Archive for February, 2013

To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 49) Doubts In Her Head

Lyla backs up and glances through the cracked door again thinking maybe Penny is there as well. This time she pushes the door open ever so slightly to see more of the room but Penny is definitely not around. Marnie is now sound asleep and Crispin is turning away from the window. She hears his footsteps quickly approaching the door. Frightened and unsure of what just transpired and of also being discovered, Lyla quickly heads for the staircase. She places her foot on the top step and unexpectedly feels a hand on her shoulder which startles her causing her to jump. She grabs the handrail to steady herself.

“You doing okay, Lyla?” asks Crispin calmly as he slides his hand down her shoulder to her elbow. “Um.” says Lyla clearly shaken; she turns and glances at the bedroom door, then looks at him. “I didn’t expect anyone to be up here.” she says nervously. Her mind is racing; did she actually hear Crispin speak to Marnie using Penny’s voice? “What exactly are you doing up here Crispin?” she asks.

“Your friend Marnie has been, how should I say this, she’s been a bit overindulgent with her spirits.” says Crispin with a smile. Lyla gives him a questioning look. “She’s had too much to drink . . . spirits.” says Crispin as he puts his hand up as if drinking from a cup.  Lyla nods acknowledging that she understands. “But that doesn’t explain why you are up here. Is Penny staying with Marnie?”

Looking a bit puzzled Crispin replies with, “I haven’t seen Penny for a while now and since you’re questioning my integrity, let me elaborate as to my whereabouts.” says Crispin as if this annoyed him slightly. Lyla now feels completely embarrassed; she doesn’t want Crispin to think ill of her and now she’s put him on the defense. What was she thinking? It’s Marcus, he has put all these doubts in her head, but. . . she is almost positive she heard Penny in that room.

“Marnie has been tipping back shots and glasses all night and when she got to the point of leaning instead of standing, I suggested she lie down. So I assisted her in doing so. She is currently resting in that room.” Crispin turns his head and points to the bedroom. “But you already know that, so it’s funny you ask.” He says as he looks back at Lyla.


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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 48) Who Is In The Room

“I think someone walked into the room down the hall.” she whispers almost mouthing the words without any sound at all. She steps back over to where Marcus is and says, “I better get back downstairs, are you staying up here?”

“Yeah, I’m going to find the proof you need so you will believe me.” says Marcus clearly frustrated and worried at the same time.  “It’s not that I don’t believe you. I just. . . oh I don’t know. I’ve told you before it’s just so unbelievable.” She says irritated that they are even having this conversation. “I’ve got to get back to the party.” she kisses him on the head and says “I’ll see you in a bit, ok?” Marcus nods yes and Lyla walks out the door into the hall.  “Great,” says Marcus to Smokey who is still hiding under the bed. “She finds my story far-fetched . . . no pun intended,” and he clears his throat as he continues typing.

As Lyla approaches the guest room that she knows someone entered, she sees the door is ajar. Peeking in through the two-inch crack she finds Marnie curled up on the large bed running her fingers through her hair. Crispin is standing at the window looking out. “I’d say someone had a little too much to drink.” says Lyla to herself about Marnie. As she starts to tiptoe on by she stops and watches Crispin for a moment. He is standing very still with his hands in his pockets. “I guess he brought her up here to rest.” Lyla thinks to herself as she spies on him through the crack.

Knowing Marnie’s typical behavior she is not at all surprised but is perturbed that Crispin was stuck with the task. She starts to enter the room to rescue Crispin but decides against it. Instead she continues to walk down the hall when she hears Penny’s voice coming from the room. With the sounds of the party downstairs she cannot quite make out what was said. Then Marnie responds loudly with, “Oh Penny, you’re so funny!”

“Wait a minute,” says Lyla to herself as she stops walking. “It sounds like Marnie is talking to Penny even though it’s Crispin who is in the room. What?” says Lyla to herself as she stands quietly in one place listening.

Excerpt 48

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 47) Death And Nightmares

“I think that’s how he gets to a person, it’s through the eyes. A couple of times when he and I were talking, I would start to feel strange and would have to force myself to look away. It was really bizarre, it was as if I didn’t want to stop staring but I forced myself to look off in another direction. It just felt weird.” states Marcus. “Well he is very good-looking.” says Lyla in a teasing way as she puts her hand on his shoulder, but Marcus isn’t laughing. In a matter of fact way Lyla says, “He has very striking green eyes Marcus; I’d say most people find them mesmerizing.”

