cancer? He’d just been told last Thursday. He hadn’t told anyone else yet.

“No, I recognized it and spoke it for you. Sorry about your cancer but you brought it on yourself.” He walked off.

Brett said, “Wait. That’s not fair. No one ever told me.”

The other turned to Brett but kept walking backward. “The ants didn’t think it was fair, either.” Pivoting, he strode away, leaving Brett to stare at the ants and wonder.

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