195: The Defiant Doe

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Thank you for following our mountain hike so far and based on the polls & feedback, it looks like many of you are into this type of storytelling. It's actually quite refreshing changing the pace a little to more of a story-driven piece instead of the one that shows the "end result" a little too soon. Perhaps the buildup does build more "delicious" tension. And I do enjoy writing, even though it does take up a lot of my time for research and also plenty of trial and error. I may make a short break for the next update before continuing this tale. I'm also playing around with the idea of a "sponsor-a-story/kickstarter" style approach to stories like these. As there are many on-going stories that I've started concurrently, it's hard to choose which one's to put before others as they're all equally tasty projects.



Continued from Carte du Jour #193: Last Days of Winter, & Carte du Jour #194: The Green Man's Hunt . Conversation at a bar between strangers.


How'd you even find yourself out there alone in the first place?

Had a fight with the lady. That's one reason I'm out here to be honest, to get away from it all and think.

And so the story goes. So what did you find out?

That it was all my fault and I'd done her wrong, of course. Isn't that the usual story of this type of tale? And to be honest, it truly was my fault I pushed her away.

And now you can go back, say you've done your spiritual walkabout, the wisdom of the forest spoke to you and made you realize all your wrongs and she'll finally welcome you with open arms. I don't know you, stranger, but from my experience as unofficial counselor of wayward lovebirds and soused old seasoned types around this establishment, I've learned that a relationship is never tougher without a few cracks.

Not for me, I'm afraid. You could say that our relationship is... broken beyond repair. She's moved on.

Okay, sure... that bad, huh? Well. You know, here you go. This drink's on the house!

Well, thank you. To her memory. And of lost loves.

To lost loves, and the next big fish in the sea.


Boy. I still can't believe you managed to last the whole month out there alone. This season was probably one of the worst whiteouts we had here and you don't look worse for wear. But looking at you I can see you know how to take care of yourself. You never did say how you managed to survive out there & come back out at the end of it looking like you could still compete for American Gladiator!

See this here?

See what?

This shiner over here under my left eye.

Ah... yeah, looks almost healed over there, I barely notice it now.

Oh, really? Goes to show when I actually saw myself in the mirror. Truth be told, I still remember the blow like it was still yesterday. But yes, that's from a doe I hunted out there. She was a tough one, lashed out at me with one of her hindlegs when I thought she was secure. These creatures are majestic and I did underestimate their intelligence and strength and she surprised me. But yes, she was a beauty. 150 pounder. Lasted me throughout the blizzard & kept me alive. You could say, I ate that roast haunch with a little bit of relish and sweet vengeance in my palate. I know it's off-season for deer-hunting, but of course you'll keep it on the down low, won't you? Extraordinary times.

You bet. Your secret's safe with me. You must've finish the whole thing if it'd lasted you a whole month.

You would be right. Sadly, I didn't leave any leftovers for our forest friends. She was all mine. A well fought foe, and doe... and to the victor, all the spoils.

You're lucky there. We've got a couple more groups still unaccounted for, that one party from Japan... and the couple, the pretty blonde with another guy nobody seems to be able to identify. It's easy once your food supply runs out... lost and weak out there, it's easy to just slip away into the forever sleep. I saw her you know? The blonde. She was actually sitting right where you're at when I served her before the whiteout.

Oh, really?

Gorgeous woman. Looked Scandinavian, Nordic or something. Man, my heart skipped a beat. I don't know what they feed these women from that part of the world. A little taller than me, and I'm sure she could've whooped my ass if she wanted to. If you'd seen her, with what you've been through, she would've been perfect girl to make you forget about your lady. Looking at you, I'm sure you'd be her type.

That's a pity. I hope they find her.

Yeah, that's the strange thing. I've been here for a while now and lately, we've had a few go missing. A couple of years ago, another couple who'd also stayed here, and then another few more years before. It's always the couples for some reason, these poor foolhardy Japanese tourists notwithstanding. It's got some of the locals start talking about Bigfoot, UFO abductions or even a serial killer we don't know about. Me? I'll go for the more mundane. Accident by nature and our foolish pride to think we can conquer the elements. But if you ask me, I don't trust the Park Service Rangers. Just between you and me, I feel like they're either incompetent or they're hiding something. We've gotten too many 411's lately and looks like the Feds have started getting involved.

Looks like I've to be a little more careful then next time I come here.

Looks like it.

-- to be continued? --



So you won't feel I've been holding back on the "end product" artwork, Here are a collection some bonus images of other projects.



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