255: The Last of Her

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Dear Patrons,

It is that time of the year again. Not of April's Fool's jests and mirth, but that of the beginning of a new warmer season. Last year we had the story, Last Days of Winter, and this update makes a continuation of that story. I hope to continue this tale in the next couple of updates interspersed with a special update by Easter. Stay tuned.

Again, thanks for waiting. I realized the time was nigh as we are heading towards the Last Days of Winter and I couldn't pass the opportunity to develop a story idea I had for a while. Sadly, I didn't have the artworks ready until now, hence the delay but there should be a couple more in quickfire succession before the next Carte du Jour password cycle.

This update really took a lot out of me and I hope the hard work shows in the results and that it makes up for 2 Carte du Jour's worth as I hope to get  get ready for the new warmer season.

Bon appétit!

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I. GOODBYE, MY DARLING (2 free full color artwork, 6 colored artworks of different variations upon a similar scene)

I. She had been quite a catch

Let me tell you a story. A man and a woman, souls together alone in a domain far removed from civilization. They embarked upon this journey on the eve of Valentine's Day, not husband, nor wife, but close. For a few short months they lived alone in a home they built together. This was a hallowed place with an obscure history unknown to most save for the initiated or the most ardent researcher. It was a place of nature and the hoary whiteness of the cloud-filed sky and snow. It was a wilderness of ghosts, the occult, of ancient rituals, forgotten tribes and carnage where the ground drank the blood of the living. But this land was beautiful and for a time, this world belonged to them alone.

She had been quite a catch. Beautiful, headstrong, proud and capable in physical prowess. Only a woman like her could be a match for him. She had been a tough-pleaser as girls like her tend to be but his presence seemed timeless as a man who would belong in any and every era of mankind. That was his quality and ultimately, she could not resist his inconceivable aura. Twice, he hunted. Twice she played hard to get. And both times, he prevailed which led to the last of their days together in a particularly frigid winter season in the mountain range of the High Sierras.

She provided for him while he restored the ruins of an old abandoned log cabin he once stayed at during a previous visit, in another life a long time ago, with another soul he shared his love and his life with. But as with all things, the seasons and the trees, that love also blossom and ended in ashes leaving all involved forever changed souls.

II. The one before

The modest small wooden cabin abode needed some heavy work. He decided to improve upon it, make new additions and enhancements made from the parts of the forest, an added shelf, table or a bench or two crafted from the gathered wood. The roofing and insulation from the gathered moss and bramble until when the process was over, the small cabin would look just as new as it had been years ago, if not, larger and better. Through renewal, there also must be change. And throughout the hard work he was fuelled by the protein-rich sustenance provided by his lover.

After two weeks of toil, the work was complete and the man deserved a long needed day of rest. There was much meditation, much lovemaking, much reflection, and also, much food of the highest quality. Him and his significant other in this very special moment of meaningful spirituality.

In the forthcoming days when he found himself a little too tranquil for he had enjoyed a sense of mission, he would make ambitious sojourns into the lands beyond. In the early morning, he would give his lover a kiss goodbye. "I'll be back home soon for dinner tomorrow, darling. Please make yourself cozy until I return," he would say. He would bring sustenance his lover has provided along on his hikes so that even as they would be miles apart, there would be a part of her with him on his journey.

It had been such a remote region during such harsh weather that rarely ever he would come across another being, human or otherwise. There had been a few curious oddities, such as a den of a hibernating bear which he'd left undisturbed, and some wonderfully beautiful vista points that he made a mental bookmark to show to another partner in the future. He knew the region enough to avoid the roads and towns, but there was the odd occasion where would come across a dirt road leading to the remnants of an abandoned logging camp and he would be dismayed, thinking of the changing landscape and what would the place look like in the future. And one one such hike, he remembered a location of a particularly strong significance, of which he was not too far away from and decided to make a detour. He was sure his beloved could wait an extra day undisturbed as the days had shown no signs of warming up. This was Truckee Lake where the Donner Memorial rests. In the coming months, the area would thaw and be lush and warm enough to draw summer tourists. But for now, it was cold, stark and forbidding as it had been in that tragic few years of 1846-1847. He would spare a thought and say a prayer for the long departed, those who had fallen under the hands of others, of force majeure or by his own hands. And then he would return to the loving embrace of his cherished beloved and the warmth of sustenance she would bring.

Days turned to weeks which in turn turned to months.

There would come a time when a change stirred in the air and it would appear that the season was about to change when frost would turn into dewdrops. But nothing ever lasts forever and in the end, his beloved could not provide him no more and the man, in a pensive state would prepare to say his final goodbyes. As the last of her remained, he acknowledged that their time together will finally come to an end and he would return to the urgent matters of the world. I enjoyed our time together he would say to her? To himself? I loved you most of all and the sentiment was true now. It was always a rare affair that would spend so much of his time to be with just one woman for this long. He made it known to her how special she had been to him and at the end, she was touched with an epiphany and only then she was ready. Even though he may have said this to ladies' past and he very much meant it then and he very much meant it now.

And perhaps one day he shall return again with another to begin the cycle anew with additional plans for new extensions to be added to the hidden mountain cabin.

-- the end?--

II. BONUS ALTERNATE ARTWORKS (4 coloured variations of 2 scenes)

Herein lies supplement artworks of the Last Days of Winter storyline.

III. BONUS WIP ARTWORKS OF TODAY'S STORY (5 black & white sketches, 4 coloured variations of 2 scenes)

IV. OTHER WORKS IN PROGRESS SKETCHES (1 black & white sketch, 2 WIP shaded drawings of a similar scene)

Herein lies a preview of an upcoming Easter-themed carte du jour.

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