Friday, 11 January 2013

Remora the Remorseless: Chapter Six

In which Steppy and Remora conclude the adventures begun in Chapters One, Two, Three, Four and  Five...

By the time Steppy returned to the Castle, the primroses were in full bloom. Steppy smiled upon seeing their gentle yellow faces, imagining that they heralded a more cheerful epoch ahead.

On her return, Steppy seized on any opportunity to work outside the Castle grounds, and this limited the occasions when she was in the same company as Remora. But Steppy did not wish for confrontation or discord, and so she continued to smile upon Remora when their paths crossed, and to make polite conversation.

But it seemed to Steppy that the more she withdrew from Remora, the more her former friend sought her out. It was clear that withdrawing was going to be a delicate and difficult matter.

"The Head Butler has imposed a great and onerous workload upon me", Steppy said, to explain why she was struggling to meet for their lunchtime repasts, as they had done Back In The Day. "I hope you understand...."

Remora had always accompanied Steppy to every gathering and event held in the Castle, cleaving to her side like a succubus. But now, Steppy decided to start venturing out on her own. And so one evening, she went alone to a gathering without telling Remora she was going.

When Remora discovered this, she felt a white hot anger inside her, which was quenched only by the icy shard at her heart. And she reacted with great unkindness, and subjected Steppy to Sarcastic Incantations.

Steppy knew that this was a difficult transition for Remora, and so did not react - but the Incantations had already cast their spell, binding Steppy with Guilt and Doubt.

She tried once more to broach an open, honest conversation with her former friend, where they could speak freely about the shadow which seemed to have darkened their erstwhile amity. But it was not to be. Instead, Remora said, for the last time:

"I have no idea what you are talking about".
So Steppy told Remora that she felt their friendship should be cooled.

Had Remora been sad, Steppy would have understood. Had Remora been:

- bewildered
- confused
- irritated
- vexed
- miserable
- at a loss, or
- sullen

. . .Steppy would have understood.

But Steppy was entirely unprepared for Remora's Great and Awful RAGE.

So unexpected, extreme and terrifying was Remora's rage - expressed in a violent sotto voce hiss, in a corridor of the Great Town Hall - that Steppy felt as though she was staring at a demon which had suddenly burst forth from inside Remora. She simply did not recognise this person who was staring at her with bulging eyes and scarlet face, hissing imprecations and vowing revenge.

And Steppy knew in that moment that she had been right to withdraw from Remora. Because Steppy was not witnessing "normal" anger. It was the rage of a gaoler seeing her long-captive prisoner break free from their chains and finally escape.

In the months following her Great Rage, Remora cunningly ensured that Steppy's name was blackened throughout the public servant workforce, so that servants who had always spoken amiably to Steppy now became silent and cool. And Remora spoke often to the Head Butler and Grand Vizier, who now began to bully the servant Steppy who was under their command, and cause her untold upset and distress.

And thus Remora the Remorseless - who was in truth a Witch more great and powerful than Steppy had ever imagined - achieved her ultimate end:

She had begun to control almost everyone about her.
She now held them IN THRALL.

Steppy was deeply troubled and upset by what was happening. She sought counsel from the Female Sages, and from physicians who might cure her troubled and disordered soul (for yes, Steppy was so affected by what had happened, that she was afflicted with insomnia and nightmares; and required potions for anxiety and panic attacks). And Steppy worked hard on her recovery, and focused on her life outside the Castle, and told no other servants the truth about what had passed between herself and Remora. Because to tell them the truth, she would have to speak of Remora's secrets. And despite everything that had passed, Steppy knew this would be wrong.

Slowly, slowly, Steppy began to recover; and over time she began to reconnect with the many servants in the Castle who liked and respected her. But she learned to do these things very quietly, because every time Remora learned that Steppy was carefree and happy, she would not rest until she had once again poisoned the minds of others against her former friend and prisoner.....

Five long years have passed since the day of the Great Rage, and yet Remora continues to be an implacable and deadly enemy to Steppy ! So although this chapter brings The Tale of Remora the Remorseless to a close, it does not bring it to an end.

For I very much regret to say, dear Reader, that the adventures of Steppy and Remora are never likely to end.


  1. Katherine
    Have you ever read the book "Women who Run with the Wolves" by Clarissa Pinkola Estes ? I think you would enjoy it

    1. Hi Fifi, no I havent, but I love to be given recommendations so I'm going to track it down and read it! Thank you very much for taking the trouble to post a comment. I'll let you know when my mission has been accomplished! X