By Alana Sayat

Albert laughed, looking up at the bloodied sunset.

“Hell of a Tuesday, eh?” he said, looking around at the men. They were all soaked in sweat, their skin flaking off onto the ground. They glared at Albert, squinting at him in tired fury.

Albert went around the circle of men, thumping each of them on their backs in quick succession.

They winced as he came around to them, cheerful as ever. Robert sighed, finally standing up to meet Albert’s eye.

“Boss, I dunno what we’re doin’ here, but this geology fellowship ain’t very fruitful so far. I think I can safely speak for all o’ us when I say we ain’t sure you’ve been leadin’ us quite right,” Robert explained, gesturing around the circle.

Albert laughed, a little too forcefully.

“Not leadin’ well, huh? Y’all ain’t able to see that my erosion techniques are the best in the whole goddamn world. You’ll see in time. It requires a little thing y’all don’t know called patience,” said Albert.

The men frowned in confusion. One man, wiping the dirt off his forehead, timidly raised his hand.

“What is it, lad?” Albert snapped.

“I’m sorry sir, but you called your techniques of settin’ off bombs in the caverns erosion techniques? It just don’t quite make sense to me. You see, I’d understand if we went down to the Mississippi River to see the erosion along the riverbed, but blowin’ up the caverns is jus-”

Albert laughed again.

“Y’all just don’t know leadership. Bein’ a leader requires innovation, new techniques, and y’all are just too close-minded to see that. Leaders take charge, head the way into the battle. They’re first in lin’ for the action. Y’all wanna see leadership? I’ll show you leadership. Imma march down to that cavern right now and show y’all what this fellowship is all about. Y’all wanna see leadership, then follow me.” yelled Albert.

No man went after Albert as he marched out of sight down the dusty path. They could hear him hooting and hollering, but they didn’t bother to see what kind of trouble he would get into.

After a few minutes of silence, Robert looked up in alarm.

“Wasn’t the next round of explosives set to go off at-”

A loud bang could be heard in the background, followed by a petrified scream. The men all jumped in their seats, but didn’t get up.

“So much for leadership,” sighed Robert.


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