.The Eyes Of A Fetch 81-100

The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 100) Run

Lyla looks around at the empty street. She is beginning to feel uneasy again. “I wish you were here Marcus, you know, to see how things are going with your show. But I also understand how you hate the limelight.” She glances to her right and the dimness of the street.

“So true, you know me well.” Marcus laughs. “We should be back in Madrid around noon. I’ll talk to you tomorrow, okay?” he questions. “Alright, have a good night.” She replies as she ends the call. While slipping her phone into her purse, she hears a low gravelly voice from very close by whisper “run!”

This instantly shoots a ripple of fear down her spine. Hastily she turns to look behind her and for a split second sees someone standing to her right. She swiftly jerks to the left toward the hotel doors but soon realizes she is alone except for the door attendant. He took notice of her odd behavior and quickly steps toward her with his arms outstretched. “Is everything alright, Ma’am?” he questions as he looks at her in a peculiar way while gently holding her arm.

“Yes, I’m fine.” Lyla says with embarrassment as she avoids eye contact and swiftly pulls away as she enters the hotel lobby. Several people are waiting for the elevator so she slips into the stairwell letting the door slam shut behind her.

Excerpt 100

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 99) After The Funeral

As Lyla thinks about Marcus, he in turn is thinking of her as he checks the time on his phone. Quickly realizing he has not notified her that he and Destry will not be back in Madrid until the following day, he places a call. “I hope she hasn’t gone to bed yet.” He says to Destry as he puts the phone to his ear. Lyla’s phone rings.

“Hey there, Marcus.” Lyla says as she stops outside the door of the hotel to answer the call. “You have no idea how good it is to hear your voice.” She says quickly. “I’m sorry to be calling so late, it’s been a long day and I lost track of time.” He replies. “It’s okay, I just got back from the exhibit, and people are going nuts over your work!” She says gleefully now not as focused on her fears.

“Oh that’s great news! Destry’s assistant has been keeping us posted but hearing that from you makes it even better.” He replies happily. “Hey, I just wanted to let you know we will be back tomorrow. After the funeral Destry met with her family to see if they can reverse the sale of the vineyard, looks like it could get a bit messy if they try to battle the company that bought it.” Marcus sounds tired, worried, and is speaking in a low tone. “But I think they have decided to give it a try. Her uncle and cousins are still here discussing it.”

Excerpt 99

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 98) Uncomfortable

Finally, the streetlight changes and Lyla walks through the intersection with the couple and continues along until they step aside to go in a different direction. Almost instantly, there is a fluttering, like the wings of a hummingbird, very near to Lyla’s left ear. She ducks and places her hand up to protect herself but there is no bird and the sound quickly stops. She looks around but does not see anything that could have caused such a noise.

With several blocks to go, she grows more and more jumpy as the streetlamps now are the only light she has to navigate by. The sun disappeared below the horizon and the sky very quickly turned black. She is wishing that she had hailed a cab for she would have been back at the hotel by now. She feels uncomfortable, stressed, and slightly panicked.

A gust of wind passes by her catching a few small pieces of paper from the curb causing them to flurry up and swirl in the air. She hears talking and soon several people step out of a small passage and pass by her going in the opposite direction.

Everything seems to be making her nervous as she continues walking, but at a much faster pace than before. Soon the hotel is in sight and she begins to relax, but just a little. Lyla’s thoughts now go to Marcus and Destry. She wonders if they have come back to the city or if they will be at the vineyard for another night. As usual with Lyla and Marcus, they seem to be in tune and this evening is no different.

Excerpt 98

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 97) Into The Wall

This odd shadow looks much like the silhouette of a person, but no one is standing nearby to create such an outline. It is near an alcove of an old building and its strange misty consistency appears to be hovering two feet off the ground. Lyla looks at the couple to see if they have a reaction to what she has seen, but their focus is so much on each other, she doubts they even realize she is standing near them.

“My mind must be playing tricks on me.” She says under her breath. Turning a little bit more in that direction, she wants to focus straight on with this unusual anomaly. Is that what it is? Simply a shadow, or is this a person? She questions in her mind as she squints her eyes hoping it will make a difference in how she sees it.

Glancing around she tries to explain it away as if a streetlight or shop window is casting a reflection. Suddenly the silhouette moves as if sinking into the wall of stone and this makes Lyla tremendously nervous.

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 96) Not The Cause

Lyla takes a glass of wine from a tray and goes on about her business of spying on individuals as they review the work Marcus has on show. She is actually enjoying the fact that she has infiltrated this group and no one is the wiser that she is an insider. Most of the comments she has overheard are very positive but as with anything, there are a few negatives to counteract it. Overall, she is very happy with what she has heard and seen.

