In this chapter, we return to Tusnelda and Martin in Granite Falls. They are still on vacation and most of their time is spent developing their personal skills. Another big part of the time, they enjoy the infatuation they have rediscovered. However, it will also be clear to anyone that Tusnelda is tumbling with some very difficult personal questions. If she ever reaches a clarity it will show in the end.
It’s dark when Martin and the cats reach back to the cabin.
Martin immediately goes to the fridge. He remembers a burger he never got eaten.
He looks forward to putting his teeth into the delicious meal.
It is truly a meal he enjoys to the fullest.
He has barely taken the last bite when Fiona followed by the kittens jumps up on the table.
“How many times do I have to say I do not want cats on the table when we eat.” says Martin sternly
It does not seem that his scolding makes an impression for now Trix also participated in the assembly.
Fiona takes a relaxed nap on top of his empty plate, completely unchallenged.
It is difficult to argue against such a convincing resistance and when you look at it from the outside, you can probably say that the meal is over.
Granite Falls Forest
Tusnelda stands for several hours under the dim light of the moon with her fishing rod.
At some point, she needs a break and she lies down on the ground near the lake.
She listens to the voices of the waterfall as she watches the stars in an ink-black sky.
In relation to the waterfall, she is so tiny.
Here below the waterfall, she understands as a revelation her proper size.
She suddenly gets up and her right arm makes a high powerful movement. If you listen carefully, you can hear a small splash in the water.
She is so in love, with life itself and with the man waiting in the cabin.
She will do anything for him, even this.
The dawn is slowly approaching and she quickly sets course for her loved one.
Martin has lit a campfire while waiting for Tusnelda.
The night air is cool and he puts another log on the fire.
The sparks leap close to his face as the fire grabs hold of the slightly damp firewood.
Soon he is annoyed by some mosquitoes in their hunt for his proteinaceous blood.
A bonfire without Tusnelda’s company quickly becomes boring and he gets up restless.
Maybe he should take a run in the area?
He turns on the television instead.
An impressively large waterfall appears on the screen. It originates from a mountain peak. He would love to climb such a mountain.
He’s thinking about Tusnelda and what she’s doing right now.
He’s not happy that she’s alone out there at night, but it seemed like she has a lot she needs to process on her own. She can be very determined and he knows it does not help to contradict her.
However, Martin has no reason to worry because right now Tusnelda is on her way into the cabin.
“You’re back,” he says relieved.
“Yes, I’m back,” she replies.
“I’m sorry Martin, but there was something I had to consider on my own.” she says.
“Is there anything we should talk about? You know you can tell me everything,” Martin says seriously.
“I know. We’ll talk about it later.” answers Tusnelda.
Martin can feel that there is something she is hiding and he looks at her inquisitively.
“I love you Tusnelda.” he says.
Tusnelda feels how her fluid body feels more firmly in his arms. With him by her side she knows everything will be ok.
“Maybe we should celebrate my return,” she whispered.
We all know their recipe and the sparkling result.
Tusnelda is hungry after a long night at the waterfall and she finds a leftover burger in the fridge.
Martin is truly a master at grilling burgers.
Tusnelda stares thoughtfully into the air.
She feels she is in dissolution. She loves him and she knows she can count on him so why does her body and mind feel so damn fluid.
Martin feels terribly restless in the absence of exercise, so he does some abdominal crunches on the floor.
He can of course run in the area but he misses his training tools.
Now Tusnelda returns to the bedroom.
“I thought you were asleep,” she says.
“I need some exercise.” he answers.
“I can help you with that,” she says, kissing him.
“I bet you can, but I’m going to run along the creek.” he replies, giving her a hug. “You should get some sleep.”
Day 4 in Granite Falls
Although none of them have slept this night they feel no fatigue and therefore we have now embarked on the fourth day of their holiday.
Martin runs down towards the lake and continues his route along the creek.
Tusnelda collects some berries.
After the run, Martin continues on the painting he started on before they visited Flora.
The motif is inspired by Granite Falls.
Martin looks like he’s in heaven. It is clear that it is not only Tusnelda who is affected by the infatuation.
Right now, though, Tusnelda is very focused on her projects.
She is working hard to achieve her goal of becoming a trained herbalist.
When she has finished another herbal ointment, she turns her attention to Martin to see what he is doing.
He is very busy painting a romantic painting.
However, he is not too busy to take care of her.
“Shall we take a break or what do you think Tusnelda?” he asks cheekily.
“One should never be too busy for a break,” she replies with a shy giggle.
