THUS SPOKE FRED; On Toolrooms (Chapter 8)

O brothers, beware of those who say, “all things are created, all things are known.” Those who knapped flint were creators; and they knew not of brass. Those who hammered brass were creators; and they knew not of iron. Those who smelted iron were creators; and they knew not of silicon. Those who assembled logic are creators; and they know not of tomorrow.

The creative, willing, and able man works in the cave of the knappers. He does so because of pride and comfort. Blessed is he who creates tools for the flocks.

The howling dog of arrogance and doubt also works in the cave of the knappers. His heart is lost and he continues to labor. How does man labor without a heart? Doest not his blood freeze in his loins? Doest not his brain putrefy from lack of air? Doest not his feet act as lead in fear of error? How does such a man exist? He continues to howl and cover his fear. His work is good and he needs not fear. But he continues wasting his creativeness on fear and howling. He doth roar in excess.

The whispering ghost of secrecy also works in the cave of the knappers. He winks, and works. He displays his ring, and works. He speaks of the evening ritual, and works. All winking, displaying and speaking in hopes of a free pass. His work is good and he needs no pass. But he continues wasting his creativeness on winking, displaying and speaking. He doth bleat in excess.


The tribalistic excluder also works in the cave of knappers. He climbs over the body of his sire in hopes of a glimpse of the sun. He waves the flag of his forefathers in hopes of finding a legacy. He stretches his genealogy in hopes of becoming adopted. His work is good and he needs no relationships. But he continues wasting his creativeness on climbing, waving and stretching. He doth bray in excess.

The pedagogic failure also works in the cave of knappers. His credentials are established and he need not to strive any farther. His knowledge is solid and he need not question the status quo. His position is solid and he need not labor as the everyman labors. His work is good and he needs no farther learning. But he continues wasting his creativeness on laurels, risk advertence, and hubris. He doth hoot in excess.

The pliant pacifist also works in the cave of the knappers. He maintains goodness about him. He selects not to offend. His answers are “yes” and “no”, both at the same time. His defining moment is “maybe.” He may side with man today and woman tomorrow. He may side with Christ today and the Devil tomorrow. He is a man of time. His work is good and he needs no farther vacillation. But he continues wasting his creativeness on yes, no, maybe and hiding. He doth warble in excess.

The whimpering wastrel also works in the cave of the knappers. His goal is to be appreciated. The result is to be pitied. Pity the man who has pity for himself. His tears rip into no ones heart. His cry of anguish falls on the inorganic. His constant lamentations drive man away. His sobs are for himself. His work is good and he needs no additional pity. But he continues wasting his creativeness on tears, laments and sobs. He doth croak in excess.

The disappointing defeatist also works in the cave of the knappers. His goal is to be free of error. He is a sheep in perfectionists clothing. When offered an opportunity he fears of failing. If offered a choice he prefers none. If offered a goal he wishes for scourges. When offered a chance at failure he dashes into hiding. His work is good and he needs no additional shame. But he continues wasting his creativeness on wishing to fail, hiding and shame. He doth not croak, howl, bray or hoot; for a worm makes no sound.

Why does Creative Man continue to abide in this forest of howling dogs, whispering ghosts, tribalistic excluders, pedagogic failures, pliant pacifists, whimpering wastrels, and disappointing defeatists? Because he knows they are man. And man will exist as long as there is existence.

Fred spoke thusly this first truth unto himself. And so Fred knew that a tenuous likeness of man resided in himself and all men. The question remained; does this truth lay in all levels of caves or is it only in the caves of hewers and knappers? It was an ageless question whose age had not yet arrived. It was a timeless question whose time had not yet arrived. Age and time were on his side.

A secondary question also nagged his consciousness. “What is behind the great hall that holds the cave of the knappers?” Excursions were planned and opportunities appeared. Down one narrow opening a dim light could be seen. Formless shadows appeared on the far wall of this passage. Rhythmic sound of clashing steel and irregular hissing echoed from passageway to passageway; as there were many passages.

Fred gathered his courage and walked stridently down the passage toward the shadows. At last he reached the hidden hall within the cave.

It was a discovery of joy, a discovery beyond creativeness, a discovery that approached the leap of the overman; but it was not the overman. It was a cave of automatons; the cave where cybernetics lived. Man did not hammer, man did not hew, nor did man knap here. Machine, however, did. Man stood back and initiated, watched, monitored, and at will, halted.

A puppeteer leaped from behind one of the great columns that supported the ceiling of the cave. His shirt was dazzling white. Around his neck was a cravat of solid blue silk. Blue trousers matched the cravat. A pair of heavy soled shoes completed his wardrobe.

“State your business” demanded the puppeteer of Fred. And without waiting he demanded more information.

“Tell me how you came to enter this hall.”

“You look a little young to me; your age?”

“Your serial number?”

“What cave do you reside in?”

Fred appeared startled for a moment. His composure returned and he responded.

“Novice knapper.”

“Sent here by my own curiosity.”

“Twenty one.”


“Cave of model-makers.”

“Good” stated the puppeteer. “You remembered all the questions and answered them in the order asked. Good. Very good. You will be assigned to Jeremhia. Follow orders. Keep your eyes and ears open; ..  …   ….    and  ..   …    …. Keep your mouth shut.” With that the puppeteer waved to Jeremhia and pointed to Fred.

As Jeremhia approached, Fred’s attention was distracted by the puppeteer who had started leaping up a golden ladder. At the top is where his puppeteering control strings hung. He controlled these strings like a god controlling man. The automaton whirled and spun until it seemed to catch up to itself. At that moment the puppeteer yanked violently on a metallic Big Blue string. The cybernetic creation emitted the loud clang of iron striking iron. It pulsated, oscillated, gyrated, rotated, and palpitated as if it had a heart.

“Be not afraid of what you perceive but do not understand. Verily I say unto you; it was only made by man.”

Thus spoke Fred


About Waldo "Wally" Tomosky

I am proud of my work life (not the jobs, just the work).  Bait monger  Lawn mower  Paper boy  Windshield cleaner in a drive-in theater (if you don't know what a drive-in theater is there is no sense in you reading any farther)  Snack shack janitor in a drive in theater (ditto for drive-in theater)  Milling machine clean-up boy in a tool and die shop  Plastic injection press operator  Centurion in the US Army  Factory hand  Apprentice boy  Tool and die maker  Software user manual writer  Computer programmer  Ex-patriate par excellence  Engineering manager  Software test manager  Retiree  University administrator  System analyst  Retiree (2nd try)  Licensed amateur paleontologist  Retiree (3rd try)  Shovel bum (archaeology)  Retiree (4th try)  Delivery driver  Retiree (5th try)  Graduate student (skipped AA and BA due to the level of difficulty)  Retiree (finally got the drift of it) I have been writing for fourteen years and have fifteen books on Amazon/Kindle. Some horror, some twisted, some experimental, some essay and a few historical. I think that now I will really, really, really retire and just write. Lets see if I can do retirement correctly this time!
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