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 “Give Me Another LaChance,” which will run over the next eight consecutive days. This is Part Five.

Rowan went back to see Rikah’s mother. She almost slammed the door in his face as soon as she saw him.


“Ma’am, please, it’s about Rikah,” he pleaded. “I need your help to help her.”


That got her to open the door again.


“What’s happened to her? Did she not do as I instructed and go to her father?”


For the first time, Rowan paid attention to her word choice. Instructed didn’t sound like a mother’s love.


“Yes, she went to the man you said was her father. But now she’s caught up with people trying to take him down. I don’t believe you’ve told us everything and that you have information that might save her. I need the truth, but since I’m starting to doubt if you’re her mother, I’m wondering if you’ll give it to me.”


That made the woman crack.


“How dare you say that! I gave birth to her!”


“But you also said the company owner fathered her by making you do things you didn’t want to do. He didn’t sleep with you, did he? He ordered you to be a surrogate to a child whose parentage is unknown, and then made you marry your immediate boss and raise her!”


It sounded insane to Rowan the minute it left his lips, but it was the only thing that made sense.


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