The Eighteenth Leaf


Last night, as I prepared to write once more and after a failed attempt to find the sleep that flees from me, I was discovered. Sounds where there should be none are the surest remedy for drowsiness and I was quickly roused to find the King, who must have been wandering the castle, slowly pacing past my secluded retreat. Peering into the darkness just outside the circle of light from my single candle my eyes met those of the man I am entrusted to serve. There was no more quiet that could fill the space between us, no more darkness to cast more shadows. The King seemed to consider me. We spoke not. I have avoided him all day today but know that I am simply hiding from a feeling. I know not how to explain myself or my activities to him, and by the light of day I find myself yearning for the quiet of the night, and of the thoughts which the darkness brings to me.

- Sorren


Sorren seems to be lamenting the fact that he was discovered by the King as he prepared to sit down to write, long after darkness was fallen and all good men were asleep. I do not understand this reaction, unless, by his own understanding, he was doing something wrong, or something dishonorable in some way. Why would he worry if he were innocent? His mind is troubled because he knows he has been caught. Does he perhaps believe that the King would, in any way, care about his nightly exploits? The King has more to worry about than the nightly endeavors of one of his servants however so trusted. Sorren’s biggest fear, if he were truly thinking straight, should have been the fear that he witness the King during his nightly exploits during his ungodly wanderings. The extent to which this servant mimics the actions of his King is startling. I must proceed carefully to discover which other traits of the King this servant has the temerity to mimic. The King simply observed the frightened servant and then dismissed him without further thought. Sorren best ponder the fortuitous nature of his own insignificance.



Sorren has shown some of the same idiosyncrasies as the King, from his intense restlessness, to his deep musings and desire to be active and awake while other men slept. They are kindred spirits, and it is my contention that Sorren learned these things from the King, or more likely was taught by the King. And this is what I believe the King sees in Sorren. Veritably, he has shown an extraordinary level of respect for his servant in this instance. It is surprising to me only that Sorren did not have the same respect for the wanderings of the King. Instead, he shows fear, and he shows apprehension, and he shows a lack of affinity for the King, his mentor. To me, this indicates that even in the darkness of night, and even within the darkness of his own private thoughts, he has not allowed himself to escape, even for a moment, the identity of his station. This is Sorren’s mistake, and he did not understand the complex relationship that was being purposely ignored at this moment. The King was showing deference to his servant, and nothing could make this King more admirable than that he show such deference to a servant. This fascinates me. In truth, as M opines that the King considers his servant beneath the threshold of consciousness, I believe that the King is beginning to treat this servant much more like a son. The King merely stops at the edge of candlelight to acknowledge his protegee, for he knows exactly what he is doing, and he approves. What a better world it would be today if those in positions of authority and power over other people, treated those beneath which they hold such authority, with such respect and deference.