The Mechanic - a fable in six parts - Grand Finale

Part One of The Mechanic begins here

Against the side of the cabin leaned a pile of wood, once carefully stacked but now riddled with holes and falling to sawdust. Here is where the Designer found an axe, like the one in the OZ manual. He hefted it; there was an interesting balance to this tool. The Designer swung the chiseled edge against a tree, and it stuck there. 

He pried loose the tool and found another tree, one that looked about to topple, and plied that with the axe until the tree fell to the ground. Then he cut the wood into similarly-sized portions and stacked them against the cabin. 

The repetition of axing and stacking soothed him; it was nice to have a routine again. It was nice to create a routine for himself, rather than being handed a set of instructions, with no team members to monitor for glitches. A Manager? No, a Woodsman. A surge of energy welled up in him, the way he'd felt when his team had won awards. He decided to walk back to the road - to see with fresh ocular input what, in concrete terms, had led him to this moment.

In his fascination with new perspective, the Woodsman didn't think to put down the axe but carried it with him. The sun was brighter as the woods became sparse next to the gravel road. He could see across the marsh, but the paved factory street was too distant to be visible from here. He thought it a good idea to make this walk part of his daily schedule.

"Uh, excuse me?" A voice emanated from the woods nearby. The Woodsman turned in that direction; a human appeared. "Hey, sorry, I've been hiking and got turned around." 

"Hiking?" said the Woodsman. The human was looking at him strangely; the Woodsman thought he should offer a greeting. He'd never addressed a human before. "Hello," he said.

"Hi, I'm Matt. Hey, are you a robot? You got an axe...hey. Are you that robot?" The human showed signs of indecision.

The Woodsman looked down; he was still holding the axe. He looked back at the human. He needed to soothe Matt, somehow. 

"I'm a Woodsman," he said. "Are you trying to find the factory street?" 

"Oh. Yeah, yeah, that would be great." Matt seemed to be soothed. The Woodsman thought it best to give direction; he wanted to go back to his cabin undisturbed. He stepped out onto the gravel road.

"Matt, if you go this way," and he pointed with the axe, "you will need to cross the marsh. Some of it is liquid and will get into your joints. But you proceed forward continually and the paved road to the factories will present itself." He stepped back onto the dirt path which led into the woods, and motioned that Matt should take the gravel. 

"Hey, thanks, man, I appreciate you. Hey, what's your name?" Matt held out his hand toward the Woodsman, something the managers had done. The Woodsman knew he should grasp with his hand in return, so he did.

"Leonardo." And he turned into the woods for home.

 

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