Roger Woodcock Wins Flash Fiction Popular Vote

Roger Woodcock is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In case of a tie,  the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:

aurora borealis and clouds copyright KS Brooks
Image copyright K.S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

by Roger Woodcock

His face set, he watches the flickering glow lighting up the horizon. There`d be no more deaths or mutilations, young children crushed beneath the hideous new machines. There had been an army of them, men set upon destroying every machine that not only maimed and killed but threatened the men`s very livelihoods. They travelled the country, smashing and burning, rendering useless the new monsters in their midst. He turns from the flames, a tear smudging a face racked with pain, with a memory that would not leave him.
The boy had been just six-years-old, his bones still raw, his body supple as freshly mown hay. They hadn`t wanted him to go but with no work and little food the family were desperate. A shilling a week would buy them bread, a churn of milk, a chance of survival.
The Master had told them, his hesitant words echoing round the tiny cottage. Picking cotton from beneath the machine, he`d said, his shirt caught in the clattering arm, his body crushed…. His wife had screamed, a primeval cry the man would never forget. The Master said he was sorry and of course they would pay to have their boy laid to rest. His wife had spat at his feet, sent him scurrying from the cottage. That`s when he had decided, hugging her trembling body in the gathering dusk. He would avenge his child with every fibre of his being.

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