Judith Garcia Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

Judith Garcia is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.)

Without further ado, here’s the winning story:

 

flash fiction writing prompt copyright KSBrooks strange bugs alligator alley 1998
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Infestation
by Judith Garcia

One summer a colony of black ants worked tirelessly, as they did every summer, to accumulate enough food to last through the winter. While the ants worked, a carefree grasshopper fiddled without a thought for the cold weather that was soon to come. And come it did. The ants were well prepared with their ample supplies of food, while the grasshopper searched in vain for a bite to eat.

“I am starving. Won’t you share your food?” he pleaded to the black ants.

“No! Those who do not work should not eat.”

“Please, I am starving,” said the grasshopper. “I can play my fiddle in exchange for food.”

“Can you play the classics?” The black ants were especially fond of the 18th century masters.

“No, ” said the grasshopper. “Only bluegrass.”

“Bluegrass!” the ants sneered.

Just then a red ant happened by.

“Bluegrass?” the red ant said. “I haven’t heard bluegrass since I left Louisiana. Come with me. We could use some music, and we have plenty of food.”

Red ants are vicious, but the grasshopper had no choice. He could go with the red ant or go hungry.

So he spent a thoroughly unpleasant winter, with the red ants biting his legs when they did not like a particular song. But he learned the lesson the black ants tried to teach him, and when summer arrived the grasshopper put the wisdom of the black ants to good use.

He immediately signed up for lessons in classical music.

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