“Okay, well that answers one of my other questions,” replies Marcus as he looks away from Lyla and back to his laptop. “What’s that suppose to mean?” she asks. “I think you like him more than what you are telling me and if that’s what you want then so be it.” says Marcus loudly. “But I care about you and I’ll do all I can to keep you safe! Even if it means going against what you THINK you want!

“Shhh!” Lyla drapes her arms over his shoulders and puts her hand to his mouth to gently quiet him down. “This is serious Lyla. Here, listen to this.” Marcus begins to read from a site on the internet. “In Irish folklore a FETCH, which is closely akin to the English/German term doppelgänger, is a supernatural double of a living person. The sighting of a FETCH is commonly thought of as an indicator that death is looming for the individual it twins.” Marcus looks at Lyla who is still holding him around the shoulders and quietly listening as she looks at the screen. Marcus reads on; “The origin of the term FETCH comes from the verb fetch and the compound of fetch-life meaning one who fetches the souls of the dying, a spirit associated with death and nightmares.”

Lyla and Marcus are quiet for several minutes then Lyla stands up from her leaning position and rests her hands on his shoulders. “Okay, so you and Penny both claim to have seen your doubles. So why aren’t you dead?” inquires Lyla. Marcus looks at Lyla almost dumbfounded. “I don’t know, maybe you don’t have to die. Or maybe death is coming soon for both Penny and I.”

“Marcus, are you listening to yourself?” asks Lyla as she steps away from him.  “Come on Lyla, you yourself have had a few hair-raising moments right here in your own home, but again, only after Duff started hanging around.” says Marcus in a low tone. “He is connected somehow, I know it and I’m going to prove it to you!”

Out of the blue, Smokey growls and jumps down from Marcus’ lap to hide under the bed. “See, the mere mention of Duff’s name and the cat knows to run like hell.” says Marcus in a low voice. There is a creaking sound in the hallway and Lyla motions for Marcus to hush.

Excerpt 47

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Source of verbiage “read aloud” above: Wikipedia,,

To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 46) I Won’t Be Far Behind

Staggering down the hallway toward the foyer Marnie dances alone for a few seconds to the thumping music. Rocking back and forth, slightly out of rhythm, she begins to feel strange. Not strange as is sick to her stomach, but strange as in paranoid and frightened as if someone is spying on her. Out of her right peripheral vision she sees a large shadow which causes her to quickly look in that direction. Just as she does, she hears someone say her name in her left ear. Marnie quickly turns and looks back to see who it is, but no one is there.

As Marnie turns around and starts to take a step forward, she bumps her nose into Crispin’s chest. She closes her eyes and takes in a deep breath then says, “Oh hello there Crisp hon, I’ve missed you.” Her drunken stupor causes her to lean in his direction as she flops her arms around his neck for support. “Have you now?” he replies coldly as he stands firm, allowing her to steady herself. He does not hold her or put his hands up to help, he merely stands still while she moves around flaccidly as she tries not to fall down. “Oh yes, I’ve missed you very deeply.” says Marnie practically drooling all over herself and Crispin as well. “Where on earth have you been? Handsome?”

“I am but a shadow, ever-present.” states Crispin in a low tone without much emotion.

“Wow, that’s a mysterious statement.” says Marnie as she finally gains some footing. Still holding him with both arms wrapped around his neck she looks into his eyes and is fascinated by their color, shape, and expression. She tips her head slightly and continues to speak as she slurs through her words. “You have beautiful eyes, Crisp honey. I could look at you all day and all night.” She then tries to smile in a seductive way but starts to bobble around on her feet again.

“Penny is looking for you, Marnie. I believe she is somewhere near the staircase and I think it would be best for you to go see what she wants.” says Crispin with a grin. “Oh come with me Crisp,” moans Marnie. “Maybe we can find a private place to play.”

“Go ahead, I won’t be far behind,” replies Crispin.

