.The Eyes Of A Fetch 41-60

The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 60) Early Morning Air

All night long Lyla has been tossing and turning. She is very restless and cannot get comfortable as she rolls from her side to her back and to her side again. She cannot shake the image of the man she bumped into on the sidewalk. Laying there, facing up, she looks at the white plaster ceiling and its swirling intertwined design. Frantically searching through the tangled memories of her mind, she tries to recall the events that led up to the night of the tornado.

“Why can’t I remember?” she whispers to herself as she glances over at the night table. “Five O’clock. I might as well get up, it’s not like I’m getting any sleep anyway.” She sits up in bed and looks over at the balcony doors. Standing up she pulls her robe on and heads in that direction. Brushing aside the many layers of sheer curtains, she steps out into the chilly early morning air. Instantly she feels a sense of peace as she curls up on the little chair and tips her head back.

Looking up at the stars overhead she remembers peering through the damaged roof of her house shortly after the severe weather passed. She clearly recalls that moment and how strange she felt when she saw stars instead of storm clouds after the destruction. It all seemed very odd and she wishes she could remember more. Her phone rings in her room and she goes to answer it.

Excerpt 60

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 59) In His Arms

Softly, Lyla runs her hand across Crispin’s cheek and then in one fluid motion, lifts the blanket. Lying down facing him, she pulls the cover around them both as he draws her into a gentle embrace. Neither Lyla nor Crispin say a word as they hold tight and look into each other’s eyes.

He can smell the sweet scent of her perfume as she reaches up. With a light touch, she very gently runs her fingers across his brow and down the side of his face. Closing her eyes, she lies there next to him content and at ease in his arms. Her fingers glide along his jaw to his ear as if she is trying to read his features with her hands. She leans in and they kiss.  

Warm and intense joy comes over Crispin as his lips meet hers. He has longed for this reunion but months ago had given up on the chance that it might ever happen. Yet, she is here, in his arms and he could not be happier. As he opens his eyes to look at the woman he thought he lost, he is shocked back to reality. There is no flame in the fireplace or the sweet scent of perfume in the air. Instead, the room is dark, empty, cold and lifeless. Crispin lies there alone as he looks down at his empty arms.

Frustrated and angry at this hurtful illusion he punches at the pillow and lays his head back down. Pulling on the blanket, he wraps it up around his shoulders to warm himself from this frigid intensity of loss. Staring out at the vacant room, he realizes this was nothing more than a cruel hallucination. As he closes his eyes once again in an attempt to sleep his grief away, a tear slowly trickles down his cheek.

Excerpt 59

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 58) Next To Him

Crispin continues to lie there on the sofa, without saying a word. He is surprised and shocked that Lyla is here. Did she follow him? If she did, he certainly did not hear her come in and he cannot imagine Quinn going after her. Or did he? Maybe Quinn realizes how much pain losing Lyla caused and felt the need to set things straight. Is it possible Quinn spoke with her inviting her here?

Glancing around to find a clock, Crispin wonders how long he has been asleep, what time is it? Unable to find the answer to his question, he looks back at the fireplace. Still a bit shocked, he continues to stare at Lyla in silence. She moves in such a graceful fluid manner, he wants to reach out to her.

As the fire takes and she adds the large pieces of wood to it, little sparks begin to pop and crackle. The logs hiss as if trying to quiet the sounds. Crispin thinks Lyla must remember the good things for she does not seem to be afraid to be here. Is it truly possible that she is here in the same room, within reach?

As he tries to make sense of it all he continues to gaze at her. She is stunning, sitting there with the firelight warming her skin and twinkling in her eyes. Small strands of hair catch the brightness like streamers of silk cascading down past her shoulders. Slowly looking in Crispin’s direction, Lyla realizes he is awake. A smile forms on her face as she stands up and walks over to where he is. Reaching out, he takes her hand as she sits down next to him.

