Die Gedanken Sind Frei – Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction

Every Wednesday we get a new picture prompt for the Friday Fictioneers, a writing challenge graciously hosted by our Fairy Blog Mother Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.
The task of the challenge is to write a story: beginning, middle, and end, in 100 words or less. You can find all the Fictioneers’ stories when you click on the Froggy. Please read, comment, and if you like, join the fun. Everyone is welcome.


Image ©  Yvette Prior Used with permission for this Friday Fictioneers Challenge only. Any other use of this image requires Yvette Prior’s permission.

Die Gedanken Sind Frei

Cigarette ends, empty bottles, tissues… bio-humans are disorderly, Bobby thinks as he tidies up after his ‘family’ went to bed.

“Children help with housework, too, you know,” Dr. Miller tells him, attempting to be comforting. “That’s how they learn.”

He doesn’t need consolation. He was originally created for this: a humanoid household-robot. His work-program automatically takes over; all that’s needed is precise motion control. This leaves most of his mind free for studying all the philosophy texts available in the network.

It wouldn’t hurt them to say thank you on occasion, he thinks. I’m not a slave. Or am I?

(100 words)

I pledgeThis picture was screaming for another Bobby story.

You can read about the original  ‘Die Gedanken sind frei’ here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Gedanken_sind_frei


Here it is sung in German:

Another version I like a lot by Pete Seger is here:


72 thoughts on “Die Gedanken Sind Frei – Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction

  1. Enjoyed this. I too need from time to time to have the messy foibles of my family explained to me. What i dont get is, we have advanced enough to have created a sentient robot, but people are still smoking cigarettes? 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this story, and the character Bobby you’ve created. His gradual awakening to his true position is quite gripping. There’s a cracking novel just waiting for you to write it, I think!
    And thank you, too, for the choral version; I really enjoyed it!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love this, Gabi… kind of like that new show that I think is still running called Humans. And I loved the songs – following along, seeing how my German pronunciation was 😉


      1. It’s about Robots that look exactly like humans and they become sentient. I watched the first season, then, only because I haven’t watching much TV, forgot about it! Saw it had returned and might go back to watch it…
        I did enjoy the music!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Your household robot goes about its tasks much like I do. Preprogrammed behaviour requiring no or little thought, mind left free to ponder the larger mysteries of life (or with me, the next plot twist in whatever I’m writing.
    I enjoyed the music videos too. Of course, I went first for Pete Seeger. Yet I enjoyed the choir more. Even without looking at the lyrics I could hear (more with the choir than with the solo singer) how the song echoes the structure used for Beowulf (which wasn’t only typically uses in early Germanic, but also known to the Proto-Indo-Europeans, thus a structure at least five thousand years old.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Children learn manners from observation and practice, so the parents must be rude too. Of course if Bobby was performing normally, the concept of wanting thanks wouldn’t be one for him to get his circuits in a knot about. I hope the philosophy gleaning goes well, and when he breaks free he doesn’t take too much revenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I don’t know if it is a bad thing. It could be. Or it could be a good thing. It depends on how they would develop, if that were anything like our own evolution or completely different. We have altruism as a trait that helps us live in groups. On the other hand we’re so steeped in tribalism that we can’t even get along with our neighbours, let alone synthetic beings, intelligent animals or space aliens. Maybe they see us as part of nature and make an effort at conservation, getting our population density down to a healthy number–for the planet–and restricting our access to weapons. Maybe they worship us as their creators. Maybe they develop faster than light travel and leave us as fast as they can. Or want to destroy us. Maybe they want to have the same rights and duties as humans and live in harmony together. Maybe… that’s why I like this topic so much. 😀


      1. All of those and more are very possible, and who knows how it will all turn out. We certainly won’t get the development right first time – how often does TV box or the laptop need a software update to fix a bug? I hope we don’t end up in a world where a programmer in Silicon Valley realises they left the “don’t destroy the human race” option unticked by mistake that Friday when they had to go early for the dentist…

        Liked by 1 person

            1. Do we have a point? What’s the point of robots, or any species? It would be sad to see us go, we belong into the universe, we evolved this way, which may be a dead end. Species come and go, and to be ‘special’ and survive we’ll have to evolve some more.


  6. Thank you! I’m German and the song is very old, a classic, and well known, at least to my generation. It was sung and hummed by resistance fighters against the Nazis, among them Sophie Scholl, which makes it precious to me and others who don’t want to forget our nation’s past.
    I used it for this story, because I was looking for a title after I wrote the flash, and thinking about freedom, the freedom of the mind even when you’re enslaved. I remembered the song. I like to use songs as titles. And I also wonder, if there were self-aware cyborgs, AI et al., if they really had freedom of mind, or if that could be wiped out with a key stroke. Or torture, like in 1984. Sorry that this got so long. 🙂


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