Friday Fictioneers – The craftsman

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (the blue frog) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - The craftsman 180912

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

The craftsman

Hansel loved wood. His foot pumped the treadle and his fingers deftly guided the workpiece against the blade of the fretsaw, measuring it against the half-built clock until it was good and true.

At lunchtime he sat in the town square eating a sandwich and gazing at the church. He liked the neatness and order of its carved stone.

“Hey, stupid!” A youth strutted up, and snatched Hansel’s sandwich. “Halfwits like you don’t deserve food,” he sneered.

“Lay off him!” Hansel’s boss emerged from the workshop. The youth bolted.

“Don’t take any notice of him, lad. You’re my best craftsman.”

67 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – The craftsman

    • Dear Neil
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed my mention of craft skills. My father had an old fret saw, and showed me how to use it. I found it was much more difficult than it first appeared!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Sandra
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Hansel was very lucky to work as a craftsman for a sympathetic boss. I envisioned him as being quite a way along the autistic spectrum, and easy prey for local yobs.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Yvette
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      I always love reading your comments because you’re so perceptive. I’m delighted you liked “until
      it was good and true”. It was meant to convey a moral overtone, namely “This is a good and true man”. And I’m so pleased you felt intimately involved with the character!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for saying that, Penny – my amiga! and I like your comments (on my work but also across the FF crew) – and your comments are varied,
        at times you give a raw opinion, or call it like it is (if needed) and seem to have natural replies – if that means detailed critique or a less is more with saying “enjoyed this” with a “tee hee” you know what I mean….
        __

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Susan
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, Hansel’s boss was a good guy. He understood that Hansel was different, and helpless against other young men; and he appreciated the excellent craftmanship of the man.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Rochelle
      Thank you for reading and commenting, and especially for mentioning that you’d picked up on the autistic aspect of Hansel’s personality. It’s very helpful to know that the detail came across. I’m glad you enjoyed the story.
      Shalom
      Penny

      Like

  1. Only a few words and I already love Hansel and his boss and hate the bully. It remains to be seen who the real halfwit is. This evokes strong emotions, I don’t know how you do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Gabi
      Thank you for reading, and for your wonderfully flattering comment. I’m very pleased that my story evoked strong emotions. As to how I do it…I think all human life has moments of drama that illustrate character. I pick one of those moments, visualise it in detail, and write about it, going over and over the text until it says what I see in my mind’s-eye. I struggled with this one. The idea came readily enough, but it took me about four hours hard work before it came right. (You should have heard what my ‘trusted reader’ said about the first draft…it was not complimentary!)
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Anurag
      Thank you for reading and commenting. He is lucky – very lucky. If his talent for woodwork hadn’t been realised he might have been cast aside by society. His boss was a good man – but also a shrewd one. Because Hansel was an excellent craftsman, the work that he did was valuable to the company. He was an asset to be looked after, as well as a man who needed support and compassion.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lish
      Thank you for reading and commenting. How very emotionally perceptive of you to pick up on the peace. It’s the peace of a small German town in the nineteenth century. Practically everybody is kin in some way or another.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

  2. I love this, Penny; the description of using the tools, the meticulousness required – and the fact that certain people are even better equipped to do this type of work.
    I have a nephew on the autism spectrum and he can work at a task we would find boring with gusto and enthusiasm. I love his boss, too

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Anshu
      I didn’t intend any implication of racism. The story is set in a small town in Germany in the nineteenth century; we would probably consider most people then as racist. But in this case, Hansel is on the autistic spectrum, and has great difficulty understanding people. You could consider that as discrimination against someone disabled, or you might just say they were mean.
      As you say, it’s good his boss watches his back.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Liz
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I would like to think that you’re right about hiss boss’s kindness. However, Hansel was not very good at understanding people; I suspect he met both the insult, and his rescue with a degree of bafflement.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

  3. Dear Plaridel
    Thank you for reading, and for your thoughtful comment. The construction of the story was the hard bit this time. I had to revise over and over until the right bits were in the right places – so I’m very pleased that you noticed and approved!
    With very best wishes
    Penny

    Like

  4. Dear Francine
    Thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the way I set the scene. And you’re right – it is an optimistic story. I admired the clock in the prompt, and it made me think of how the clock would have been constructed, which made me feel optimistic I suppose!
    With very best wishes
    Penny

    Like

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