.To Dance With A Fetch 61-70

To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 70) Waiting For Applause

Marnie slowly turns around and stares at Lyla but does not say a word. Lyla begins to move in to hug her when she sees a familiar glimmer in the eyes. Marnie’s face slowly and strangely begins to change into Penny’s.

“Oh my god!” says Lyla aloud as she covers her mouth and stumbles backward. Looking around, no one seems to realize what is happening. Penny’s face has now transformed to someone else and then begins to transition to Crispin’s face. He smiles with a very sly grin as if holding back laughter then extends his hand to her.

“I know you know about me,” he says in a low tone as he methodically moves toward her. The jacket he had draped over his shoulders falls to the floor with a heavy thud. He looks at a man near him and instantly begins to take on his characteristics. Crispin holds his arms out as if waiting for applause for performing such a magical feat. He then repeats the process by changing into a woman standing nearby before morphing back to himself. Lyla continues to step backward away from him not believing what she is a witness to.

Excerpt 70

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 69) No Response

Is Crispin really an evil being that can play with people as if they are puppets? Is Marcus right about it all? Has Penny simply suffered a natural cause of death or is Marcus reading more into this than is real? Lyla begins to question if she truly knows what reality is anymore.

She makes her way to the center of the foyer where she can see into the living and dining rooms as well as the kitchen. With the power out and little lighting, many shadows fill these areas but something catches her eye in the living room. Lyla leans ever so slightly to look deeper into the gloom and is immediately drawn to the far right corner of the room. It appears to be darker than any other spot, but why? She takes several slow steps in that direction as she tries to force her eyes to focus in the dim candle light.

Making her way through the crowded room Lyla gets closer and closer to what appears to be Marnie sitting on a tall stool. As she approaches her friend, Marnie turns her back on the crowd and Lyla can see that she is wearing the wet jacket Marcus said he draped across Penny’s face. She recognizes it immediately.

“Marnie?” says Lyla cautiously as she gently taps Marnie on her shoulder. “I see you have Marcus’ jacket,” she gets no response. “You found Penny didn’t you,” again, there is no response. “Marnie. . . are you okay?”

Excerpt 69

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 68) Mind Running Wild

“I’m going to go upstairs and try to call the police.” says Marcus. “Come with me.”

“No, Marcus, I can’t. I feel responsible for these people. I’ll just sit right here and wait for you to get back. If I see anything odd, I’ll come get you.” says Lyla as she wipes away any remaining tears. Marcus sits down next to Lyla, facing her. “I’ve never told you this before, but I’ve always felt it.” He pauses slightly as he looks in her eyes. “I love you, Lyla. I always have, you mean everything to me and no matter what happens I want you to know that.”

Without hesitation, Lyla replies with “I love you too, Marcus.” They hold each other in a tight embrace. In all the years they have known each other and all the things they’ve lived through, they never discussed their friendship or the love they have for each other. They are best friends and have always been willing to do whatever it takes to put the other first. Until now, neither was brave enough to admit it.

Lyla watches Marcus as he gets to the top of the stairs where he looks back for one last glance at the crowd. Smokey, with her big belly almost touching the floor, waddles past Marcus. He smiles and points at the fluffy cat as he looks down at Lyla. She laughs and says to herself, “Even my cat loves that guy.” As Lyla turns and Penny pops back into her thoughts, she scans the crowd for Crispin or Marnie. Her mind is running wild as she thinks over the days since Crispin came into her life.

Excerpt 68

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 67) It Was My Double

“Wow, that storm is getting seriously bad.” says one woman to another as they walk past Lyla and Marcus sitting at the bottom of the staircase. With his arm around Lyla, Marcus finishes explaining to her how he came upon Penny’s body and covered her with his jacket. “I hate thinking that she is still out there in this storm.” says Lyla as she looks at Marcus. “Could you tell how she died?”

“No, and I know you think I’m nuts, but I’d say Duff got to her.” says Marcus as he stands up. “But for now we have to keep this quiet. If Duff finds out we are on to him, I hate to think of what his reaction might be.”

“Where are you going, don’t you leave me again Marcus.” says Lyla as she stands up as well. “I’m just looking around. I don’t see Duff at all.”  He says as he steps up one step for a better view of the room. “I don’t see Marnie anywhere either.”

“Maybe they are together.” says Lyla. “Then that would be very bad, Lyla.” Marcus takes her by the hand. “Marnie could be in danger.”

“So you truly think Crispin had something to do with Penny’s death?” she says as she shakes her head in disbelief. “The last time any of us saw Penny, she was talking to me, but it wasn’t me . . . it was my double.” says Marcus. “Remember? Marnie left to find Duff and that’s when I saw Penny run out of the kitchen just to be stopped by my double at the entryway of the living room.” he pauses for a moment then says, “When did you last speak with Penny?”

