Gunnar parked by the cabin. It was just turning dark and the nightfall was clear with the lighted horizon behind the mountains reflecting off the snow giving everything a soft blue light. He knocked the sawdust off his coveralls and went inside. He removed his winter clothes and hung them up in the mudroom before entering the living area just like every evening. He stood by the small wood stove and stoked the fire. The heat felt luxurious as warmth crept back into his arms and legs. He drew a hot bath and washed the sawmill out of his skin, hair, and thoughts.

After a good hot bath, Gunnar fed Gaston, who was perky and looking royally indignant, happy to see Gunnar return home. He fixed a stew and pot of spiced tea, placed it on a wooden tray, and made his way up to the loft. The tray rested on the dresser as the room filled with the savory smell of the stew and wisps of spiced chai tea. The rustle of sheets broke the spell of daydreams held in the fading light from the mountains shining through the picture window next to the bed. The woman in Gunnar’s bed felt his warmth against her as his arms encircled her.

She turned into him. The silk shirt his models always wore fell open as she hugged him and mimicked Gaston’s welcoming purr. Gaston cocked his head. She is finally learning, he thought. She lay on Gunnar’s chest and wrapped her arms around his neck to hold him tight against her. She had felt the change in him; a metamorphosis that promised she would no longer have to leave him and reset his mind. He was no longer slow and reserved with his passion. She felt his wildness become a fervor. She had promised herself when he was ready, she would consume him like a forest fire with her love.

“I love you, Char. With every ounce of my soul.”

She held him tight to her as a tear fell from her cheek to his neck. “Let’s eat before it gets cold, and then I have a favor to ask.”

He smiled and whispered through his lips attending to her neck. “Tell me.”

Paint me,” She replied with a sultry smokiness in her voice.

Gaston lifted his head and tail into the air and trotted out of the room. He was a Tom Cat, to be sure, but he was no peeping Tom.

The End

105 thoughts on “Paint Me-10

  1. Oh for Pete’s sake, I’m always late to your party because WP is deliberating keeping us apart, those cowards.
    This is very lovely and played havoc with my romantic soul. I’m so glad Gunnar has found his “lost” love and they are finally together again. That this is the finale saddens me. I hope your head elves are planning something new and as exciting as Paint Me. Le sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I so glad this little story found a place in your romantic soul. What we won’t do for love. I thank you for your support and encouragement, which makes all the difference in the outcome. Now, it’s time to write what is my true writerly destiny. It’s a story that takes place in a small town called Otterbury titled The Otterbury Tales. There will be otter chaos and otterly mayhem all in rascally good fun.

      Liked by 1 person

            1. Ha ha ha! The wine fest at Resa’s looked promising too. I’ll start giving you a heads up in comments so you can wait until after the hang over to pop over for some stories about the down river pole dancing otter girls at the Green Minnow Brewery on Saturday night.

              Liked by 1 person

                    1. Hi Rene 🤚. It’s starting out quiet and lovely. Hope the same for you too. I’m betting your flower garden is busting out with blooms. My orchids decided to bloom this year into a beautiful pure white petals with deep rose red centers. I’m taking that as a good omen.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Good morning Dan. Your garden sounds lovely, a good omen . My hibiscus are in full bloom, the gardenias too and this is the first year after 6 that I’ve had more than one or two buds on those. The avocado tree is full but this is its first year so I doubt they will be mature enough for guacamole. It does seem like nature is having a field day without us. 🤗🌺🌸

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. I think it’s true that nature has had a reprieve long enough to show some of her real potential. My lawn mower is traumatized by the surly grass. I love Hibiscus and make tea from it sometimes to relax. And gardenias too? I can tell you are a flower pro.

                      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ohh, it’s over!

    Well done, and a sweet ending.
    Is the artist tamed, or just wiser?
    I’ll go with wiser. Tamed… could be a soul destroyer.
    Well, what is your next story?
    Guess I’ll find out soon enough!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was all leading up to that one little twist in their sanity together. I think Gunnar evolves and heals a little each time. I do believe Melanie- Sari-Char will stay with him for the journey to wellness. I haven’t really figured out what story is next, but when I do, it’ll come all at once like a flood. I do have a few outlines stuffed back in the maybe later bucket.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This ending is somewhat different than the original I read a few years ago.

    A better ending this time.

    Could thing I read your comment about Char being the same woman as Sari and Melancholia.

    That I didn’t pick up on.

    I was going to make some comment about Gunnar needing a new piece of tail in order to get on with his painting.

    But it’s the same woman just posing as a different model each time.

    A re-honeymoon phase.

    Gaston the cat is definitely the same one in that household.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes indeedy, I just got an inspiration to rewrite the ending making it better, I had hoped, and a little more of a twist. Something we would hopefully not discover in the real world and so a little more unexpected.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I noticed you were pondering what series of stories to do next.

        I think the Jefferey the Otter series of stories (aka the Otterbury Tales) would make for good reading to put people in a more cheerful mood in this pandemic.

        Jefferey makes the perfect antidote to quarantine.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This story….. It’s just so good! In such a short time, I’ve grown to love the characters, yearning for more. The twists were so amazing. You really know how to craft a story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Kymber. It inspires me to reach farther and try harder. I did hurry through the last part to avoid dragging everyone down the rabbit hole, but it would be a good story with more elaboration if it helped evolve the plot better. But as a short novella, I’m thrilled that you found connection with the characters and their world they created to hang on to each other.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I would really love to see a film in the Swiss Alps on a story like this. Capture the beauty of the location and add the struggle with the environment as well as their need and love for each other. They could throw in a rabid bear and some illegal skinny dipping in the lake by the resident Sasquatch family to keep it interesting for the action and adventure crowd. The otters and Gaston might steal the show but that would be okay too.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Oh yes Sha’Tara. The Swiss Squatches are quit prevalent in the green zone of the mountains. They like to fool the tourists by pretending to be mountain goats. They’re a humorous bunch.