A staff member collects her empty wineglass and Lyla decides to start heading back to the hotel for the night. With the sun almost set, she considers a taxi ride but at the last minute before holding her hand up to hail a cab, she chooses against it. Leisurely she walks along the sidewalk, the streets become less crowded and Lyla soon develops the feeling that someone is following her. As she waits at a crosswalk, she slowly turns and looks behind her to see if anyone is there.

A man and woman holding hands amble up from a side street to wait at the same crossing where she is standing, but she knows they are not the cause of her concern. Even now with the extra company, she feels odd for some reason and glances around trying not to look like a paranoid tourist.

Just like before, she does not see anything out of the ordinary. That is until she notices a dark, strangely shaped form of some kind.

Excerpt 96

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 95) Turns Her Back

“Oh, well yes you did surprise me, a little.” The stout round woman replies. At the very moment she turns to look at Lyla, the photographer’s flash goes off again capturing yet another still picture. Her expression is one of discomfort and Lyla notices it rather quickly.

“I hope you’re enjoying the display, I’m sorry to have bothered you.” says Lyla a little surprised at the woman’s odd reaction to her. “Oh no, no bother at all, it’s actually quite nice to see a familiar face. I just didn’t expect anyone to recognize me.” The elderly woman grins slightly as if she is nervous. “What are you up to tonight dear?” She asks a she turns her back to the photographer.

“My friend Marcus is the artist of this exhibit and I wanted to stop in to see how the showing was going. Unfortunately, he is attending a funeral today and was not able to be here.” Explains Lyla as she and the little woman walk to the next painting.

“Well that’s a shame; it would have been lovely to meet him.” She responds as she looks at her watch. “Oh I’m sorry dear but I must be going. Do take care.” She says as she quickly walks toward the door to exit the building. She did not even give Lyla time to say goodbye.

Excerpt 95

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 94) Exquisite

Entering the building, Lyla is immediately surprised at the amount of people gathered inside. To the right, where Marcus and Destry stood for the presentation, sits a long white buffet table. Available to visitors are many varieties of wine and several types of cheese, crackers and bread to sample. With small plates and wineglasses in hand, the space is full of people slowly moving from one piece of art to the next.

It is a very beautiful setting. The entire demeanor of the room is calm and peaceful and voices are at a mummer. There is a photographer on hand from the local news and he is shooting several still photographs for his article. With a flash of light, he takes a photo in Lyla’s direction.

“Exquisite isn’t it?” says a woman as she passes by. “Yes, that is a very good word for it, it is indeed exquisite.” Replies Lyla as she looks around the room. She then recognizes the little woman that she rode up in the elevator with the night before. She walks over and taps her on the shoulder.

“Well hello,” says Lyla to the woman who responds with a slightly shocked expression as she stands still and does not speak. “Oh I’m sorry, did I startle you?” Lyla asks apologetically.

Excerpt 94

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 93) Side Trips

Now that her hands are empty, Lyla once again decides to take the stairs down instead of the elevator. However, this time she is more careful with the door and does not allow it to slam shut. Down she goes as she follows the square design of the stairwell. Once her feet hit the second floor, she hears a door slam from above which makes her jump. She stops walking for a second or two, but never hears footsteps.

“Hum, maybe they peaked in at the staircase and decided against taking the steps.” She mumbles. She continues on her way and slam! Another door loudly swings shut, this one is much closer and once again, Lyla stops to listen for footsteps, but she hears none. She thinks this is a bit odd and is thankful to have finally reached the lobby where she enters into its warm inviting atmosphere.

Stepping out onto the street Lyla looks at the time, it is a quarter past three. On opening night, she walked from the exhibit to the hotel and it took her about an hour so off she goes for her stroll. With all the shops open, she pops in here and there to look around and she even picks up a few small things that are easy to carry. With all of her side trips completed, she finally arrives at the art show just before five o’clock.

Excerpt 93

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 92) Sales Approach

“This lantern is lovely and very unique. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.” Lyla comments. This is her attempt to refuse it, in a nice way, and not hurt the man’s feelings. Oddly enough, she almost fears the item and hesitates to touch it. The man sets it on the counter in front of her as he watches her closely.

“It’s rather old, took it in on a trade. It uses oil, like an oil lamp and works well if you want a small amount of light or need light when the power goes out.” He is talking as he comes around to Lyla’s side of the counter. “I have all kinds of oils, scented ones too.” He opens a cabinet to the left exposing hundreds of candles, incense and lamp oils.

