Copyright Amy Reese


Paul paused in the doorway. Buzzing fluorescent lights harmonized with the hum in his head, too many years around lawn mowers and leaf blowers. His chest tightened as he realized his life was being reduced to a 12 x 12 unit. For the better part of sixty years odd jobs made ends meet, but with the new human labor ban his only option was to accept the Relocation Package and “get while the gettin’s good,” so he was told.

“What’s a man to do? Drones Only is law. Keep to yourself and there’ll be no trouble.”

So he was told.


You can check out more Friday Fictioneers here. Thanks to Amy and Rochelle for this week’s prompt.



29 thoughts on “There Goes The Neighborhood

  1. kirizar says:

    The only part I cast doubt upon is the fact that ‘Drones Only’ is so clear-cut and specific. Nowadays, laws that destroy the work force are typically described as “Right to Work” initiatives–leaving unwritten that it is “For less pay, no rights, iffy benefits and more hours.”

  2. Whoo – spooky – and far too possible considering the gallop towards AI

  3. My first thought was a nursing home. Sad places, those.

  4. ahtdoucette says:

    Human Labor Bans! Would be funny it weren’t so scary and something that seems eeriely possible for those kinds of odd jobs. Well written story that makes me pause and think about the way the world is going. Well done!

  5. Relocation? I wouldn’t trust that to end well. More likely an incinerator awaits him.

  6. rgayer55 says:

    Does it come with one of those really nice coats with the super long sleeves that wrap all the way around? And fuzzy house shoes? Do I get those too?

    1. HonieBriggs says:

      Sure,only the best for you, Russell.

  7. This is chilling… I think this is might be the first step towards something even worse… But on the bright side they might having Paradise Hotel reruns playing.

  8. What a sad existence! Makes a nursing home look good. :/

    1. HonieBriggs says:

      You are on to something there, Dawn. Some nursing home residents probably feel much like the character here.

  9. Amy Reese says:

    Chilling, Honie. The relocation package isn’t exactly in the tropics. Really intriguing story.

    1. HonieBriggs says:

      Not in the tropics, unless behind that retractable door there was a beach view. Thanks, Amy.

  10. I don’t know how you limit yourself to 100 words. You’re barely getting going! I definitely want to read more.

    1. HonieBriggs says:

      100 words may be my limit on an interesting story, Mr. Petruska. Suppose I could write an entire novel 100 words at a time?

  11. acflory says:

    Don’t stop there! This would make a great beginning to a novel, Honie.

    1. HonieBriggs says:

      You would know! If only I had your talent. Thanks, Meeks.

      1. acflory says:

        Bah…humbug. :p

  12. Very much like the title in connection to this piece! Another place where humans are replaced. Very dystopian.

  13. Iain Kelly says:

    A scary prospect that is coming to us all! Great piece.

    1. HonieBriggs says:

      Forced relocation is exactly what is happening to many people around the world. Historically speaking, it’s how the west was won.

  14. jademwong says:

    Drones Law and a human labor ban. Lots of potential here for a full-fledged sci-fi story. Super intriguing 🙂

    1. HonieBriggs says:

      It was the buzz, hum, and drone of my neighbor’s lawn guy making noise before 8a.m. this morning that brought the idea together.

  15. sarita226 says:

    P.S. Love the Chihuly picture!!!!

    1. HonieBriggs says:

      😄 me too. I snapped it in the lobby of the Bellagio.

  16. sarita226 says:

    What Rochelle said: eerily close to reality. (Although the image in the picture/prompt became very familiar to me this year, due to my recent move and search for a new home!!!)

    1. HonieBriggs says:

      Thanks,Sarah. I hope you move in date stays on schedule and you are happy in your new home.

  17. Dear StepHonie,

    This sends an icy chill through me as it feels too close to the truth. Well done.



    1. HonieBriggs says:

      Dear Rochelle,
      Truth may be stranger than fiction, but it is also way more scary. Thank you.

      1. It is indeed Honie. Really well written.

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