Friday Fictioneers: Treasure

I pledgeAnd once again Wednesday is upon us, and with it another great picture prompt for the Friday Fictioneers 100-word writing challenge. As every week, this is again hosted by the tireless Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

This week, I used the prompt to do a little research that was overdue anyway. I am by no means an expert on blacksmithing, but I like to have an idea of what is possible to do under difficult circumstances. I’m asking myself–being in the dystopian-world frame of mind again–do we really go back to the stone ages if our civilization breaks down for one reason or the other? What other options are there (without the Vulcans or some other Aliens coming to the rescue)? I don’t know what I would do without the internet for researching these questions. Not writing, most likely… But enough about me.

You can read all the stories by clicking the froggy. Please show your appreciation by liking, or commenting. And if you want to join the fun, everyone is welcome.

Image © C. Hase
Image © C. Hase

Treasure

“You struck gold, boy. This is exactly what we need.”

“What is it? Anchor chain?”

“Something like that. It’s cast iron, can be used.”

“How do we get it to the forge?”

“We break the links.”

“Can I help?”

“Sure. Jim shows you how.”

“Cool.”

Matt had always taken metal tools for granted and never thought he’d have to make them himself one day. Blacksmithing was hard, dangerous work. You learned fast which scrap metal was safe to use; apprentices had died from toxic fumes. But Master Gansu had agreed to take him on, Matt would learn from the best.

(100 words)

Featured image: "Ou Yezi make sword" by Unknown - Ou Yezi temple. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ou_Yezi_make_sword.jpg#/media/File:Ou_Yezi_make_sword.jpg
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76 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Treasure

  1. My dad had a small forge (we have it now). I remember him starting the fire with wood shavings and adding coal. When the metal glowed red, he would beat it with a hammer on an anvil. It is quite an art. Thanks for reviving that memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I visit restored or “created” historical venues, I find myself drawn to the smithy. There is something about turning amorphous metal into something so solid and real that pulls at me.
    I loved both your story and your intro. I think it was well placed.

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      1. That’s so true. I often wonder if we have lost so much by turning every thing into a computer generated robot factory.
        There are skills that are still needed. What if the electricity goes off?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think what’s most important is not to lose the knowledge, and that could be a problem with so much of it stored in computers. Electricity should be do-able for skilled people with not too complicated equipment, depending on the location. Wind power would be an option in many places, which could power farms or small communities. Water power, maybe… I haven’t looked too much into that yet. Maintaining a grid wouldn’t be the priority. With electricity available, you could do a great many things. If you know how… If you know how radio communication works, you don’t need cell phones for fast communication. Hospitals, medical supplies, chemicals, drugs… that would pose a much larger problem I think. Appendicitis, broken bones, complications in childbirth–these aren’t things people can’t fix on their own very well.

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          1. I agree. There is much we could re-create, but not all of the 21st century would translate into such a place.
            I was also thinking of all the skills, trades, professions that no longer exist. Certainly times change, and the Industrial Revolution took away many of these types of professions. (Even before, professions were created and died off) And, added new ones.
            Before, people were not specialists, I think more like generalists and able to do several things out of love or necessity.
            I think we have lost that connection to our work, just as the assembly line took the same connection away.

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            1. Yes, I agree. You have a very hard time learning skills from books or journals when you have no idea about what you’re doing and how… That’s why I think without all working together it couldn’t work too well. Many skills are still there in other parts of the world that hi-tech rich countries have lost.

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    1. Thank you! I’m glad you like my characters. I’m trying to work out a post-apocalyptic background for a story I’m plotting/writing. I know what I want them to have in that future, but I have to figure out how they got there. FF is a fun way to do that. I love to speculate and talk to other people about what could be and what couldn’t.

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    1. Who said anything about weapons? 🙂 Tools can be weapons, but don’t have to be… the image of the sword smith is there to show the skills of the craftsman, someone like him would know how to work metal. Thank you.
      Breaking the chain… I wish, but how realistic would that be, with survivalists stockpiling guns and who-knows-what in remote hidey-holes of the US (and elsewhere?) to be prepared for what they are sure will come… They’d shoot you on sight, others would want to plunder, and maybe hunting would be necessary, too.

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        1. Hehe… according to some scholars, inventing agriculture is one of the factors that put us into the predicament we’re currently in. 🙂 (I’m just enjoying the chat, I don’t want to challenge you)

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    1. Yes indeed. I’ve learned how toxic alloys, coated, plated, and painted, and especially galvanized metals can be. But there’s also a lot to be found on the internet about blacksmithing, apparently many people do it as craft or hobby, and ther is a load of information. I naively thought, oh, there’ll be all that scrap metal, can be recycled… not so easy, and gaining knowledge in difficult situations will have victims.

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  3. Well done for for writing a Dystopian story that has a positive edge to it, rather than the traditionally bleak view portrayed in this genre. Why, indeed, should humans forget all the skills they’ve acquired in such a situation? And I love the idea of people from different cultures and ethnic groups coming together to pool their skills.

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  4. Great story that has provoked lots of interesting comments. A story full of hope and human-to-human learning/teaching, both between its characters and its author and readers!
    Sometimes wonder what I could do – grow stuff at least.
    Interesting thoughts about agriculture – I guess as soon as you say you own a piece of the earth and the means to farm it you need to keep other from owning it too?

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    1. That would be one thing, unless you’d start to do it as a community, which would be more efficient and less harmful often. There’s a classic by Jared Diamond: Guns, Germs, and Steel– some of the information in there is outdated, because newer research corrects older findings, but a lot of it is interesting and thought-provoking. Animal husbandry, for instance, brought many diseases, because many of the animals we keep and kept are intermediate or alternative hosts for some diseases. Focussing on one source of carbohydrates will not necessarily be good nutrition, even if it gets bellies filled. I’ve audited an interesting online course: A brief history of humankind, which has some daring, some doubtful, but also many thought-provoking ideas. The professor explains the advent of agriculture as accompanying organized religion. Where many people gathered to worship and build places of worship, a lot of food was needed which may not have been available through hunting/gathering alone. Which caused which? Not sure, if it is even a valid theory, but I find it an interesting thought anyway.
      Am rambling again. Thank you for your interesting comment, I love the conversation. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great into. gah! I, for one, could do quite well without the internet. That won’t be around when all goes to pieces, will it? We’ll need resourceful people with imagination and hope to see us through. In my eyes, you showed this.
    Ellespeth

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t want everything go to pieces, nonono. 🙂 I’ve used, and loved, the www almost since its beginnings. It contains a wealth of information, but you need to know how to mine it. I don’t like the way the internet is used by many these days: to spam, to hate, to mob–but it is a great way to keep in touch with people from all over the world.
      Technology can be a good thing. What is bad, IMO, is the way we use it. It’s money and power, everything else seems of little interest to those in the say. That can’t go on forever, as past revolutions have shown.
      I wouldn’t want to live in a postapocalyptic world (but I love to speculate and write about it 😉 ) Oh- and thank you, I’m glad you liked the story. 🙂

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  6. It seems that disaster is the mother of, not invention, but of re-invention or re-learning!

    It truly is too bad that some of these art forms have been replaced by machinery..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I do like machinery ( am lazy), but I also like all the old arts and crafts. Good thing that some are kept alive as hobbies. I’ve recently read a post about cheese making and would like to try… if only I had more time. 🙂

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