Josef Knauber

Wormtounge crawled up the steps of Orthanc, his robes wet and boots muddy from wading through the flooded Isengard. Slowly he pushed open the doors to the tower and began the climb up to Saruman’s chamber. He crawled on all fours, never walking upright, crying for his master every few moments. He was a lost and wounded creature. Finally he came to his master’s chamber. The wizard was sitting in a chair as if it were a regal throne . He seemed almost to be a king, but of an ancient abandoned kingdom.

‘What a fitting name for you: "Wormtounge,"’ said Saruman, ‘you are no more than a groveling worm. Tell me, Worm why have you returned from Rohan?’

‘It was Gandalf. He came to the Golden Hall and took over the mind of Théoden and I was cast out. The house of the King knows your plans, Master. They have emptied the city and are moving their forces.’

‘You have failed me, Worm, and are of no more use to me.’

His powerful voice was showed extreme annoyance and frustration caused by his pitiful minion. Saruman reached for his staff by his side as he glared at Wormtounge, who knew what his master was planning to do, however he only closed his eyes but moved no other muscle.

‘You are braver than I had assumed, Gríma,’ said Saruman.

‘No, Master. I am not brave, but as you said a worm. I desire death, to be released of your manipulative word. I beg of you, grant me freedom from your voice.’

Saruman smiled a malicious smile and set down his staff.

‘How foolish you are. You should have known better. You shall not get what you desire. You will not die, however you will not live. You shall be my complete servant. You will do as I say, and if you refuse you shall come closer to death while never achieving it.’

Wormtounge drew a dagger from the sheath at his side. Saruman snatched up his staff and thrust it towards the worm. Wormtounge was thrown against the wall and came sliding down. The dagger fell out of his hand and came clanging to the ground.

‘You will learn yet fool,’ scorned the wizard.

Wormtounge groveled to Saruman. He looked again as an animal. A wizard’s pet whimpering and whining.

‘What do you now wish of me, Lord?’ asked Wormtounge.

‘Leave me, and do not return until you hear my voice call for you.’

Wormtounge slowly backed out of the large room with his head bowed down, and left his master. He went into a separate room of the tower and stood out on the balcony. He gazed all across Isengard and thought ‘why is it I have returned here? I have journeyed many leagues back from the Golden Hall, only to be made a servant again.’ And has he looked back towards the gate he cam through he heard hooves, and in the distance saw the Riders approaching.