He has forgotten more than me.
He reads a book (this modern tongue, this upstart English, holds only barest echoes of the ancient languages of power). Perhaps he does not know I watch him, but more like than not he is ignoring me.
He turns a page. The power of words, supreme, sublime. To name a thing is to control a thing. More than to control; it is to command, to own. He says my name, and cords of flame wind round my hands and feet, bind close my throat, my lips and tongue. He says my name, he owns my soul, my very self.
Yet he has forgotten.
Forgotten more than most men will ever know, in a lifetime, a thousand lifetimes. He looks up and meets my eyes -- for half a heartbeat, I could believe he recognizes me. Too soon the moment fades, he scowls, and looks away. Has he grown accustomed to my nearness? Will I re-learn this face, this still-young and too-familiar stranger's face?
I sit by his throne, his towering golden throne -- a weathered armchair, green and grey.