No. 606

The sun baked down on the nearly deserted beach. Two men were sheltered beneath a small, improvised lean-to.

“You’re attracting ants,” said the man on the left.

“Classic ‘man versus nature’ conflict,” was the reply he got.

“That’s not helpful,” the first man insisted.

“Oh, I’m sorry we’ve been stuck here for two weeks eating bread and Cheese Whiz you found in the cooler, but sure, ants are our biggest problem. You know what? I don’t even think this is real Cheese Whiz. I think it’s a knock-off brand, like your ridiculous ‘Somy’ GPS that stranded us here. Now we’re lost on a totally charted island, but we don’t know which one. Those ants, though.”

“If they’re leaf-eating ants, they could wreck our shelter.”

“The shelter? Have you tried burning it down? That will get them.”

“I’ve considered clubbing you with driftwood. Many times.”

“’Man versus man’. Now the conflict is getting intense! Are you scared to do it? Could we add ‘man versus himself’ to this heady mix of drama?”

“Just shut up. Maybe you never made it to shore after the wreck. Missing, out to sea. It’s the perfect crime. I didn’t want to have to kill you.”

“How noble.”

“What did I just say about shutting up? And what about these ants?”

The other man said nothing.

“Good,” said the man on the left.

He stopped talking to himself while the body beside him continued to rot.