The error


Copyright – Sean Fallon

Gareth watched his children playing, racing to the old monument. The ancient statue had toppled, and lay disintegrating, unidentifiable.

Timothy, strongest and smartest, crouched behind it, then sprang out. His startled brothers collided and fell. The youngest began to cry. Timothy laughed.

“Tell me, Tim, why our world lies ruined,” Gareth said, walking homeward. “Do you recall your lessons?”

Timothy was silent.

“Remember, son, the error of our forebears who created this wasteland. They possessed both knowledge, and power. One of these must serve to constrain the other, like a lid on a jar. Tell me: which would you choose?”


Another offering for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can read the other 100 word stories generated by this week’s photo prompt here.

37 thoughts on “The error

  1. Excellent, as always, Margaret. I like the lesson at the end about knowledge and power and that one constrains the other. I would say it’s quite a timely story, too, considering the politics these days. It’s all about the balance. Nice one!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, yes. Balance is the key. We sure are seeing a lack of it in politics, as you say – but has it really ever been any different? My hope is that we don’t annihilate ourselves before someone gets it right. Thanks for your encouraging comment, Amy.


    • I sense the same. Power comes so easily to him, I doubt he’ll be able to resist the temptation to use it. And that’s the error we keep making, I suspect.Thank you for commenting.


  2. This advice could be encouraging to a small child who is powerless at that age. It might also create a desire for power if it isn’t channeled properly. A good lesson in this story, Margaret. 🙂 — Suzanne


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