“For you I’ll toss a bottle of oil in for free.” Again, he looks at Lyla in a strange manner as if reading something written on her face. “You know, some items just pick certain people. I think this lantern is supposed to be with you.” He says in a flat tone, Lyla is not sure if she likes his peculiar sales approach.

“It is quite a nice offer, but. . .” Lyla pauses as she chooses her words wisely. “But it is not exactly what I had in mind.” She turns to look away for the intensity of the shop owner is making her feel a bit uneasy as he presses on. “How about I take twenty percent off? I want you to leave here happy.” He says as he smiles. “Since I already sold the item you were hoping to purchase, it’s the least I can do.” The man says as he continues to look at her. At this point, Lyla wants nothing more than to escape from this conversation, so she gives in.

“It does have an interesting look to it.” She says as she decides to purchase it and leave on good terms. Once the transaction is complete, the man politely thanks Lyla for her business and she is on her way. Straight away, she takes the package back to her room at the hotel. She tidies things up a bit and decides to walk down to the art exhibit to partake in another viewing. In actuality, she wants to hear more of what people are saying about the art on display.

Excerpt 92

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 91) Something

“Welcome.” says a thin man standing behind the counter. “What may I help you with today?” he questions. “Good afternoon.”  Lyla says as she steps closer to the lamp she is so interested in. “I’ve been by here after the store has closed, you have a wonderful display.” She glances at  the lamp.

“Why thank you.” Says the man politely. “I do most of the work myself. Are you interested in that lamp?” he questions. “Yes, the pattern and colors match perfectly with a large light fixture that I have in my foyer at home.” She says happily, as she reaches out to touch it. “Oh, well I’m sorry to say it sold first thing this morning.” The shop owner says as he points to a tag hanging off the back of the shade. It is marked, sold.

“Oh no! Please tell me you have another one similar to this.” She says now completely crushed. “No, this is the only one I have with this particular set of colors.” He sits down on a stool near the cash register. “May I interest you in some other item?” He extends his hand to several candle holders and other lamps. As beautiful as they are, they are not what Lyla was hoping to buy. She knows she cannot afford to have him make a lamp especially for her but she does not want to leave there empty handed either.

“Well, I do love candles and anything old,” she says as she glances around. “What about a lantern?” suggest the man. He pulls a very colorful ornate one down off the back of a shelf. It is tall and the stained glass is in earthy tone combinations with various shades of red, orange, yellow, green and blue. Sealed together with copper, the colors would match the décor in her home nicely. It is very beautiful but, something about it is strange and Lyla cannot quite figure out what. It is not the shape or the colors, but something about it that does not settle well with her.

Excerpt 91

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 90) Down The Steps

It is now nearing eleven in the morning and Lyla is on a mission to visit the shop with the stained glass items. It has been closed each time she passed by, but now she is making an effort to be there during business hours. After spending the morning on the balcony with the laptop, working on several items of interest, and checking the status of the exhibit, She decides to send Marcus a short text message before heading downstairs.

“Good morning, just checking in. You are in the news. Seems everyone loves your work! Tell Destry I am thinking of her and her family. Love you!” Lyla quickly gets dressed and decides to take the stairs down to the lobby. She opens the stairwell door and it closes behind her with a loud bang. “Oh!” she says a bit surprised. “Well that’s an effect straight out of a horror movie.” She laughs as she starts down the steps. Since her footsteps are the single sound she hears, it appears she is the only one looking for a little exercise at this time of day.

Exiting into the lobby, she finds it full of travelers checking in and out, and rushing around as they get their plans in order. She overhears two women discussing the exhibit of this newfound artist as they mark that on their list of places to visit today. Knowing the women are talking about Marcus, Lyla smiles as she walks past them and out onto the busy sidewalk.

The sun is extremely bright and with morning swiftly approaching the noon hour, it is hovering straight overhead. Lyla puts her sunglasses on as she makes her way to the stained glass shop. As soon as she steps inside the door, she slips her glasses to the top of her head and stands there in awe.

Excerpt 90

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 89) Still Do

“I know something went wrong towards the end, she wasn’t acting at all like herself. She was treating me differently, treating the staff differently and she was short tempered. It is almost as if she was a different person.” States Severo as he looks at Marcus then grins in order to hold back tears. “Sometimes I wondered if I was really with her or someone else.” He looks down. “Just like in the dream, maybe it wasn’t her.”  

