Author

.To Dance With A Fetch 71-80

To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 80) A Way Out, Or In

Lyla is hoping that if Crispin has to look for her, he won’t have time to hurt anymore of her friends. She holds her breath and sits very still as she listens to his footsteps get further and further away. Slowly turning, she feels around for the light switch on the wall. Once found, she flips it on but nothing happens. “Oh you idiot,” she whispers to herself, “no power.” With a little click, she switches the flashlight on and looks toward the top as she climbs the ladder up two floors, finally reaching the attic.

The rain and wind sounds violent and harsh as she sits on the attic floor to catch her breath after the long climb. She can barely hear the music playing from downstairs but as long as the party is still going, it is an indication to her that all is well, at least for now.

“What am I going to do?” she asks herself. “Crispin will kill anyone that gets in his way.” She shines the light around the large empty space. Her flashlight is dim which does not allow her to see very far ahead. As with many old homes with character, this one has several peaks and angles to the roofline cutting the attic into various shapes and sizes. The ladder brought her to the central area of the house where it is tall enough to stand. However, she does not see any hallways or walkways to other areas, only crawl spaces and narrow shady nooks. Suddenly there is a flicker of light at the other end of the house as lightning flashes and thunder rumbles close by.

“There must be windows on that end of the attic,” she says to herself now hopeful that she may have a direction to go. “There’s got to be other large areas like this and possibly another way out, or in.” Lyla shivers and realizes she is shaking as she looks down at her trembling hands.

Excerpt 80

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Copyright © 2012 All rights reserved.


To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 79) Outside The Door

The footsteps come closer as another tap can be heard on the wall near her. She is holding her breath and sitting as quietly as possible. Now the footsteps are on the other side of the little pantry door.  “Who is it?” She thinks to herself. “What if it’s Marcus?” The footsteps move on toward the back entry to the kitchen and there is another tap as if someone is looking for a secret wall or door.

Shaking, Lyla tries to turn the knob very slowly hoping she can push the door open a crack, just enough to look out.  As she twists the knob she hears Crispin say, “I can feel you near, Lyla. You cannot hide from me long; I know your curiosity will get the better of you.” He slowly walks past the door again and taps the pantry near the little cubical where she sits.

“I have faith you’ll understand and partner with me once I am able to explain myself.” He says as he paces outside the door. “Please give me a chance, Lyla. We can have something wonderful together you and me.” His steps stop and she is sure that he has discovered her hiding place. Holding her breath she closes her eyes at tight as she can while Crispin speaks. “I don’t want you thinking ill of me; I just need a few minutes alone with you, Lyla. I want to help you understand my purpose.”

Excerpt 79

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 78) She Waits

“Please have Marcus and Smokey be okay, please be okay.” Lyla mouths to herself as she takes a minute to think of what to do next. “Hide, I need to hide.” she whispers as she makes her way through the kitchen. She is being extremely quiet as she crawls on her hands and knees around to the other side of the island. As she rounds the corner of the cabinets, she remembers the short pantry door she found while unpacking. It leads to the attic.

From where she is squatting, there is a utility drawer directly above her. Staying low, she slowly pulls the drawer open and grabs a flashlight, then makes her way to the small pantry door.  “The attic, this takes me to the attic.” Lyla slowly opens the pantry and crawls inside closing the door behind her. She sits alone in the dark for several minutes.

Looking up she sees nothing but blackness and is too afraid to turn the flashlight on, at least not just yet. As she waits, it is as if her hearing has become amplified. She is picking up on every little sound from the music to the flushing of the toilet in the hall bathroom.

There is no clock to tell time by and she feels as if she has been sitting here for hours. Then she hears the tapping. It’s not constant and it’s not loud, but it’s something that is moving her way. With a squeaking sound she hears the swinging door of the kitchen open and someone taps twice on the island counter.
Excerpt 78

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 77) Who Is Real

“You nasty pest!” Crispin says in a low growling voice as he walks into the rain holding Smokey out in front of him. Lyla lunges toward Crispin as she tries to snatch her cat from his hand but he pushes her away causing her to fall to the floor. With Smokey still in his clutches, Crispin stares at the tubby cat with hate and Smokey begins to growl and hiss once again.

