The Price of Victory

by Kristian Iliev

The little boy enjoyed killing ants. It was a sport to him. He was too chubby to play softball with the other kids in the neighborhood, and they didn’t like him anyway. Besides, he never won. But it was different with his six-legged victims.

He took pleasure in kicking their hills and stomping all over the debris. The boy felt so powerful when he squashed the ants with his sneaker, pinched them in his thick fingers, poked them with long, sharp sticks, and ripped off their legs. He controlled their fates like one of those old Egyptian pharaohs. In seconds, the boy could destroy everything. He could take away everything while still keeping a smile on his face.

None of the ants could taunt him because he was poor or tell him he was worthless. The ants could never win because they were weak.

Sometimes they tried to flee, scurrying quickly in different directions. The boy always raced after them with a look of determination in his eyes. That day, I saw him wickedly stare at the ground, almost in a trance, trying to stomp on every single ant. I think he actually thought that if any got away, he would lose his little game.

I guess he didn’t see the car coming.


Kristian Iliev used to kill ants for fun, until he realized it was cruel and stopped.

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