“Some illnesses can. . .” starts Marcus. “She wasn’t sick!” Says Severo quickly. “Not like that anyway. She was fine and making plans. It’s as if one day she woke up as someone else and when I would comment about some of her actions she would accuse me of making up stories!” Severo picks up a rock and hurls it at a large tree.

“Then she became obsessed with selling and the very day she inked her name, she passed away!” He wipes his nose with his handkerchief.  “I’m sorry Severo.” Marcus says gently. He pats this very sad and distressed man on the arm. He feels a connection with Severo and wishes there was more that he could do to help him through this horrible situation.

“You’re a good man, Marcus, I can see that. Destry sees it as well.” He says with a smile. “She’s a lot like her Grandmother you know. Strong, bull headed at times, but very smart and very loving.”

“I can tell you loved Arrosa,” states Marcus sincerely. “Still do, son. . . still do.” Severo puts his arm across Marcus’ shoulders and they walk back to the house.

Excerpt 89

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 88) It Wasn’t Her

“What was the dream about?” asks Marcus as he looks up at this big man who is not able to hide his anguish. He hopes that if Severo can talk through his pain he will feel better or at least accept what he cannot change. The sun is so bright on this day that Marcus must squint, closing one eye, as he looks in Severo’s direction.

“We were out in the vineyard, talking about the plants, and how well things have gone all these years with the vineyard . . . and with us.” He says as he looks out across the land. He sniffles and rubs his nose acting as if the dust has caused this reaction. Marcus now realizes that his assumptions are accurate. Severo and Arrosa were in love. “It was the same type of talk we would have almost daily.” Continues Severo as he shakes his head a little as if terribly confused. “Then she said it wasn’t her.”

“It wasn’t her?” asks Marcus. “Yes,” Severo says in a low calm voice. She looked me in the eyes and that’s what she said several times.” Severo looks down and away from Marcus, trying to conceal the pain on his face and Marcus gives him his privacy by shifting his gaze in the opposite direction. “So what do you suppose that means?” Marcus asks as the two men start walking along the path again.

Excerpt 88

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 87) Out Of Place

Today is very deceptive. A crisp yellow sun is brightly illuminating the cloudless sky while birds sing out in joyous tunes. It very much looks like the type of day most people hope for, but for Destry and Marcus, the day begins with a funeral.

Friends and family have assembled to pay their final respects to Arrosa Valente and to send her off on her next journey in a positive way. The gathering is loud and most people there are smiling as they try to help each other though the sudden loss of their loved one. The kitchen counters and tables of Arrosa’s house is full of casseroles, pies, various fruits and meats, all brought by members of the group. The stacks of food started out somewhat organized but now it is placed haphazardly and not in any specific order.

Losing Arrosa has been very difficult for many but especially for Severo. He is quietly moving around, from room to room, feeling very out of place and awkward. Marcus notices this, for he too suffers from crowd anxiety, and asks him to step outside with him.

“I thought you might want some fresh air.” says Marcus as he and Severo walk out the kitchen door to the back path. The ground is dry and powdery under their feet as they move along at a slow and deliberate stride. “I had a dream about her last night.” Says Severo openly as he looks out across the field. “She was such a kind woman, tough and strong, but very kind-hearted.” He continues as he kicks a small rock with his shoe. His demeanor is calm and reserved.

Excerpt 87

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 86) Quietly Sobs

“Thank you so much for everything.” Destry says to Marcus as she starts clearing the table. “I hate that I’ve involved you in this. You should be in the city relishing in all the wonderful things your fans are saying about your beautiful work.” She says without looking up. “I received five messages today from my assistant. The local papers and television stations have been running wild with your story and people are flocking to your exhibit.”

A large wide smile crosses over Destry’s face. She stops at the sink and looks out the window at the shadows that nighttime always brings about. Her dark hair has loosened from its clip allowing ringlets to curl at the nape of her neck. Some strands are wet from the humidity in the air and are clinging to her skin. Marcus gets up from the table and walks over to stand next to her.

“I’m not a socialite and I despise big crowds.” Marcus says bluntly, as he looks at Destry and leans close to her touching his arm to hers. “I’m perfectly content to be here, with you.” He says calmly as he looks at her.

Destry turns to look at Marcus and they both stand together smiling for several seconds. Slowly large teardrops form in Destry’s eyes and collect on her dark long lashes before trickling down her cheeks. Marcus lightly pulls her to him wrapping his arms around her as she quietly sobs.

Excerpt 86

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 85) Slow Pace

Out in the fields of the vineyard, there are no lights to distract from the glittering stars hovering overhead. Destry and Marcus, along with some assistance from Severo, created a hearty dinner and all three enjoyed the evening in the kitchen of the main house. Together they reminisced about the vineyard and Arrosa’s dreams.