Lyla pushes herself back as she tries to get up on her feet when Crispin slings Smokey with great force out into the muddy yard. She lands in a puddle of rain water and does not move. Infuriated, Crispin quickly turns and realizes Lyla is gone. He smiles a very sly grin then slowly and quietly begins to explore the nearest rooms in search of her.

With tears streaming, Lyla squats down behind the island in the dark and quiet kitchen as she frantically tries to think of a place to hide. The murmured voices of her guests sound eerie as if they are off in the distance and detached in some way. Her mind is racing as she goes over the details of the past hour. Oh how she desperately wants to wake up from this nightmare that has encased her.

What is she to do? She knows she cannot run out and tell anyone what is happening, who would believe her? If Marcus and Marnie are gone, who can she possibly trust? How is she to know who is real and who is Crispin Duff?

Excerpt 77

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 76) Tossed Aside

Lyla is kicking and fighting as she tries to break free but Crispin is far too strong for her. Without relaxing his hold, he whispers in her ear, “Calm down.” Hoping he will release her if she acts like an obedient child, Lyla stops kicking and trashing about. To her surprise, she does not get the reaction she hoped for as Crispin rests his head near hers and whispers; “They say old coals are easiest kindled.” He tightens his grip on her waist pressing her back firmly against his chest and she feels as if she cannot breath. Crispin continues as his lips touch her ear, “But what if that old coal gets tossed aside? Will the fair maiden build another fire?”

Suddenly the cat jumps from a tall shelf onto Crispin’s head giving Lyla a chance to break away from her captor. She moves away as Crispin grabs Smokey by the neck pulling her off his head. Now with the fluffy cat in his grip, he holds her out in front of him as she growls and hisses. Angrily, Crispin shakes her once and this causes her to grow quiet. Glaring at the cat, he walks with her at arm’s length, out the door toward the rain-soaked yard. Slowly, Smokey begins to draw her hind legs up into a ball tucking them near her belly as rain pelts her back. It’s as if she knows what will happen next.

Excerpt 76

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 75) Where Your Loyalties Lie

“What’s gotten into those two?” questions a woman as she steps in front of Lyla blocking her path. Lyla gently pushes the woman aside and runs toward the hallway but neither Marcus nor Crispin are there. Aside from the music playing in the other room, there is no sound to help her find their location. The hall is dark, deserted, and she feels very cold and alone.

“I see where your loyalties lie,” says Crispin in her right ear. Frightened she quickly turns around to find one of the guests as he comes out of the bathroom. He gives Lyla a quizzical glance as he moves along. She is not sure if this is Crispin or simply a guest but she doesn’t take her eyes off him as he walks toward the crowded foyer.

Several minutes have passed as Lyla continues to explore the hallway, kitchen, and her office, but all three locations are unlit and undisturbed. She fears Marcus is terribly hurt or worse, dead. Suddenly Crispin pops out from behind her grabbing her at the waist lifting her off the floor as she screams. However, no one hears her as Crispin covers her mouth with his hand and carries her toward the veranda doors.
Excerpt 75

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 74) Struggle Ensues

“Penny was always in everyone’s business, asking questions, watching every move, and interrupting. Quite frankly she was intolerable.”  Crispin says as he rubs his chin with his fingers. “She witnessed my technique one too many times and shared those experiences with your pal Marcus.” He leans in very close to Lyla’s ear and whispers, “She should have played the coward instead, for now she is dead.”

Lyla tears up and does not know what to do. She sees Marcus coming down the stairs looking around as if he is trying to find her. Finally he locks eyes with her and she begins to shake her head no, trying to get him to go the other way.

