Here’s another sample from A DEAD GUY AT THE SUMMERHOUSE, my YA/NA paranormal suspense set in 1968. Mitch and Lydia have just returned from the vet’s, where they left one of Aunt Missy’s dogs. The dog had … fallen, surely … from the balcony.
Return Without Dog
excerpt from A DEAD GUY AT THE SUMMERHOUSE
by Marian Allen
“Oh, Aunt Amelia!” Lydia lunged for her.
Aunt Missy dodged and came to me for a hug. She clutched my shirt with trembling fingers. I dropped the afghan and put my arms around her, but I felt like I was the one being embraced.
“I told you!” she said. “I told you they were in danger! I told you they had enemies!”
“Nonsense!” Mr. Walton said abruptly.
“Chan is all right, Aunt Missy. He’ll be home in a couple of days. He has a few broken bones from his fall–”
“I knew it would happen some day! Something like this.” She glared across her shoulder. “I hold you responsible, Matt Walton!”
Mr. Walton’s frown looked like it had a headache behind it. “Amelia. . . .”
Mrs. Seldon-Hardesty looked at her watch and said, “Is this going to go on much longer? I don’t like to leave Eleanor alone.”
I had almost forgotten about Eleanor. Now that I remembered her, I remembered that she hadn’t come running at the sound of a dog in distress, and neither had Mary. Neither had Corrie.
“Where’s Wong?” I asked.
Aunt Missy said, “Sandy and Ava have him in their quarters. Will you go get him, Mitch?”
It seemed to me she wasn’t standing as straight as she usually did. She looked old and frightened, and that scared me.
“You want me to bring him to your room?”
“No.” She sighed deeply and shook her head. “No, I’m going to lie down for an hour or so. Bring him in at about one and we’ll have lunch together, you and he and I.”
Lydia touched Aunt Missy’s arm. “I’ll take you up. I know how to make you comfortable, don’t I, Aunt Amelia?”
Aunt Missy transferred her weight to Lydia and rather vacantly allowed herself to be escorted away.
“You,” Mrs. Seldon-Hardesty pointed out to me, “are supposed to be getting the dog.”
“Yes, ma’am,” I said, not moving. “Mr. Walton, you said you wanted to see me when I got back?”
“Later. Drop by my office later this afternoon.”
Dr. Andrew swept up the bloody dog-wrapper. “I’ll take care of this.”
Mrs. Seldon-Hardesty stood and, if looks could kill, I’d have been dead in three languages. She was chalk white except for her rouge.
“Can’t you do what you’re told?” Her voice grated through her teeth.
“Yes, ma’am,” I said simply, and left as fast as I could without actually scuttling.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Your character takes an animal to the vet.