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.

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”

    • 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 😦


  1. 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

      • 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

  2. 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

    • 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

      • 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

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