Only in TODAY’S America

4743DF4B-7F2C-4F9E-9FF5-E1B38EDBE3D9I saw the following short blurb in this week’s issue of The Week magazine.

3D425AEF-8DDC-4DDC-B2FC-88BC5510EB1BYou are witnessing the brainwashing of America’s youth by conservatives who want to eliminate any references in schools and text books that conflict with their revisionist ideology.

FFfAW — The Ant Hill

“Whoa! What the hell is that?” Jim asked.

“It’s an ant hill,” Mr. Stevens answered.

The students gathered around the tall formation. “I’ve never seen one that big,” Sharon said.

“I think you’re wrong, Mr. Stevens,” Brian said. “It’s the petrified remains of a tree trunk.”

“I agree with Brian,” Sally said. “It’s way too big to be an ant hill.”

“Actually,” Mr. Stevens explained, “some ants create soft, low hills out of dirt or sand. Others build towering creations of clay. Ant hills can range from less than an inch high to over ten feet high.”

“Ten feet high! Wow,” said Jim.

“Yes,” said Mr. Stevens. “Ant hills have many chambers connected by tunnels. These small rooms serve different purposes. During the day, worker ants work nearer the top of the ant hill to stay warm. At night, they move back to the lower chambers.

“How long did it take the ants to build this hill?” Brian asked.

But before Mr. Steven could answer, Brian began feverishly kicking down the entire ant hill.

(173 words)

Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt from Priceless Joy. Photo credit: Yarnspinerr.

The Harmonizer


“The harmonizer,” Fred said. “Definitely the harmonizer.”

The group of five MBA students had gathered in a conference room they’d reserved at the business school library for a meeting of their team as part of their Organizational Dynamics class competition. The professor had given each of three teams of students a project to complete and had asked them, in addition to successfully completing the assigned project, to pay close attention to roles each individual within the groups played, and how each member’s behavior within the group either contributed to or detracted from the successful completion of the project.

“What does that mean?” Mark asked Fred. Mark preferred to think of himself as the team’s leader.

“Your role is to harmonize,” Fred replied. “When you see conflicts arise between team members, you seek out ways to achieve consensus, to get to yes.”

“As any good leader should,” Mark said.

“Ha!” Clark exclaimed.

Mark shot Clark a dirty look. “What do you mean by that?”

“You’re no leader,” Clark answered. “You couldn’t lead your way out of a wet paper bag.”

Then Clark spun around to face Fred. “And you are an obstructionist. “Without contributing anything at all, you block anyone who has any ideas or suggestions.”

“Don’t be an asshole,” Fred said to Clark.

“Boys, boys,” Sally, the only female in the group, chimed in.

“The bitch is back,” said Jeremy. “Go back to the kitchen, honey.”

“Fuck you, Jeremy! Fuck you all,” Sally screamed.

Mark, “the harmonizer,” shook his head and thought, “There goes my grade.”

This post was written for today’s one-word prompt, “harmonizer.”