251: The Tigress and the Hare
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The year 2023 has turned out to be a crazy year so far. It took a while and oh so close to Valentine's too, that I've finally finished a new thread and thanks too to a kind Patron who has helped kickstart this Chinese Matron storyline we can say goodbye to the Year of the Rabbit and hello to the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese calendar. Contributions like these do help me get on with stories at the PROJECTS page. I'm glad to report we are back to fine form, narrative-wise with a new character. In the coming days, I hope to upload the Valentine's Day update in quick succession so you won't feel like you've missed out but I will also offer a pre-loaded apology if I did miss that deadline. Work often does take a lot out of me if I am to maintain my usual quality which you, my fellow Patrons are here for.
In any case, a quick intro here and on to the show as we present the tale of the Matron's Grand-Daughter! Bon appétit!
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I. A CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE INTUITIONIST AND THE ARTISAN (1 full color artworks + 1 alternate isolated version, 1 free color artwork)
How is our newest recruit faring?
In many ways, she is quite like her grandmother, just as terrifying, perhaps even worse. Obsessive over her craft that rivals even myself. While my stimulus is fuelled by the drive to seek the most perfect union between Fem's culinary and visually aesthetic qualities and The Matron is driven by a sense of staunch sense of tradition over the orthodoxy of the Gastronomicon... this woman's flame is fuelled by -- how shall I put it? --rage.
Yes. Interesting enough, it is that rage towards her fellow female that motivates her. I've seen how she taunts our sacrifices. That merciless vindictiveness over some past transgressions her own species has perpetrated on her fuels her.
You are what you hate...
The Matron had been one of our very best, a reliable ally and stalwart to be trusted with the Circle's deepest secrets. She had been a great loss to us and that void could never be replaced. Her grand-daughter however, she is... unbridled. Unpredictable. Unlike her grand-mother, I have a sneaky suspicion that part of her enjoys her work to the point of being almost... sexual.
You don't say. I don't think I agree with you on that. Not all women are delight in the carnal pleasures of Fem.
Have you observed her in the kitchen from our last outing?
By that which you mean the Feast of the Tigress and the Hare?
That's the one.
Quite a special night it was too I must say. The main course had been especially tender and quite beautiful!
And what if I told you, if you had observed how she treated the evening's sacrifice as I did with my own eyes in the kitchen, you might change your mind. I saw how she looked at the dead girl and the way which she prepared the carcass, especially when she thinks I'm not looking. She took particular delight in the massaging of oils onto the flesh and her fingers lingered... or might I even say, played... on some of the more intimate areas of the body.
I do not doubt your account. But are you not anthropomorphising her female frame of mind to fit our own male passions? What if that desire you observed in the kitchen had been a sense of aspiration, even admiration towards her victims, warped into sexual dominance of power of not being able to be as pretty as these girls we picked for her? After all, the subjects whom we chose should indicate that we only dine on the beautiful! So are you manifesting another sort of emotion into that which could be misattributed as a sexual reaction? A vengeful delight over the demise of the tormentors of her youth? The prettier girls? The ones who mocked her in day's past? Banishing her demons by devouring them? Screaming at the pretty decapitated head of her nemesis, 'look where I am and see where you are now?'
You weren't with us at the time, but there had been a rumor about her when she was but a fledgling protege of the Matron. It will serve your hypothesis of the concept of her "rage". It was said she was very much different from the woman you see now. I remembered what a kind and sweet young girl she was that I felt that she didn't quite belong here. But she was the last of the Matron's own blood, another dwindling bloodline of the old ones, so we protected her. She had a fascinating tendency to befriend the sacrifices. We found it quite amusing to see the subjects so disarmed by her affability... like seeing an innocent child befriend the lamb before the slaughter. But the story that I had been told was that on the evening of the Matron's death, one of our specimens had been remarkable enough to gain her sympathy. I don't know what was said between them, but it had been enough to actually plot an escape together which led to the death of her grand-mother.
Oh. She never told me that story.
I'm not surprised that it had been a point she wanted to have kept hidden, especially to you seeing that now you're her new mentor. I'm not sure that would have been enough to set her onto the path of madness as there had been no love lost between her and the Matron at the time, but it could have been how that escapee treated her while on the run that sparked an irrevocable sense of betrayal, so much so that from then on, women, especially of European descent, had become that embodiment of hate for her, an animus that grew from her formative years that it remains until now.
Well well, now that you have put it that way, who am I to disagree with a psychiatrist!
Perhaps, I'm wrong too. I too am also venturing a guess based on my own data points with only my limited association with her. I too do not know all the answers. But I can offer my experiences that go further back in the past. She is your protege now and have spent much more time with her under your wing. You've see much more of her nuances that I'm able to. I merely offer alternatives from an objective academic distance. In the end, unless she had confided in your her true feelings, it remain that one secret for her to keep. Nobody will complain as long as she remains loyal and keeps us well fed!
Yes, unlike her mother, and very much more like her grand-mother, from that aspect, she is truly one of us. Admittedly she can be unhinged at times, unpredictable yes, brilliant, mostly... and a liability? I very much doubt it. She is very much committed to us now more than ever. Ultimately, my instincts tell me that you've summoned me here to discuss the next stage, that of her membership into the Inner Circle.
Yes. Is she ready? We have reservations. Rage is wonderful outside of the Inner Circle, but we cannot let that inside our house lest it leads us to a path a step closer to our own destruction. If she is bestowed membership, we may risk another splintering of a second Diarchy.
Given a few more years, perhaps. There is much unresolved within her. I will continue to guide her to the path of Asterion.
What is the solution? I have heard from some that she has grown a little restless.
We should cultivate her depravity so that she continues to serve us as much as we serve her. Build her an establishment, her own kitchen most definitely. She has all the tools. Her skill-work at dismantling the carcass is equal to myself, very clean and precise. She knows most of the recipes by heart but she is naturally an intuitive cook, more like me, less like the Matron. Allow her own adjunct kingdom of which she can serve us independently, then we can observe how she operates without our guidance. For that, she is ready. I feel that she yearns the privacy of her own abattoir so that she could be left to her own delights. It would be fascinating to be a fly on that wall when that happens.
Now that, we can both agree. If all goes well, she might earn her own title designate sooner than later.
-- The end? --
II. WORK-IN-PROGRESS (1 shaded/colored unfinished artwork + 2 black & white sketchs)
For the first, is it possible that this had been one of the Matron's Grand-daughter's subjects?
The second, perhaps related or unrelated: a dismantling of a halved carcass on the butcher's table.
The third is an idea for the continuation of the CALIPHATE project thanks to another generous Patron, all these and more as I continue to finish tales I had begun.
February 14, 2023 @ 3:58 pm
I love the story details on this one. Can’t wait to hear some more.
Image wise, I love both the second and the third. I really like the idea of dismemberment into quarters like that, much like the sketches of quarters previously. Just something about clearly once being a person, but now obviously just meat.
I love the first work in progress image as well, I love cuts from crotch to sternum and gutted, and such a sexual position, basically offering herself as it were.
That last sketch has my interested piqued, would like to see where that is going.
February 16, 2023 @ 8:16 am
The last sketch looks so promising 🙂
February 16, 2023 @ 3:20 pm
Looks like I should focus on the CALIPHATE next!
I appreciate this longer form comment, Xuisse. I may have mentioned this before but I like to hear from “the ladies on the table” once in a while and how this fantasy piques them!