Lyla looks down and after several seconds she says, “I guess it was when I went to the kitchen after we heard that loud crashing sound.” Marcus nods yes that he understands. “I was talking with both Penny and Marnie.” Lyla pauses for a moment then sits back down on the step with a stunned look on her face. “That means Marnie was talking with both you and me at the same time? But how can that be?”

Excerpt 67

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 66) To Be Disciplined

“Your breath smells like decay and death yet you gloat as if you’re some wonderful catch.” Crispin says as he leans back but still keeps Marnie’s hands securely pressed to the rails. His voice calms a bit as he continues. “But nothing could be farther from the truth now could it Marnie.” He slowly looks toward the shrub where Penny’s body still lies.

Marnie stands there, trapped and in tears. “Why are you doing this?” she asks. “Why?” Crispin says in his normal steady voice as he tips his head slightly then looks her in the eyes. “Because you dear Marnie are a nuisance. You whine too much, complain about everyone, and want all the attention on you.” he says coldly. The calm tone to his voice is almost more disturbing than the words he is speaking. “So how do you like the attention now?” he grumbles as he presses his forehead against hers but doesn’t break eye contact. “Maybe for once you should think before you open that nasty mouth of yours. You my dear need to be disciplined!” says Crispin as it lightning’s twice followed by deafening thunder that shakes the ground.

Marnie starts to speak but stops when she sees Crispin’s eyes flicker wildly with green and yellow colors. The iris’ of his eyes spark and swirl wildly in no particular rhythm or pulse. He then grits his teeth and pushes against her once again as he says, “You need to shut up and listen when someone else is talking!” Marnie squints then tightly closes her eyes.


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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 65) A Narcissistic Soul

“You’re really something special, aren’t you Marnie?” says Crispin in a sly way. “Oh, definitely, especially if you think so Crisp.” says Marnie as she latches on to him for another kiss. Crispin abruptly stops her short. “Well I don’t think so and I wasn’t giving you a compliment, Marnie dear.” says Crispin in a calm tone as he presses against her causing her to take a step back. “What?” asks Marnie a bit startled. She laughs nervously unsure if he is joking.

“Maybe if you really listened to people for a change you would get a few things. But you don’t get anything, do you?” says Crispin as he backs Marnie into a corner and places his hands on the rails on either side of her trapping her there. “What are you doing?” asks Marnie nervously looking from one hand to the other and then directly at his face. “I’m teaching you a lesson.” says Crispin as he grits his teeth and lowers his voice. His eyes flash as if they are made of lightning themselves and this frightens her. She begins to panic but soon starts to feel sluggish and no longer in control, almost as if she is paralyzed.

“You have to be one of the most narcissistic souls I’ve ever encountered.” says Crispin as he grabs her wrists and pushes her hands down to the railing. Marnie squirms and twists as she tries to break free but Crispin is far too strong and she is simply wearing herself out. “You think you’re someone who is desired, someone who others want to be around, someone who others admire.” says Crispin as his voice grows louder and more harsh. He is very intense as he moves in close to Marnie’s face. Her eyes are open wide as she stares at him in disbelief. Gritting his teeth he continues, “You’re so self-centered you can’t see past your own ugly crooked nose.” He presses his nose against hers forcing her head back straining her neck under the pressure.


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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 64) Invigorating

All this time Marnie has been sitting in a chair watching Crispin and Lyla as they danced. As soon as Marcus yanked Lyla out of Crispin’s arms she made her move and followed Crispin as he quickly walked out to the veranda. Rain is coming down in sheets and the ground is beginning to collect large puddles of water. Sneaking up behind him, Marnie taps at Crispin’s shoulder.

“Hey there lover,” she says as Crispin slowly turns his head to the side not looking at her but acknowledging her. “Well, well Marnie, it’s such a pleasure to be in your company, again.” says Crispin in an odd way as he looks back out at the yard. “Oh wow, that’s really really good to hear.” she says as she wraps her arm around his. “What do you think of this storm?” she asks as they stand there watching it rain. “Gives ya goosebumps, doesn’t it?” she says as lightning and thunder crashes down. She grabs Crispin’s arm harder as she squeals like a frightened child.

Crispin turns quickly and takes Marnie by the hand. “Ever danced in the rain, Marnie?” he asks as he quickly pulls her toward the end of the covered porch. The wind is now howling and outside is not the place to be during an electrical storm such as this one. “Well, not in a lightning storm, no!” says Marnie as she tries to duck back under the cover of the roof. “Let’s go to the gazebo then,” says Crispin as he pulls Marnie out into the rain. They run through the soaked yard as they head for the gazebo. A large bolt of lightning flashes and cracks just as they take cover. Both are completely soaked, Marnie more so than Crispin.