“Thanks for all of your help with dinner, Severo. I know this is a very difficult time for you.” Says Destry as she gives the big man a hug. “Marcus and I will clean up. You go ahead and relax for the night. Tomorrow will be a very trying day for us all.”

“I appreciate it,” says Severo. He puts his plate on the counter near the sink. Destry cannot help but notice how very tired he looks and that he is moving at a slow pace tonight. “Good night Destry, Marcus.” He says as he nods in his direction. “I will see you both in the morning.”

Slowly, Severo opens the back door, which leads to the path to his small house and he steps out into the night. Destry turns and looks at Marcus as she tips her head slightly.

Excerpt 85

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 84) Glances Back

Lyla grins back at the woman as they quickly arrive at their floor. Being polite and respectful, Lyla allows the elderly woman to step from the elevator first. The little woman waddles out and immediately turns to the left then stops as she looks at the room numbers.

“Which way are you going, dear?” she questions. “Oh I’m right here, the second door on the right. Do you need help getting to your room?” Lyla asks politely.

“No, no. It’s been very nice talking with you and I hope you have a safe time while traveling.” The older woman says sweetly. She turns and walks down the hall as Lyla swipes her key card then glances back to see how far the kind woman has made it, but the hallway is empty.

“Hum, wow. She’s faster than I thought.” states Lyla to herself as she enters her room.

Excerpt 84

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 83) Her Floor

“Beautiful night out, isn’t it?” says the older woman in a happy tone. Her thick white hair piled on her head seems to glow in the bright lights of the lobby. “Yes, it’s fantastic,” replies Lyla. “I wish I knew my way around the city so I could enjoy it a little more though.”

“How long are you planning to stay?” the woman asks as she looks back at the elevator door and adjusts her footing. “I’m supposed to be here in Madrid another day or two, then two more cities in the next week.” Replies Lyla. “My friend Marcus is an artist and his work is on display here, I’m just tagging along for moral support.” She says as she looks back at the numbers. The three lights up indicating it is passing the third floor and Lyla cannot help but feel the elevator is moving extremely slow tonight. “Well that’s very nice of you.” replies the little woman.

The elevator door finally opens and both women step in and Lyla waits for the elderly woman to pick her floor. They stand there for a moment then the older woman opens her purse and starts looking for something. “What floor are you on?” asks Lyla. She punches the fourth floor for herself. Still looking in her purse the older woman pulls out a piece of paper and glances at the buttons. “Looks like I’m on the fourth floor as well.” She says as she immediately tucks the paper back in her purse. “It’s awful getting old, you start to forget things.” She says with a smile.

Excerpt 83

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 82) Move Along

Lyla stops for a second and the thought of going inside the restaurant to see who he is comes across her mind. She has never done anything like that before and is not sure why she feels compelled to do so now. However, when he looked at her, he acted as if he recognized her but did not want to speak. Is she simply reading more into everything than she should?

Just as she makes up her mind to enter the restaurant, a grouping of young men gather at the door. They are talking loudly and laughing as they step outside. Together and off key, they start singing a song as they meander toward the sidewalk. Clearly, they have been drinking heavily and Lyla decides to move along before she inadvertently becomes included in the exhibition that is surely getting ready to play out.

Once in the hotel lobby, she picks up a snack from the concession area and goes directly to the elevator where an elderly woman is waiting for the doors to open. Quietly, Lyla stands with her as they watch the numbers and lights change indicating the lift is descending from the top floor. With just two floors left, the round plump woman turns to Lyla.

Excerpt 82

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The Eyes Of A Fetch (Excerpt 81) Quickly Retreat

Since the collar of his coat was covering most of his face, Lyla is not even sure if she would recognize the man if he came right up and introduced himself. However, his eyes, she would remember those eyes. They seemed almost magical.

Out of her peripheral vision, she sees what appears to be a man standing near the lamppost to her right. Quickly turning to face him, she finds no one is there. This bothers her a bit, partly because she was hoping for another encounter, and because she is now questioning her reactions.

Why, after she practically ran back to her room last night, would she want to repeat the incident? Realizing she is completely alone on the street, she actually feels very relieved no one is there and decides it is best to go back to her room for the night.

Walking toward the hotel, she passes by the outdoor café where she had dinner. As she looks over to see if the two couples are still there, her eyes divert to a man stepping out of the restaurants doorway. He looks a little familiar to her, or does he? She is not sure. Is he possibly the man she was hoping to see again? He appears to glance up and then quickly retreat into the building.

Excerpt 81

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