Archive for July, 2013

To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 118) The Wishes You Wish

“You are healing up nicely, Sir. You need not worry yourself.” After another moment of awkward silence, Quinn continues with, “Do you need anything else at this time, Sir?”

Crispin waves his hand slightly as if annoyed and does not say a word. He sits very still, facing the fire he cannot see and remains hushed.

“Very well Sir,” states Quinn as he takes the serving tray and leaves the room.

The fire pops and cracks as its colorful flames dance in many hues of red, blue, yellow and orange casting shadowy shapes on the walls of the room. Watching the fire has always been one of Crispin’s favorite things and now, he must rely on his other senses to partake in its warming display.

He leans his head back as he sits alone in the room. Cautiously he reaches over at the table next to him. Slowly he taps around with his fingers as if trying to locate something when his hand lands on the stem of a dried rose. Its creamy white color has now faded to a golden-yellow and the red tips to parchment brown.

Very gently, Crispin picks up the dried rose and slowly spins it between his fingers before lifting it to his nose. He takes in a slow deliberate breath and then whispers,

“May the sun shine all day long,

Everything go right and nothing wrong.

May those you love bring love back to you,

And all the wishes you wish, come true.”


. . . or is it?

Excerpt 118

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Copyright © 2012 All rights reserved.

To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 117) Usual Protocol

“Yes Sir, the usual protocol has been followed.” states Quinn as he steps over to the fireplace and takes the poker off its stand. “To most it will be as if you were never there and for those that wish to tell their tale, as usual they will not be believed.”

He uses the poker to push a log deeper into the flames of the fire. The wood snaps and crackles as it settles into place and a little puff of smoke escapes into the room. Crispin moves his head slightly to the sounds and then raises his head as he gets a whiff of the smoke.

Recognizing his reactions, Quinn quickly explains. “My apologies Sir, a little smoke backed in from the flu. All is well.”  He remarks as he reaches over and continues to stoke the fire. They remain in the room for several minutes without conversation until Crispin breaks the silence.

“And Lyla?” Crispin asks softly. After a long pause, Quinn slowly turns and looks in Crispin’s direction.

Excerpt 117

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Copyright © 2012 All rights reserved.

To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 116) Very Quiet

Facing the fire and its bright red embers is Crispin. He is sitting in a large overstuffed burgundy chair with a tall back. Next to the chair is a small round table where a few minutes earlier, Quinn set a kettle and a cup.

A soft grey blanket drapes Crispin’s legs and he is very quiet. Thick white bandages cover his eyes held in place by a wide band of gauze that wraps around his head. His left hand is on the armrest, his right hand in the pocket of his navy blue robe. Quinn has just entered the room from the kitchen and he proceeds to walk over to the small table next to Crispin.

“According to the report Sir, there was one fatality, a Ms. Penny Taylor,” he says as he pours the dark rich coffee into a cup. “The house sustained substantial damage but will be easily repaired.”

Quinn slowly adds cream to the drink and stirs it gently, barely touching the sides of the cup with the spoon. He slowly takes hold of Crispin’s left hand as he carefully places the cup and saucer in it. He is sure to steady it before releasing it fully to Crispin.

“Take care, Sir. This drink is very warm.” says Quinn as he watches over Crispin carefully. In a low monotone manner and in a dry whisper Crispin asks, “Has everything been taken care of?”

Excerpt 116

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 115) Unwavering Glow

A thick heavy fog has settled over a lush deep green valley that leads to a little cottage nestled in the crevice of rough terrain. White and grey rocks on the nearby hillside stand eerily erect like massive headstones to the basin below.

There is a dim glow coming from the windows of the cottage as an endless trail of smoke spirals up from the rock chimney. The walkway that leads to the door is wet and covered in dense green moss creating an earthy carpet. Gas lanterns attempt to compete with the fog by lighting the steps and gravel path but the thickness in the air has managed to conceal their unwavering glow.

The main room of the structure and its contents appear to be from hundreds of years in the past. Richly toned wood, ornate wrought iron, and stained glass fill the space creating a lovely display of color and warmth. The room is all aglow as a large fire burns in a huge rock fireplace that spans one wall.