One would think they have just met for the first time. We will leave them to explore each other without interruption.
After the break, Tusnelda returns to the herbal ointments and medicine with renewed energy.
Martin has found the horseshoe game, but he is interrupted by Trix.
To Trix’s great delight, he recognizes the sparkling toy.
Tusnelda has just brewed another herbal product and she stands for a moment and watches their play.
Then she runs down to the creek to fish.
Martin seems to be getting tired of the play, although Trix could easily have continued for a long time yet.
“It’s nice to see you still have the ability to make some sparks,” Trix purrs kindly as Martin takes him up in his arms.
“You’re such a cute cat.” says Martin kindly. “I’m glad we became friends.”
Meanwhile, Tusnelda enjoys fishing.
She is so happy that she has rediscovered this pleasure. Her thoughts flow so easily as she listens to the quiet trickle of water in the creeks.
When we talk about rediscovering joys, it also applies to Martin and his guitar.
Besides, he really likes to sing. It’s a skill he’s soon to have developed to the fullest.
We leave him to enjoy the moment without interruption.
Martin is hungry and he makes a fresh supply of burgers on the grill.
Fiona attentively follows his burger with her eyes as he walks over to find himself a chair.
She lies patiently waiting, close to the dish with the delicious food … but it looks like she’s been overwhelmed by fatigue, or maybe she’s just full.
She is still asleep when Martin finishes his meal.
Here, her chance of a stolen meal disappears as Martin carries the leftovers into the fridge.
Fie is sitting at the kitchen counter. She always seems to be near where there is human activity. She is a curious cat.
Tusnelda pulls another fish out of the creek after which she puts the fishing rod aside.
With renewed energy, she returns to the task of brewing herbal medicine and ointments.
Trix stares for a long time at Martin’s latest painting. Maybe he senses the silhouettes of some cats.
“Can you recognize Fiona and you on the painting Trix?” asks Martin…. “It is a romantic line-up with reference to Lady and the Tramp.”
Trix stares at Martin in wonder. He does not know this Lady and the Tramp, but he knows that neither he nor Fiona will eat anything as strange as spaghetti.
In fact, it may be that Trix is wrong when it comes to Fiona. I could suspect her of eating anything.
Martin looks analytically at his work. Maybe his line is a bit primitive? There is still room for improvement.
Neither Trix nor Fiona bother sacrificing more time on the art. They both run across the grass in a playful game of tag.
Martin takes another run, still filled with an excess of energy.
Trix plays casually with Fie.
This holiday does them all well.
It’s evening and Tusnelda has gone out to harvest again.
On the route, she suddenly becomes aware of the landmark of the camp.
She has seen it lots of times, yet it is as if she has only now become really aware.
It must have been a colossally large tree that added body to this sculpture.
Soon she continues her harvest of the insects of twilight.
Martin has found his guitar again. It is said that practice makes perfect and Martin has clearly improved his skills in the days that have passed.
Now Tusnelda returns home from her trip.
It inspires him to sing a romantic folk song.
Tusnelda enjoys the attention and sight of her handsome man.
She can feel her heart beating hard behind the sternum as it struggles to burst out into freedom.
Can one die of infatuation, she thinks worriedly.
Fortunately, Martin puts the guitar aside.
“”Did you like the song?” Martin asks as she gets closer.
“I was so moved that I thought I was going into dissolution,” she says with an insecure laugh.
“It’s unlikely to happen.” Martin laughs. “Your character are too strong-willed to allow that to happen.”
“Besides, I’m going to hold on to you.” he whispers.
He should know how much I need it, Tusnelda thinks.
“I know Martin! … We should go to bed now.” she replies.
Back by the extinguished fire stands the group of cats. From experience, there is too much rumbling in the bedroom at this point.
However, it should turn out that the only noise in the bedroom is the sound of a light snoring. Tusnelda and Martin are both exhausted after missing last night’s sleep.
Day 5 in Granite Falls (Final day)
Tusnelda is up early to harvest herbs and insects.
In the bedroom, the herd of cats keeps Martin company.
It’s their last day in Granite Falls so Tusnelda sits down on a bench to enjoy the view of the water.
She catches sight of the blue bird sitting and whistling on a piece of rock close by.
The bird does not let itself be disturbed by her sitting close to it.
She stays seated for a little longer and enjoys the unique landscape in green and blue.
Suddenly she gets up quickly. They’re leaving home tomorrow so she’s in a hurry.
Not so far from there, Martin takes things quite differently calmly.
