RELEASED

Vince reached the familiar streets of the old industrial area. The factories lay silent and rusting.

Sitting on the same bench he had used for forty years, he sat and had his lunch, looking at the workplace he had devoted the best years of his life to in the distance.

A siren sounded, followed by a countdown. The power of the detonation made the ground shake. The dust settled to reveal rubble where the factory once stood.

He wrapped up his litter, placed it in the bin and smiled as he walked away. The robots were welcome to his job.


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Copyright J Hardy Carroll

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

83 responses to “RELEASED”

  1. We had similar thoughts, Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A very good story. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. They’d certainly have been welcome to mine, but even robots have their standards. Good one, and topical today. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Sandra – I personally can’t wait until a robot can take my job from me – although unfortunately I picked a career that they won’t be taking over any time soon 😦

      Like

  4. I wish robots can take over my business (with the profits coming back to me, of course) so that I could spend more time dreaming. A very good story, Iain. With the concepts like Industry 4.0 around the corner, such a day is not too far ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Certainly a lot of jobs are heading that way, and then what will we all do with our days?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Iain,

    I would gladly have turned my job over to robots since management expected us to be just that. 😉 A social statement this one. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rochelle – me too, I’ll take the early retirement thanks very much!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Two years ago I chucked my job and happily settled down to writing and blogging but then as they say ‘there’s no rest for the wicked’. I got re-enlisted. I am still on the lookout for the escape button 😀 This one really resonated with me – nicely crafted Iain

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad he had the satisfaction of watching his factory implode 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He doesn’t seem to be too sentimental about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ned Ludd’s old argument! Good one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Josh, nice prompt too.

      Like

  8. I’d like a robot to do my jobs for me. I’ll look on Amazon.

    Click to read my FriFic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If only I could invent one to do my job, then I could keep the money too.

      Like

  9. Oooo. that was gooood! Love the ending! Poof!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jelli. Glad you liked it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is hardly fiction since robots do many of the jobs people used to do decades and generations ago. On the other hand, watching the demolition of an old building can be an awesome experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s certainly going to happen more and more, and not just to factory jobs. And, it certainly is, a lot of high-rise apartments around my city have gone in recent years, always a spectacular watch.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Best guess is that humans will take jobs that don’t exist yet or that are in the process of being created, jobs that AI isn’t good at.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. The Iron law of wages now includes robots as well… actually the word sabotage can be traced back to weavers in France who protested against the machines by throwing their clogs (sabo) into the machines. For exactly the same reason.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bjorn, great little piece of knowledge.

      Like

  12. Well done! The only thing missing is that he’s taken up writing and is now a bestselling author. But what will we do when there’s a glut of them?
    🤔
    At least in your tale they’re blowing up the old factory and not all the excess workers who’ve been replaced by robots.
    I don’t want to be selfish but people so in favor of immigration should have to find jobs for the newcomers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, this is fiction, but not that unbelievable that he gets to be a successful author too!

      Like

  13. Our titles are polar opposites! Yep… robot, take over my job so I can write, and photograph and cook….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So they are – my original title was ‘Freedom’, even more at odds with yours, but I changed it to released to tie in with him being ‘released’ from his job.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Well, there were certainly a lot of jobs that were too risky to people and much safer in the hands of a robot. Nicely told, Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m happy to say that retirement IS all it’s cracked up to be. If they blew up my old workplace I’d want to push the plunger, never mind watch. Good luck to Vince.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I quite agree. Retirement is great!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Haha, glad that you’re enjoying life 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I love the way Vince can watch the destruction of the place to which he has devoted the best years of his life and walk away with a smile on his face. I’m guessing he has a good plan for the next phase of his life now he has been ‘released’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely – spending his time doing what he wants to do, when he wants to do it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. A delightfully happy ending. I love how Vince puts his garbage in the trash after seeing the building implode.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m sitting here with a smug smile thinking, the robots can’t have my job 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lucky you! They are welcome to mine 🙂

      Like

  19. Nice on many levels – I can see how this could happen (as it did during the Industrial Revolution), I like his calmness after the fact as he tidies up after himself, and presumably very few if any humans died in the explosion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A controlled demolition rather than an act of terrorism, although you can interpret it either way.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Nice story. I doubt it was Vince who set the explosives, but it must have been most satisfying to see the dilapidated building crash down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t have it in mind that it was Vince who blow up the factory – although a few have interpreted it that way. It works either way.

      Like

  21. A futuristic , yet not so much in the future…. Wonder what’s in store. This is a refreshing spin on the prompt. Good one!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Yes, Iain, we had similar ideas with really different endings! Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. If this goes on it will be robots blasting robots.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robots taking each others jobs, then destroying each other!

      Like

  24. That was some revenge!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Revenge or just karma, depends on how guilty you feel Vince is for the explosion. Thanks Liz.

      Like

  25. it seems like history repeating itself. it reminds of the dawning of the industrial revolution in the 18th century.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are certainly going through a similar revolution and will be over the coming years.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. I’ve worked in manufacturing most of my life. I can imagine feeling this way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dawn, I certainly wouldn’t mind if my work disappeared 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Watching the world change or at least a little part if it. Sounds like he’s happy in a bittersweet way

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly that – can’t change the past, but the future to look forward to.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. The old order changeth giving way to the new. The horrors of the pink slip and being made redundant are well expressed. Good story writing on display, Kelly.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. love the duality of the rubble and the wrapped litter – sounds of the words and trash aspect – also fun twist with robotics

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Vivian, much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. This is an automated like…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Automated thank you reply.

      Like

  31. Most of our day jobs make us feel like robots anyway. Good characterisation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, very true. Thanks Fatima.

      Like

  32. A tale soon to turn to reality. Nicely written Iain. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I guess it’s an optimistic future for him?
    Nicely done!

    Like

  34. Hi Iain, really liked this, especially the ritual aspect – he sits at the same bench, packs up his litter neatly, it suggests both his earlier life and also how important this moment is to him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rachel, glad you liked it 🙂

      Like

  35. The only way I see this could improved is if Vince had been pushing the button. I hope his optimism continues into his new role.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sarah Ann – he’s not the destructive type, just happy that things have worked out in his favour for once.

      Liked by 1 person

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