The circular saw wound down to a standstill. He piled up the last of the cut logs.

Bill waved at him as he headed out the door, gesturing that he would see him for a drink at the bar. There were only four of them that went along for the end-of-the-week drink now, hardly the famed gatherings of the past.

He took the letter from his pocket again. Three weeks from today and he would be out of a job. They blamed a lack of demand for their product. Moving the company to a more flexible workforce. Adapting to the global economy.

There was nowhere else to find work. All the other local sawmills had closed down, unable to compete when the big national had taken over this one.

Three kids to support, an ex-wife who wouldn’t cut him any slack.

He’d checked the insurance policy. It even gave him a breakdown of how much each limb or digit would be compensated.

He pushed the button to start up the saw again.

Copyright Loretta Notto

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

57 responses to “THREE LITTLE FINGERS”

  1. The sacrifice one has to make – even if it must be paid in blood. Or am I reading too much into it? I hope I am, even if it’s a little grisly. It was a delight to read, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Rosemary, good to know it rings true. A sad state of life is knowing you’re worth more in money terms to your children dead than you are alive!


  2. As soon as I read the title and the first sentence, I knew this wasn’t going to end well. My grandfather was a farmer and worked around a lot of different machinery. He was missing parts of fingers on both hands. Alas, no insurance coverage back then. Nicely written.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gruesome but really good. I found myself reading the final sentences out of the corner of my eye. A topical story too, in a way, given recent media coverage about 3rd world residents selling their own (or their family members’) organs just to survive.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Life can be stranger than fiction Iain. And your story depicts some real human and social problems. The sacrifice a father makes for his family is one that should never be underestimated or taken lightly, I am sure he never shared his burdens with his family, if he did they would have found a solution together. Powerful story that says much about what goes on in a person’s heart and mind when close to desperation.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How sad to have to make a choice like that! Great writing! Through one of the other A to Z participants I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award and one of the qualifications is to nominate other bloggers. I have chosen you as one of mine. No pressure to accept, just passing on the good will. You can read all about it on my blog.
    Man It’s May

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is horrible Ian, not the writing that’s awesome as usual but too think he would sacrifice his fingers, felt he didn’t have a choice but to cut them off for the insurance money. Probably just to get by too until he could find something else to do. It’s too bad the company would not re-educate its workers and update their skills with technology etc so they could be some of this flexible work force at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ohh no! The sacrifices one will make for their loved ones. Great story, Iain. I loved how you subtly weaved in a hint as to what he was going to do and left it upto the reader to find out! Great story as usual. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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