Excerpt 58

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 57) White Light

Sitting on the hearth of the fireplace, wearing an emerald green dress, is Lyla. Crispin blinks and adjust his head slightly to bring the details into focus, he realizes it is the same dress she wore to dinner when he invited her to the cottage many months earlier. Her silky brown hair is draped to one side in lose curls and waves.

She strikes a match, watches the flare for a few seconds, and gently leans in the direction of the fireplace. With a quick touch of the flame to paper, she lights fresh kindling that now fills the grate. Instantly the worn and dreary brick of the firebox comes to life in a golden flickering glow.

Grinning slightly, he realizes the sound that stirred him from his slumber must have been Lyla pushing the old spent coals into the pile of gray ash below. Still unaware that he is awake, she leans forward gently blowing at the small flame. This causes it to expand and grow as the thin pieces of wood catch fire.

White light reflects off her skin outlining her features much like the silver lining of a cloud. Little bits of glitter sparkle on her cheeks like dew on the petals of a delicate flower. She is smiling as she turns to gather larger pieces of wood from the wood box.

Excerpt 57

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 56) Recollections

Pulling the blanket up to his shoulders, Crispin decides to try to fall asleep. Turning his head to the side, he looks at the cold unused fireplace. The dark gray soot surrounding the edges of the opening makes it appear depressed and decrepit and in need of a washing. Dry black coals have been left on the grate from the last fire that was made, which must have been months ago.

Actually, he does not recall the last time it was used nor does he care to think it through enough to pick a date and time. He must stop his thoughts and rest but how? He is flooded with memories and what ifs that cut at him like a sharp razor. Not only does he feel spent from the activities of the day, Crispin now finds himself exhausted from the memories that have rapidly come back into his mind. It feels like torture.

His head hurts, he has a thick and heavy pain in his chest, and he wants nothing more than to forget about everything. Yet, he holds close to those recollections, especially the ones where he and Lyla were happy.

The room is very quiet and he feels himself drifting off to sleep. He is in that odd place, when not asleep, nor fully awake and not coherent to either. He believes himself to be asleep but he can hear the sounds around him. A rustling in the room causes him to open his eyes to see what might be moving about.

Excerpt 56

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 55) Weary And Angry

Slowly turning, Crispin takes his tie and suit jacket off and hangs them on the coat rack near the front door. As he walks across the room to the sofa, he loosens his shirt from around his neck and pulls his shirt tail from his trousers. He is exhausted.

The events of the day have drained him and he does not want to take another step. Due to his lack of vigor, he decides to sleep there in the living room on the sofa. After taking his shoes off and placing them neatly under the end table, he grabs the chenille throw that is lying across the back of the sofa and drapes it over his legs.

Lying there, with his head resting on a thick pillow, he looks up at the ceiling to the broad wooden cross beams. With his eyes, he follows the heavy timbers until they meet at the peak of the roof, a dark contrast to the light-colored ceiling. He closes his eyes and rubs his hand across his forehead before looking back up at the lines of the ceiling.

It has been a very long and difficult day. Just now, as his head sinks deeper into the pillow, he realizes how weary and angry he feels about so many things. Closing his eyes for just a moment, he feels a depletion of energy as it leaves his body and mind. He needs sleep in order to recover.  

Excerpt 55

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 54) Brooding

Without taking even one sip of his drink, Crispin sets it on the table next to him. For a long time he stands at the window, looking out at the murky night not focused on anything in particular. He is deep in thought but if asked, would not be able to tell you what it is that consumes his mind.

He now begins to focuses on his own reflection. With his brow furrowed, he thinks about Lyla and the varied events that took place so many months ago. His eyes are gloomy and appear to be shadowed and brooding with no color or expression. He so very desperately wanted Lyla to understand him, to give him a chance to explain, to be given time to set things right.

It was such a shock to see her tonight, to touch her, to be that close to one another. She was just standing there on the street, the same street that he has walked every night for the past month. He wonders if she recognized him. When she turned to look back, was she piecing it all together? Is that why soon after she seemed to be running in the other direction? She is as beautiful as he remembers, maybe even more so.

He wanted so badly to turn around and embrace her. Would she have been frightened? He wonders if she remembers anything about him at all.

