The slave waited as a slave should but what did his master have planned?
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
The master sat at his desk. The slave stood in the corridor and waited as if for the punchline of a joke.
The master was silent. The tap tap tap on the typewriter at his desk, the only sound ringing through the house.
Shadows seemed to pass by aimlessly in the hallway as if devoid of other options, flitting in and out along the sidewalls of the corridor.
The slave waited as a slave should.
It was no use trying to call his master out of his room and to bed. He was seated at his desk fervently typing.
A word and then another and then another.
And then a stream of words like a machine gun, raging like a bullock torn from his whipping master.
The slave thought that maybe after waiting, he’d be offered another position in the house, like a feeble apology for the impotence of his master when it came to showing gratitude.
He knew what a mess the inside of the master’s head could be. He knew his master well. It had only been them in the house since time beyond memory.
The slave felt his body ache for the comfort of the wooden shack where he slept outside and he wondered how long he’d have to stand here like a shadow while his master tapped away at his desk.
The mist rolled in around the house, a whooshing sound and cold air fluttered through the curtains.
The slave went to look through the window nearest to him and he could make out the gleam of the chandelier in the hall downstairs.
And then, footsteps approached from the room, approaching him.
The sound moved in a winding path and, as the slave peered through the darkness of the corridor, he saw his master standing there with a crumpled paper in his hand, his head cocked back as if listening. He raised his other hand and then, the swish of a match being lit and the slave’s nose sniffed the curling smoke. The master’s right arm drooped to the side, almost to the floor and the fire tore through the ancient curtains.
As if filled with some superhuman beauty, the fire fanned around the figure that stood before him. It was his master but now, his face shone with a frightful smile.
This was a new creature before him and yet, behind its eyes, there still lurked a stain of the master’s presence.
In the brilliant gleam of the light of the chandelier and the flames that had begun to encircle the slave and his master, the master came close to the slave, moved as if floating across the carpeted corridor.
“Come,” the master said, turning his head back towards his desk and beckoning him towards the room.
The table, although burning was still stately, deep, richly decorated, with silver trimmings, upon which was placed a typewriter and several pieces of paper.
“Come,” the master said.