Excerpt 46

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 45) Hunted By An Irish Fetch

Lyla is now on the second floor landing and as she reaches out to pet her cat, Smokey jumps from the shelf, hisses and runs down the hallway, not to Lyla’s bedroom but in the opposite direction. She disappears into the second room on the left. Again, Lyla glances down at the room below but Crispin is gone.

Following Smokey’s lead, Lyla goes to the bedroom she saw her duck into. The light is on and she slowly pushes the door open. “Marcus, what are you doing?” asks Lyla as she enters the room. There sits Marcus, with his laptop open and Smokey sitting on his lap. “Hey, we have a big problem.” he says. “Yes I know. Trying to keep track of you is like following a three-year old in a candy shop.” says Lyla as she nudges him on the arm. “What?” asks Marcus. It’s obvious he is slightly annoyed. “Well what do you mean?” asks Lyla. “After the loud bang in the kitchen, you left to check on Penny, remember?” ask Marcus without looking at her.  “Yes, she was fine, simply being a bit clumsy.” laughs Lyla.

“I saw myself.” says Marcus. “I was at the front door talking with Marnie and getting ready to step out on the porch. Marnie went off to find Duff and I turned around to see if you were coming back from the kitchen. That’s when I saw Penny running toward the living room.” Marcus is very serious with this comment as he looks at Lyla. “I stepped out and stopped her.” he continues.  “Okay,” says Lyla in a drawn out way, “and that’s odd how?” she questions.  Slowly, Marcus repeats, “I was standing at the front door, I also stopped Penny at the living room.” says Marcus as if waiting for Lyla to reply but she doesn’t seem to get what he’s saying. “I was in two places at the same time! I saw myself step out from the living room and stop Penny from entering!”

Lyla looks at Marcus, waiting for him to smile for telling such an intricate tale, but his expression does not change. Smokey is still sitting on his lap, purring as she licks her fat fluffy paw. Marcus slowly turns the laptop in Lyla’s direction. On the screen is a photo of Crispin and Marcus says, “I think we are being hunted,” Marcus looks up at Lyla, “by an Irish FETCH.”

Excerpt 45

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 44) Crispin Is There, Watching

“I am so sorry that I haven’t had much time to spend with you tonight, I bet Marnie’s kept you busy though.” Lyla says with a slight cringe. “By the way, have you seen Marcus around by chance?” asks Lyla just seconds before Marnie slides in between them and grabs Crispin’s arm. “Crisp love, where on earth have you been?” says Marnie as she glances around the room to see who is watching. “Let’s dance.” She tugs on him trying to pull him away but his stance is far stronger than hers and she simply looks silly.

“Well hello again, Marnie.” says Crispin coldly as he clears his throat and avoids looking at her. He has eye contact with Lyla though and she picks up on his discomfort rather quickly.  “Marnie, don’t you think you should probably check in with Penny? You know, to see if she is okay? She’s been acting strange all night and probably needs a break. Maybe you can talk her into joining the rest of us by letting her employee’s handle the party.” Says Lyla quickly. All this time Crispin and Lyla have looked at each other.

Glaring back at Lyla, Marnie stops her foolishness. “Oh alright, but I’ll be right back Crisp sweetie. Save the next dance for me.” As she starts to walk away she turns back and says, “Don’t miss me too much!” and she saunters off towards the kitchen.

Lyla reaches out to Crispin and they hold hands. “Sorry Crispin, Marnie has a way of wearing people down.” She looks around the room. “I’m going to run upstairs for a minute. If you see Marcus, would you please let him know I’m looking for him?  Watching Lyla carefully Crispin says, “Yes, of course. Is everything okay?”

“Yes, we need to finish a conversation we started earlier, that’s all.” Says Lyla calmly.  “Do I still have a number on your dance card this evening?” he asks in a charming way.  “Yes Crispin, you most definitely do.” Lyla grins as she steps closer to him. “I’ll be back down shortly.” Crispin holds her hand as she tries to walk away. She smiles up at him and he releases his hold slightly, allowing her hand to slowly slip out of his.