Instead, Marcus rushes down the stairs toward Crispin who quickly turns, swiftly catching him as he reaches the bottom step. Immediately, Crispin grabs Marcus by the throat and pushes him against the stair railing where a struggle ensues until Crispin forces Marcus down the hall and out of sight.

Excerpt 74

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 73) Coward For A Minute

Lyla has moved back as far as she can while Crispin moves in exceedingly close to her. He continues his explanation of how he feels about her. “When I got to know you, the real you, what you believe in and the type of person you are. I knew I had to have you with me, no matter the cost.” Crispin reaches out and gently runs his fingers along the side of her face.

Lyla tears up, is full of emotion and very bewildered. She trusted Crispin, enjoyed his company, felt a true attraction to him, but he is not who she thought he was. How could she have been so blind? She turns her head attempting to avoid Crispin’s gentle touch. “What did you do to Penny?” she questions as she closes her eyes wishing this would all end right now.

Crispin looks shocked as he places one arm on the wall. “Penny?” he acts as if this is news to him. Lyla opens her eyes and looks at him. “What makes you think I had anything to do with that busy bodies demise?” He looks away and then back at Lyla. “Oh. Oh dear, I gave myself away on that one now didn’t I?” he continues as if this were a joke. “Let’s see, what might be the best way to explain this.” says Crispin acting as if he has to think this through. “There is a saying, it is better to be a coward for a minute, than dead the rest of your life.” he tips his head slightly and moves within an inch of Lyla’s face.

Excerpt 73

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 72) A Simple Tactic

“Your friends are all too concerned with themselves to notice us Lyla.” says Crispin. He is merely standing in front of her, not trapping her or holding her with his arms. He is stepping from side to side as she attempts to flee. “You know, I feel I need to explain.” he says softly, “Let’s go someplace private and talk. I know you’ll understand, just hear me out.” Lyla shakes her head no. “Please Lyla, let me explain and help you understand my purpose,” says Crispin as he moves in closer. Lyla backs up. “Alright then!” he says as if annoyed as he looks to his right. “We’ll talk here,” he looks back at Lyla tipping his head slightly as if popping his neck.

“You know, this all started because I needed you to help me gain access to people worldwide.” says Crispin in a very businesslike tone. “Don’t get me wrong, my goal is not to take over the world, but to rid it of meaningless people and to be blunt, dispose of the competition.” He waves his arms back as if to indicate the guests are on his list. He looks from left to right but always while keeping track of Lyla’s movements. “I’m like everybody else. I want wealth, power, companionship, and all the things I desire.” Crispin then steps even closer to Lyla as she moves back and presses her head against the corner of the wall. “You dear sweet Lyla started out as a simple tactic because you were the best at what you do. You were the key to simplifying my process.” he says in a calm eloquent voice as he follows the line of her face with his eyes.

Excerpt 72

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To Dance With A Fetch (Excerpt 71) What Are You

“You need not fear me, Lyla. I could never hurt you. I want you with me,” Crispin says as he reaches out for her hand. Lyla pulls back immediately and is shocked at how easy he can change from one person to the next and no one seems to be aware of his ability. She wonders how many times she has talked to other people but all along that person may have been Crispin!

“I care about you, Lyla. I know you care about me too.” Slowly he inches closer and closer. Lyla starts to feel faint and dizzy. “We can make things work wonderfully you and I.” Crispin says as he reaches out and touches her arm. Frightened, Lyla turns and takes several steps as she fights through the crowd to get to the staircase and to find Marcus.

Looking back she watches as Crispin morphs from one face to the next with no difficulty at all. She recognizes the faces as people in news articles about Duff Industries but most of them she does not recognize at all. The guests are so preoccupied they act as if Lyla and Crispin are invisible as she frantically runs from the room.

Crispin catches up with her in the foyer holding his arm out blocking her path as he backs her into the corner. “What is happening?” says Lyla as she reaches out trying to get someone to notice her. She then looks at Crispin and says, “What are you?”

Excerpt 71

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