“Oh, that was invigorating I must say.” says Marnie as she wraps her wet arms around Crispin’s neck pulling him to her as she kisses him. Crispin pushes her back slightly.

Excerpt 64

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 63) She’s Dead

“I don’t see Crispin anywhere,” says Lyla. “I hope you didn’t insult him by dragging me away like that. What in the world are you doing and where have you been?” she says harshly. They both grow quiet and do not say anything for a few minutes. Rain is pelting at the windows of the house as the wind outside picks up. Lyla acts as if she is going to stand up when Marcus puts his hand on her knee and moves in closer which causes her to sit back down. “Don’t make a scene, please don’t draw attention to us.” he says as he watches Lyla’s face and then looks around to see who may be standing nearby. “I found Penny.”

“Well it’s about time, and now that you mention it, I thought she was upstairs with Marnie. Remember when we were up there and heard the squeaking in the hall and I left to rejoin the party? Well, Marnie was talking to Penny, I didn’t see her but I heard her voice. Oh but then again it could have been Marnie’s voice, I don’t know.” Lyla pauses and puts her head down on her knees then looks sideways at Marcus. “Crispin was in the room as well, he followed me when I came downstairs.” She continues as she lifts up again. “The odd thing is he said Penny wasn’t in the room with Marnie and him. I went back up a little later and Marnie was in there alone and sound asleep, so Penny must have left or something.” She looks at Marcus for a bit realizing she isn’t making any sense then rubs her temples and looks down. “What a confusing night.”

“I don’t think Penny was upstairs with Marnie at all.” says Marcus. “In fact, she couldn’t have been.”

”So where did she say she ran off to for so long?” asks Lyla as she continues to look down at her feet. “She’s” says Marcus but then he pauses. “She’s what?” asks Lyla as she starts rubbing her head again. Marcus leans in a little closer and says “She’s dead.” Slowly Lyla looks at Marcus with a stunned expression then quickly glances around to see if anyone else heard what he said. “What?” she questions as tears well up in her eyes. “She’s gone, Lyla” says Marcus as he puts his arm around her to comfort her. Lyla buries her head in his chest and weeps.


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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 62) What’s Going On

“Oh god, are you okay?” asks Marcus as he leans Lyla against the stair railing. Holding her by the shoulder, he brushes a strand of hair away from her face. “What happened? What’s going on?” says Lyla in a breathy tone as she looks around the foyer. “You looked like you were about to faint.” says Marcus as he holds her hand. “Do you remember what you and Crispin were talking about?”

“What? I, I don’t know.” says Lyla still dazed. Marcus helps her sit down on the stairs as he looks back at the crowd to see where Crispin has gotten off to. With the poor lighting, he cannot locate him but then again, he could be just around the corner. “I really need to talk to you.” says Marcus as he sits down close to Lyla on the step. “Oh Marcus, I don’t want to go back over this theory of yours again. Crispin hasn’t done anything wrong, no one’s been hurt, and we don’t have any proof that you or anyone else has a double running around.” says Lyla slightly annoyed and about in tears.

“Lyla, I saw myself, remember?” he questions. “I’m pretty sure I know what I look like!” he continues in a loud whisper. “You saw someone who looks like you, that’s all.” returns Lyla angrily as she looks up at the crowd wondering if Crispin was insulted by Marcus’ display.

Excerpt 62

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 61) She Reaches For Crispin’s Hand

Very dazed and not sure of what she just heard, Lyla tries to lean back to focus on Crispin’s face. “What?” she asks as everything begins to go black. Suddenly she is jolted awake by Marcus pulling her in the other direction through the crowd of people. “What? Wait! Crispin!” she says as she tries to pull back from Marcus to stay with Crispin. She reaches for Crispin’s hand but only their fingertips touch as she’s pulled farther away. With her eyes open she watches as Crispin’s face fades away into the crowd and she turns to go with Marcus.

Marnie has been seated this entire time watching and stewing over the fact that Crispin is spending his time with Lyla. As soon as Marcus snatches Lyla from Crispin, Marnie stands up to watch what happens next. With a firm grip on Lyla, Marcus does not stop until he gets her out of the dining room and to the foot of the stairs. The guests seem to be oblivious to it all as they continue with the party until a strong bolt of lightning sparks followed by a heavy crash of thunder causing the power to go out completely.

The rooms of the house are dimly lit by the candles and lanterns that were supposed to be for decoration only. Someone in the crowd says “perfect timing, let’s have a super slow song!” Everyone laughs and the band switches to acoustic instruments that do not need to be amplified and the music plays on as if nothing happened. It appears that Marnie is the only one aware of what just transpired between Lyla, Marcus and Crispin Duff.

Excerpt 61

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