Excerpt 115

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 114) Embrace

“Oh my god, you’re okay! Marcus, you’re okay!” Lyla says happily, as she makes her way to where he is. She has to toss tree limbs and small branches to the side as she clears a path through the rubble. “What? What am I doing? How did I get up here?” Marcus asks clearly confused as he looks at Smokey. Lyla does not say a word. She sits quietly watching as he rubs his neck and lightly touches the wound on his head. He sits up, “What?” he questions still a bit dazed.

Lyla smiles and grabs Marcus as they embrace in a long tight hug. “I was afraid I lost you.” she says as she holds onto him tightly. Smokey meows and slithers her way between them causing Lyla to laugh. “And you, you smart beautiful girl. I love you so much Smokey!” says Lyla as she picks up the fluffy and very wet cat. She cuddles her tightly before setting her back down. Marcus pulls Lyla towards him as they embrace again.

The early morning sunrise begins to streak through the hole in the roof shooting bright and brilliant beams of light onto the attic floor. Beautiful yellow and gold tones seem to warm the place immediately as the morning birds begin to sing.

Excerpt 114

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 113) Blood Stained Paw

Smokey, wet and dirty, runs over and begins purring as she rubs against Lyla’s leg. Hopping up on her hind legs, she nudges at Lyla’s knee and hops down again to weave in and out around her ankles. Still very dizzy, Lyla bends down, slowly picking up her portly cat. Hugging her tightly, she runs her hand down Smokey’s back smoothing her fur.

“Oh you are such a good girl,” says Lyla as she pets Smokey and holds her up close to her chin. With her cat purring loudly, Lyla starts to make her way past the branches and back to the ladder to the kitchen. After only a few steps, there is a loud thumping sound and Smokey wiggles around jumping from Lyla’s arms. She scurries off into the shadows in the direction the sound is coming from. Still off balance, Lyla fumbles around and finds her flashlight. After a couple of taps, it lights up and she shines its beam in the direction Smokey ran to.

There, tucked near the eve of the house, is Marcus. He is lying on his side slowly moving around as he tries to push broken beams and tree branches out of his way. There is a cut across his forehead and as he tries to sit up, it is obvious he is disoriented. Smokey has reached him and she rubs her furry head against his pale face. He lies down on his back just as she jumps on his stomach causing him to groan under her weight. Very content, Smokey starts licking her blood stained paw and Marcus looks over at Lyla.

Excerpt 113

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Copyright © 2012 All rights reserved.

To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 112) Dazed

Abruptly everything stops. There is no sound, no rain, no screaming winds, nothing but stillness. Lyla is lying motionless surrounded by bricks, splintered wood, glass, and yard debris. Huge tree branches have fallen through the gaping hole that was dug out of the roofline by the massive storm. After several minutes or maybe even an hour, Lyla slowly begins to move. She releases her grip from the base of the fireplace and rubs her sore hands.

Sitting up she is horribly dazed and unsure of what just transpired. At first, she does not recognize where she is and she has no idea how much time has passed. The cut on her arm is bleeding and her head is throbbing from the large brick that plummeted down on her striking her head, knocking her unconscious.

With a little popping sound, the lights come on in the house causing what is left of the attic to be slightly lit once again. Lyla walks over to the hole in the roof and looks up at the early morning sky.  She is shocked to see it is crystal-clear and full of brilliant bright stars.

Excerpt 112

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Copyright © 2012 All rights reserved.

To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 111) Slowly Consumed

Standing with his arms wrapped around a large beam, Crispin holds on tightly for several seconds. Forming around him is an immense funnel cloud that grows thicker and denser until Lyla can no longer see him clearly and she hides her face in her arms.

The suction of the tornado pulls and tugs at her as her legs begin to float and she feels herself losing her grip. Looking up at the spinning funnel, she is mesmerized by its twisting turning motions. Crispin’s arms emerge from the swirling mass as if reaching out to her then he is slowly consumed by its ravenous fury as he is lifted out of the attic disappearing into the wickedness of the whirlwind above.

Tree branches come crashing down into the opening of the roof as Lyla crawls closer to the fireplace for protection. She narrowly avoids being struck by large chunks of debris. Bricks begin to tumble down on her as she tries to cover her head from their painful blows.

