THREE LITTLE FINGERS

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.


photo-20170501154634901
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. Thanks for the reblog.

      Like

  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

    1. Thanks Chris, I think you read it right, unfortunately for him!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Omg Bill, no! 😱

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Needs must I’m afraid! Thanks for reading Annie 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I live in hardwood/sawmill country. This is so true. Very good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 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!

      Like

  4. Wow, what a sad commentary on life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Afraid so. I really need to write a happy story soon…!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You spill your own blood to take care of your own blood. Ironic but true. Very sad. Nice one, Kelly.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on O LADO ESCURO DA LUA.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the reblog!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Gross. As someone who was recently laid off, I think there has to be a better way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You would hope so, but it does happen to some less fortunate on rare occasions.

      Like

  8. 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

    1. Thanks Maggie, I’m not sure that insurance cover, especially the way the law works around it, has been a wholly good thing in a lot of cases!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True, but a life saver in other cases. I don’t think I’d give up any fingers to find out, though. [shudders]

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Nooo, don’t do it! It’s very sad that people are pushed to that point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. OH my gosh, Iain, he’s going to saw off 3 of his fingers for the insurance policy! So sad that he feels that is his only way to survive at this point. Great story!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks PJ. Good to be back on the FFfAW 🙂

      Like

      1. Glad to have you back!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a fine story, which creates emotion and shows the down side to capitalism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Michael, that’s what I was aiming for.

      Like

  12. 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

    1. Thank you. Unfortunate that this could be applied to a lot of places in the world. Always the little guy who is left with no option.

      Like

  13. Desperate times call for desperate measures…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh no! There has to be another way 🙁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not this time 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  15. 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

    1. Thank you, I’m happy you were able to draw so much from my short story.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. i did and always enjoy reading your stories, the have depth and I imagine a reflection of your keen observation of human interaction. Well done Iain.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Desperate measures Iain, not sure I’d go to the length….good story…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not sure I could either. Thanks Michael.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. This is a new angle to the old “costs an arm and a leg” cliche. Unfortunately he’s apt to discover in time that insurance money runs out, too. Then what?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s got 7 more fingers….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. EEEK! Maybe he should rather do the next three as toes?

        Liked by 1 person

  18. a sad snippet that is so realistic. nice one, Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! 🌹

        Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m cringing at the thought! Great story! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. 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

  21. Wow! The desperation and hopelessness he must have felt to resort to such drastic measures!! Great take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kay 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. This feels so real and sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. 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

    1. My experience of employers is that they have no interest in retraining workers. Once they are made redundant the company doesn’t care. Sad but seems to be the way. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I agree with you Ian. I guess I always hope for better. You’re welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  24. 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

    1. Thank you, very kind 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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