Lyla gets about half way up the stairs when she notices that Smokey has perched herself on a shelf with the perfect view of partygoers below. Her gray colored hair blends in with the background but her eyes are bright and noticeable. “Hey precious girl.” says Lyla as she approaches the top step. “Looks like you’ve got the best seat in the house.” Smokey glances at Lyla, meows happily but does not jump down from the shelf to greet her. Instead her gaze goes back to the bottom of the staircase and she starts flipping her tail as if agitated. Lyla turns to follow Smokey’s gaze and sees that Crispin is there, watching her ascend the staircase.

Excerpt 44

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 43) Meaningless Conversation

“Are you and Crispin having fun?” asks Lyla as she scans the room for him hoping he doesn’t feel neglected by her. “Speaking of, where is he?”

“I told you already! Marcus is on the porch!” says Marnie bluntly and in a negative manner as if Lyla has been pestering her all evening. Lyla smiles, “Yes I know. I was wondering about Crispin too though. I thought you were staying close by him.” says Lyla slightly annoyed that Marnie always gets confused, even more so when she’s been drinking heavily. Unfortunately, her confusion is mostly due to her lack of listening skills. She is so wrapped up in herself that she doesn’t pay attention when others are talking. Many times in the past Lyla has tried to explain the simplest things and Marnie would get so frustrated she would start yelling. Again, this was all because she was not truly listening. With Marnie, it’s all about her and nothing else matters.

“Oh well, he,” stammers Marnie “I don’t know, he’s off talking with someone. I’m surprised he’s not with you!” Marnie fluffs her hair and wiggles up next to the man standing closest to her. He glances at her quickly, as if annoyed, and takes his wife by the hand as they move to the other side of the room.

“Alright then, I’ll see you in a bit Marnie.” says Lyla as she decides to escape this meaningless conversation. She opens the front door to escape getting stuck in a long depressing moment with Marnie about Marnie, only to end up with an enraged Marnie. Lyla quickly steps out onto the front porch.

Excerpt 43

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 42) Who Is It

Guests are walking through the garden admiring the landscape and beautiful decorative lighting while Penny nervously glances from face to face as if looking for one person in particular. But who, who could possibly be two people at the same time? Who has she seen now, twice?

“Psst, hey Penny.” says a voice. She looks over near the gazebo where she sees someone peek around the clinging vines. She squints a little because she can’t quite make out the face. Next she sees a hand reach out making the motion for her to step over to them. Penny slowly gets up from the table and takes her time walking toward the gazebo. As she gets a little closer she sees that it’s Marcus and relief comes over her.

“Oh Marcus, oh my gosh!” says Penny out of breath and thankful that it is her dear friend. “You must have walked right past me, didn’t you see me sitting in the chair?” quizzes Penny almost angry that he would have passed her by. Before Marcus can answer Penny continues, “You must have found something out, who is it? Who is the doppelgänger?” she whispers as she steps into the shadows.

Excerpt 42

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 41) Doppelganger Among Us

Quickly Penny looks back at Marnie who is standing in the kitchen right next to Lyla! With eyes wide she glances back out at the foyer. “What the hell?” Penny says to herself as she sees the Marnie in the foyer making her way to the living room. “Wait, what? Who?” stammers Penny as she wipes her hands on a damp dish towel while staring out the door. She steps to the left then the right as she tries to decide on which way to go in order to get around the kitchen island.

“Penny, what’s wrong?” ask Lyla as she leans to see out the door at what Penny is looking at. Quickly, Penny turns and looks at Marnie straight on then swiftly heads out of the kitchen and into the crowd of people. “What in the world has gotten in to her?” says Lyla as she turns to speak with Marnie, but Marnie is no longer there. On a dead run Penny comes through the swinging door and rounds the corner of the living room when Marcus suddenly steps in front of her.

“Whoa there! What is going on Penny?” he says as he holds her arms tightly. For being such a large woman she is fairly easy to control. “Oh Marcus, I saw another double.” says Penny in a low whisper as she tries to look around him to follow Marnie’s double. She is shaking, completely full of fear, and her eyes are open very wide. Now that she has been stopped her hands become animated with the nervous rubbing that she does so often. She is looking all around and her multi-colored dried out hair is bouncing out of control as she twists and turns her head in jerking motions as she glances wildly at the faces in the crowd. “You what?” quizzes Marcus.