Suddenly she feels an intense pain just behind her right ear. Growing dizzy, her body begins to go limp and sounds become stifled. She has the sensation of falling through a dark tunnel as she loses consciousness.

Excerpt 111

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Copyright © 2012 All rights reserved.

To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 110) Intense Grave Force

Lying there, barely able to move and watching in horror, Lyla slowly blinks. She closes her eyes then opens them again as she looks over in the direction of the fireplace nook. With every ounce of energy she can muster, she begins to pull herself across the floor. It is an agonizing feat. Her muscles are weak and her body feels heavy and sluggish as she reaches out with her hands pulling and dragging herself along.

Once she gets to the fireplace, she holds on tightly to the brick wall as she covers her face from the debris that is now flying around the attic. Strong winds are howling and tugging at her as the window breaks out sending shattered glass in all directions. Lyla feels a sharp sting as a large piece of glass slices a deep cut into her right arm.

Crispin stands up and blood pours from his face as the wind swirls radically. Directly above him the roof has been pulled away exposing a wicked sky as a dark massive cloud shoots down from the heavens directly over him. The sound is unlike anything Lyla has ever heard before. It growls, rumbles and screams as if filled with a thousand voices. The wooden rafters and joist of the old house are snapping and splintering as they rip away with an intense grave force.

Excerpt 110

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 109) Deep Shade Of Red

Lyla’s body slowly slides to the side as she falls from the sitting position to the floor with a heavy thud. She lies there motionless, with her eyes wide open and fixed on Crispin. A loud crashing and ripping sound is heard as shingles begin to be pulled from the roof. The house creaks and moans like an old ship sinking to the bottom of a turbulent sea.

Holding his eyes, Crispin begins to scream, “No, I can finish this! Please let me do this!” he pulls himself up to a sitting position as he reaches for a crossbeam to hold onto. His eyes are full of blood and it does not appear that he can see. It is a ghastly sight with large amounts of blood running down his face and neck turning his perfect white dress shirt a deep shade of red. “No! Not yet! Let me take her with me! Please, let me take her with me!

Excerpt 109

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 108) The Shimmer Fades

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” says Crispin as tears streak down his face and he holds Lyla’s hand to his lips. “Please, don’t force me to do this.” He whispers as he brushes her hair out of her face with his fingers. “Lyla, please stay with me.” His eyes grow tranquil as the swirling slows and the shimmer fades slightly.

The rose that he gave her is lying on the floor next to them. He picks it up and looks at it closely as he swirls it around between his fingers. Softly he runs the blossom up Lyla’s neck and along her face where he stops at her mouth, then leans in giving her a long soft kiss.

With a wild and screaming sound, Smokey comes out of the shadows and jumps at Crispin with such force that it knocks him to the ground. She begins clawing at his face as she slashes and scratches at his eyes with her sharp nails. Blood oozes from Crispin’s eyes as he cries out in agony and lashes out trying to pull the large cat from his face. The damage is done and she quickly dashes away as Crispin lies on his back on the dusty floor. Holding his hands over his eyes, he tries to sit up.

Excerpt 108

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 107) Emotionless

Crispin continues with his gaze as Lyla begins to scream and punch at him with her fists. His eyes change and begin to flicker wildly. They look much different from the slow mystic and beautiful swirls she has witnessed before. This time the iris of each eye is flashing violently with intensity and Lyla immediately begins to feel weakness and pain all at the same time.

Is this what it is like to die? Is this what happened to Penny before her body was tossed aside and left in the rain? Lyla begins to feel as if she is falling with the world spinning out of control around her. She is too weak to fight back any longer.

Tears flow freely from Crispin’s eyes as he holds Lyla’s face in his hands. “I didn’t want it to come to this, Lyla,” he says as he now has her complete and full attention. “I never wanted it to come to this.” He whispers to her.

After several seconds, Lyla has stopped fighting and is no longer trying to break eye contact. She looks at Crispin, emotionless. He slowly releases her and gently leans her up against the wall as he holds her left hand to his chest directly over his heart.

Excerpt 107

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Copyright © 2012 All rights reserved.