SHORTS FROM THE SHELF features short serialized fiction by author Shannon Muir, administrator of SHANNON MUIR’S THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF, that may be later released as part of e-book or print collections. The story line featured currently is “Crime Before the Fall,” which starts today, and the remaining parts will be April 11th and 12th. This is Part One.

Basha and Basia Anda wanted to be in the police force since they were young. They’d done everything together, even entered the Academy at the same time together. They’d both passed the courses with flying colors, both sharing honors as the head of their class. They also both made the rank of Detective at about the same time.

Neither really imagined a day when the two might not always be at one another’s side – until Basha met someone she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. She feared telling Basia anything; Basia hadn’t really remained open to having much of anyone else in her life except Basha, and committed only to her career. Yet, a day came that forced Basha’s hand.

“Something’s come up and I need to talk to you about it,” Basia told her sister one day. “In private.”

Basha didn’t have any preparation for this at all. She’d been trying to get up her nerve to speak to her sister about the status of her romantic relationship. Her identical twin’s words sounded as if they should have been her own.

“Sure. Let’s head back to the apartment,” referring to the one they both currently shared. Basha already had plans in the works to move in with the person she would marry, and that timetable fast approached. Whatever this was, Basha hoped it wasn’t too drastic and in the end might only help things move more naturally along to the two sisters moving forward with their lives.

Once they got into the apartment, Basia quickly let it be known what was on her mind.

“I’ve been offered an assignment that would require me to go undercover for a time. I don’t know how long, Basha. But all I am authorized to tell you it that it is an exceptional assignment, the kind either of us would die for. But I don’t know how you’d feel without being able to contact me for a while.”

This definitely relived Basha. Perhaps, it might make things easier.

“The timing may be just right, sister, as much as I’d hate for us to part ways. You see, I was asked to marry someone I’ve come to care deeply for – and I said yes, Basia.”

Basha was not prepared for the anger she could see in Basia’s face and body stance. She’d never seen her so infuriated in all their lives together.

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