“I saw two Marnie’s, one in the kitchen, one in here.” Penny scans the room looking from face to face. “You were right; I know you were right, a doppelgänger is among us.” She says as she raises her voice. “Okay” says Marcus as he looks around and grits his teeth. “But you can’t just run out here and blurt it out.” He looks at her very seriously and she nods yes as she looks him in the eye. “Go to the veranda where you can get some fresh air and I’ll look around. I’ll meet you there in a minute or two.”

Excerpt 41

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 40) Marnie’s Double

A loud crash can be heard coming from the kitchen. “Oops, that would be Penny. I better go check on her.” Lyla let’s go of Marcus’s hand then turns back to face him. “Don’t leave, please stay.” she says as she looks at him sincerely. Marcus puts his hands in his pockets and nods then motions for her to go check on Penny.

Entering the kitchen Lyla does not notice that a cloth napkin is on the floor. This causes the swinging door to hang open just enough to see out at the foyer. In looking at Penny it’s obvious she is a bit frazzled with the pace of the party. Her hair is sticking up on one side as if a puff of wind hit that very spot and the other side looks like she brushed it away from her face with her hand and a wad of  glue. It’s all matted and messy. Penny is looking around at her staff anxiously as if this is the first time they have handled a group this large. Her head is bobbing about like a nervous bird before it jumps into a bird bath. The fact is this group has managed many large parties but since Penny tends to be a micro manager she gets overly eager. This makes her temper flare rather quickly so her entire team is on edge.

“Is everything okay, Penny?” asks Lyla as she approaches her. “Yes, yes. I grabbed for this tray and dropped it. There’s nothing to worry about.” says Penny with a nervous laugh. “No food was lost.” she laughs again trying to act like she’s enjoying herself but it is pretty clear she is a wreck.

“Hi you two.” says Marnie as she walks into the kitchen from the hall entrance. “What’s going on?” she questions. “I was just in here checking on Penny. I’m trying to get her to come out, take a break and visit with our guests.” says Lyla in a loud tone so Penny’s staff will hear her. A few of them turn and look at Lyla and smile discreetly, they know what she is trying to do. Lyla looks at Penny attempting to get her attention but she is still glancing around at a hurried pace.

“So, um… what is with you and Marcus, you two turning into an item now or something?” asks Marnie in a peculiar way. Lyla looks at her oddly. “What in the world do you mean, Marnie? Marcus and I have been best friends for, well practically forever.” says Lyla a little surprised by Marnie’s question. “You know it’s never been more than that. Where on earth is this coming from?” Lyla and Marnie pause as they look at each other and Marnie does not attempt to answer Lyla’s question. Lyla then asks, “How much have you had to drink already?”

Penny looks up at Marnie and then glances around the kitchen to observe her staff. That’s when she looks through the open door and see’s an exact double of Marnie standing in the foyer with Marcus!

Excerpt 40

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 39) Favorite

“Would you two excuse us for a moment?” asks Lyla to Crispin and Marnie. Crispin glances over to Marnie who is standing with folded arms as if she were a two-year old. “Come along Marnie, how about another drink and a hunt for a painting?” says Crispin as he motions for her to lead the way. Marnie is now back in full form flaunting herself. She wants everyone to notice her and Crispin as she holds his hand and pulls him through the crowded room. He glances back at Lyla just before rounding a corner out of view.

“I’m so glad you came.” says Lyla to Marcus. “Were you serious?” questions Marcus, “The moon painting is your favorite?”

“Yes Sir! I cannot tell a lie, Sir! It is indeed my favorite.” says Lyla as if taking a direct order from a drill sergeant as she salutes him. She then slips her hand into his. “Funny though.” she continues. “Well it wasn’t meant to be funny.” says Marcus. “No, I thought for sure you were the one that placed the new painting in the dining room. You are the only one that has access to the house. I wonder when Crispin had it brought in?” she questions. “Probably the night everyone was here decorating.” says Marcus “Or he’s figured out a way to sneak in unannounced.” Lyla gives him a strange look.

“What?” questions Marcus. “Um, had I told you about Crispin’s decorators?” asks Lyla. “Well, no.” stammers Marcus. “You know how news travels in this town” he says quickly, not wanting to give it away that he saw the workers in her garden firsthand, as well as the embrace between she and Crispin. After a slight pause he continues with “You know, from the lead grape on the vine, Penny.”


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