The Servant

Written by Terrestris Veritas


The Idle Servant by Nicolaes Maes Image //

You were always better than me – more elegant, more sophisticated. You would say that I looked ‘dashing’ in my dark Italian suit, ‘sleek’ in my shiny black shoes and ‘ready for war’ in my white servant’s gloves. I remember how you gave me my orders, never harsh, always calm and sincere. You were always more polite than all the others, thanking me for my deeds, summoning me with a soft call, rather than a harsh snap of your fingers. You were concerned for me, always tending to my wounds, regardless of whether I deserved it or not. I remember how you once stayed behind for me, fearing not for your life but for mine.

My fellows always scorned how you cared, how I was your favourite. Often, they spoke out against you, but ceased their protests once they saw my power. They were always jealous of how I was never beaten, never punished. They didn’t understand my motives, telling me that I forgot myself and lost my purpose. But they were the ones who lost themselves.

My freedom mattered to you and that was your downfall. You always left me to myself if you foresaw no reason for me to be near. Because of my power, I was your only servant, your only protector and your only friend. Or so you thought.

I heard your call, felt your terror. My response was swift and instantaneous, as was the norm. But as quick as it was, I was still too late to help. Your body lay limp by the fireside, your killer strode away, expecting no challenge. I didn’t simply challenge him, I slew him where he stood. You deserved vengeance, you deserved peace and you deserved the fate you got.

Everyone said I had gone soft, fallen for a primitive human. You were a gracious person, but unlike the others, unlike those incompetents, I never lost sight of my goal. I never let hate cloud my judgement. For when you died, I was truly free. And dead you are: as it should be.

Written on behalf of the Half Hour Challenge’s theme Servant earlier this year, Terrestris’s piece certainly gives us the chills. Maybe it’s just that last line, or the strange voice of the narrator, but it feels eerie. The servant finally has his freedom, though it may not be how he ever expected to attain it. If you liked Terra’s work, feel free to check out ‘Lost in Transit‘ and ‘Umbra‘.