He has plenty of time to take a nice hot tub.
Here it is only Fie who shows impatience as she howls trying to get his attention.
She soon realizes that it is a hopeless task and she turns around and walks away.
This world is still new and unexplored adventures await right outside the door.
She could learn from her father. Trix is always on discovery somewhere.
Tusnelda is fast approaching the center of the camp.
She sets course for the information kiosk nearby.
She has come a long way in her tasks of making ointments and herbal medicines, but she lacks an ingredient to brew the last medicine.
“Hi there! Can I buy 3-4 tomatoes?”
With the newly acquired fruits, she runs back to the cabin.
Now she begins to work in deep concentration.
Several hours later
“Yeah!!! I did it!!!” she cheers loudly.
Martin is immediately summoned by her howl.
“You did what?” he asks.
“I have completed all tasks. I am an Herbalist now.” she answers.
“You are amazing! I think I’ll have to kiss you now!” Martin replies
This holiday has truly tied them closely together.
“Do you have any other great revelations we can celebrate?” Martin asks with a twinkle in his eye.
“I actually have one more surprise, but you’ll have to wait until tonight.” whisper Tusnelda.
“I will look forward to that,” replied Martin.
He can hardly imagine anything more that might surprise him, but he’s really starting to appreciate Tusnelda’s surprises.
On top of the completed challenge, Tusnelda takes a relaxing mud bath.
The cats gather in the shade for a pleasant conversation.
Martin has found a new large canvas.
The light filtered through the dense coniferous forest has inspired him to create an impressionist painting.
He really enjoys spending so much time painting.
The last evening in the forest
Dinner is eaten and Tusnelda catches some fireflies near the cabin.
Martin plays some bonfire songs.
Tusnelda sits by the fire and roasts some marshmallows. It’s obviously something she loves.
Martin is painting the last part of the painting.
Tusnelda burns herself on the hot marshmallow.
It does not prevent her from putting a new one on the spear.
Martin looks at her from a distance.
“I can not thank you enough for this surprising holiday .. it has been so amazing.” he says.
The last part of the holiday has been a long rediscovery of their mutual infatuation.
Even Fiona has been infected by the mood of their love bubble.
Martin finds the guitar and plays a romantic ballad.
Tusnelda looks at him. His beautiful voice was one of the first things she fell in love with.
Martin goes inside to use the toilet.
Tusnelda roasts another marshmallow over the last embers of the fire to the sound of Fiona’s longing love songs.
They should take that cat to the vet when they reach Brindleton Bay if no more kittens are to come.
She has just put a knot of firewood on the fire when Martin returns.
She is so in love and she feels she can’t get enough of him.
They do not let go of each other’s eyes when they go inside.
The cats gather around the fire. They are not invited into the bedroom.
Another evening, the bedroom in the cabin is illuminated by glowing pink sparks.
None of them can sleep afterwards. It’s their last night in the cabin and they should enjoy it to the fullest …. Damn how much he loves that woman, Martin thinks.
“Can we sit and talk for a moment?” Tusnelda asks.
“You’re so serious … is there anything I should know?” asks Martin uneasily.
“You could say that,” Tusnelda replies hesitantly.
“I love you so much, Martin and I promised you a surprise….”
“I threw…..” she whispers.
“You did what !?” he replies in surprise.
“I threw my birth control pills in the waterfall,”
“I hope you agree for otherwise you have to dive to the bottom of the lake to pick them up….. … but it may be too late.” Tusnelda laughs.
“You are a woman full of wonderful surprises…Of course I agree,” he says.
Her body is dissolved in fluid uncertainty over her decision, but when she feels his embrace she is sure it will be ok.
When Martin has fallen asleep, Tusnelda goes out to the campfire.
She puts more firewood on the fire and she sits on a tree stump and looks thoughtfully at the flames.
It was the fire at her job that made her reevaluate her life.
It suddenly became clear to her that she only exists for a limited time. That time must be spent developing her full potential and having a heir is the only connection to eternity she will ever be able to achieve.
Above her the full moon shines.
Somewhere below the waterfall in Granite Falls Forest lies the proof of how far she has moved.
Tusnelda gets up and goes inside to the man she loves.
She’s sure everything will be ok.
Author’s note: I’ve asked myself if it was really necessary to spend two chapters on the vacation in Granite Falls. A Chinese proverb says that it only takes one step to change direction. These are very wise words. On reflection, however, I would say that the road can then feel very unsafe until one has found a secure foothold. It is my experience that it takes courage and sufficient time.