              Liked by 1 person

          1. Now my imagination is just running away from me. haha Throw in the Headless Horseman, some vampires, and a ghost or two, and you’ll have it. 😂😂 Seriously, though, your story can stand on its own without the extras. It is awesome the way it is. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. LOL! That would be some real entertainment. I could change the title to “My Daze Go Up in Smoke” I could have the play take place in Colorado where the smoke haze in Denver will boost you another mile higher. It would have to be a sitcom. I’m going to post a personal announcement of my plans to change my career trajectory and some of my posts will document some things that I can share. Of course, more stories are in the word mill. 🙂 So stay tuned….

              Liked by 1 person

                    1. Then I’ll get right on it. I must tell you, I saw a chickmump who appeared well fed waddle up on my back porch and I hollered for the sweet little darling grand daughters to come look. Little did I know they had seen the little rascals before and had already named them. In fact they had names for every creature that hung around out back on a regular basis. I was so tickled, I thought it was time to bring the otters back to the Hyperion stage. I know, I’ll get lots of inspiration.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. That is so sweet! I love it! We get wild turkeys, deer, foxes, etc. in our yard. I can’t wait till our little darling can name the wildlife. She’s of an age now where she is standing while holding onto furniture. It’s so cute.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Those are the moments we live for when our little grands are capable and busy exploring their world. It sounds like your place is going to be the place to be for introductory wildlife appreciation. I think that is so great and the kids love it too.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. Oh Wow! 😃👶🏻🧒🏻 Double the pleasure! You and Grandpa are going to be busy. That keeps you young and fit so you can keep up with the little energizer bunnies that just keep going and going and going….congratulations! Very happy for you and your growing family. 🎉🎊

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. I’m happy for you. Just this evening I sat down with my daughters for a big meal of homemade sushi, meso soup, and ginger salad and we discussed grand daughter management strategies. Their soccer teams may get back together this summer and we have to be ready to transport kids and stop at different ice cream shoppes on the way home. It’s a big task, but I think I can manage the ice cream 🍦😋

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. Hahaha I remember being at my grandparents’ house and my grandpa would ask me if I wanted to go for a ride. To everyone else, this mean something mundane like filling up the gas tank. Really, though, he’d either take me for an ice cream, or a frosty mug of root beer at A&w with the instructions not to tell anyone. LOL

                      Liked by 1 person

                    7. I’m all in. I take the kids with me under the guise of buying some quick items to get them out if the house and we go to Target and let them ravage the toy section, then we go to Barnes and Noble and let their little reader minds go nuts, then we finish off with milkshakes to keep them energized. When their mother sees what I’ve done, she scolds me for spoiling them. That’s when I know it was a successful outing. I’ve been saving up in my spoilage budget with the stay at home order. But soon, we will have a megashopoholic adventure ready to go.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    8. Oh, um, I do that too. Today, after the battle of the virulent grass was over, I stretched out on the lawn in the dying cockroach position. It was my way of showing nature I submitted to her will. I was whooped.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    9. I do find that I last longer in the lawn subjugation campaign if I have an energy snack and home made lemon and lime aid at the ready. However, sometimes the only rejuvenator is a comfy chair and a ration of rum. That must be left over from my Nordic sailing heritage. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum, arrrgh matey. 😜🏴‍☠️

                      Liked by 1 person

                    10. Oh I need to tell you I read your last post on Kai’s daughter. I need to go back and catch up. Just wow! The get outa here part was soul shaking. I am in for the long haul to find out how this ends up. Beautiful and emotive work Kymber.

                      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah…très magnifique, Dan! The forest fire line is so good, you can just picture the heat and the intensity of Char’s love. Their hearts ablaze. This is a perfect and beautiful ending, and of course our little feline friend has the last word. 😉 Your short story is passionate, has stunning imagery, and takes the reader on an emotional ride. Adding a comedic kittycat was a masterful touch. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much Lauren! I cherish your opinion as you are the real deal. I borrowed heavily from you, Rene, and others to combine into a kind of style that is ultimately a journey in the protagonists mind and how Gunnar’s struggle is aided by a clever woman who refuses to give up and will do anything to pull Gunnar out into the open to live even if it is only temporary. And I came to love Gaston right away. He was the straight man to ground the two lovers in just enough reality to keep them in the present. Thank you so much for hanging in there and keeping me motivated and inspired. 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am humbled to know I’m part of your inspirational team. 🙂 I also chuckled remembering that I’ve heard from guys I date that I change my look so often it’s like getting a new woman every month.

        Char is not only clever but selfless. A remarkable woman. And one of your best talents is creating exraordinary female characters. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You are a natural and inspiring person Lauren. Your humor and wit is the best. I think that is so fresh for you to be able to take on a new look whenever you like and rock it. I have always appreciated extraordinary women from all walks of life. They always leave a lasting impression and I find that inspiring as well.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. You know Gunnar slipped back into his head and has to be shocked back out again. Think how great Char has it. New boyfriend every year or so with a vigorous appetite for romance. She changes her name, Gunnar falls in love and BANG – honeymoon phase restart. I don’t find anything wrong with that. Gunnar isn’t getting a bad deal either. 😉

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.