Excerpt 54

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 53) Weighty Silence

“Might I remind you that our focus is the vineyard and Arrosa Valente,” explains Quinn as he steps back toward the small bar and away from Crispin.  “No Quinn, you need not remind me,” he replies sharply. “And I finalized the task this evening!” Crispin lowers his voice as he continues. “The final step to gain control of the vineyard is complete.”

“Ah, very good!” Quinn says happily in a loud tone. Following this buoyancy is a short moment of silence as Quinn walks toward the back of the room. Both men know each other very well and each can feel the thickness that is building in the air between them. Quinn raises his glass to Crispin who continues to keep his back turned.

“A toast to you,” Quinn says in a cheery manner. Crispin does not waver from his position at the window and the quietness of the room is profound. “Why didn’t you tell me she was here?” Crispin asks in a low tone. His handsome face now covered with a deep sullen expression as he turns his head to the side. He watches Quinn out of the corner of his eye as he waits for a reply. There is a short pause in the conversation before the answer comes.

“She only recently arrived. . . yesterday to be exact.” Quinn states as he turns around in the middle of the room to look in Crispin’s direction. “What were the chances you two would cross paths?” He pauses for a moment and can tell Crispin is not yet satisfied with his answer.

Now in a more defensive tone, Quinn continues. “I didn’t think it was necessary since we are leaving soon.” He steps over to the small bar and wipes down the counter top with a white cloth. After several minutes of weighty silence, Quinn asks, “Is there anything else you need?”

“No, I’d like to be left alone,” replies Crispin coldly as he looks back at the window. “Very well, good evening,” Quinn steps into the hall and retires to his room.

Excerpt 53

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 52) Quinn’s Reflection

The sky is black as coal and it blends in with the tall dark buildings creating a foreboding image. The lighting on this back street is low and very sparse and the area appears to be deserted and quiet. Crispin watches Quinn’s reflection in the glass as he steps out of the hallway and over to a small bar located on the right side of the room.  

“We worked very hard to erase the memories from those you had contact with those many months ago.” Says Quinn as he places two glasses on the counter. He stands at the small bar, glancing up at Crispin as he fixes them both a mixed drink.

“I know what you are thinking and in your best interest I must advise that you dismiss it.” He persists as he brings the drink to Crispin. “You cannot go back and change the past, nor can you expect a different outcome. Things need to be left as they are.”

Crispin continues to stand in front of the window, staring out at nothing as he takes the drink from Quinn in silence. Again, he follows Quinn’s reflection in the dark glass, his white hair tidy and perfectly combed in place, collar snug at his neck. He has much respect for the elderly man, but right now, he is enraged by Quinn’s presence.  

Excerpt 52

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 51) His Memories

“Good evening, Sir,” says Quinn, his white hair neatly combed adding to his elderly yet stately appearance. In his arms, he is holding a stack of folded towels as he walks from the washroom into the living room.        

“Quinn,” replies Crispin Duff in an irritated tone as he enters the room firmly closing the door behind him. There is a lamp in the corner emitting a diffused glow but for the most part, the lighting is practically nonexistent. He flips the collar of his overcoat down and begins to unbutton it.    

Six months have passed since the horrible event that nearly took the sight out of Crispin’s gleaming green eyes. Remarkably, the only physical reminder of the violence is one small noticeable scar above his right eye. Not only did he agonize over the attack from Lyla’s cat the night of the tornado, but also over the loss of how intimate the relationship between he and Lyla had become.

As is the normal protocol, Quinn made sure the memories of those involved were erased or skewed, Lyla’s recollections included. However, for Crispin the entire span of time is still very real and to him, devastating. His memories and ill actions haunt him to this day. Quinn watches Crispin carefully and then smirks as he looks down.

“You saw her, didn’t you?” Quinn asks in a nonchalant tone as he carries the towels to the linen closet. Crispin turns and glares at him, but does not say a word. He walks over to the large window near the front door and looks out at the darkened street.

Excerpt 51

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