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. This piece, a one part short called “Freed From the Truth,” serves as an epilogue to HAUNTED BY THE TRUTH, as Myanna moves into a new chapter and ultimately segues into my Willowbrook universe of stories.



Myanna looked at herself in the mirror. Her dyed blonde hair would take some getting used to as well. Myanna noticed she’d turned more men’s heads since she’d gone blonde. She hadn’t planned to be a mother again so soon, but after everything that happened it seemed right, with Donnell and she now completely in a love with him. She still needed to get used to no longer being Myanna Moore but Donnell’s wife.

Also, with her mentor serving time in jail for killing Darque, Myanna needed to make some hard choices. Time ran short on the year he’d given her rent-free and staff-paid on his private investigator firm once he retired, Myanna knew that many hard choices would follow, especially since she no longer had J.B’s emotional support.

She heard a knock at the door, firm yet gentle.

“Come in,” she said.

Branwen entered, steering her own wheelchair. Branwen helped Myanna find her birth father and helped her find closure. Yet, Branwen kept insisting that things were far from over.

“I’m concerned about you. You’re changing, and not for the better. You should stay here until you become grounded.”

Myanna could see the old woman’s concern reflected in the mirror. She turned to face her in person.

“I know you don’t approve I made this choice so soon after confronting my past. I need some light to come from the darkness fully. Donnell and I being married and starting a new family is a good step, and thank you for allowing his son to flourish here and be safe from the world.  Branwen, I love you and your son like family. You know that However, I’ve been hurt by so many blood relations and quasi-relations I lose count. I need to find my own way, build my own family.”

Branwen knew what she meant without another word.

“You’re planning on doing this alone?”

“I’m already working on it, and I have Donnell, so I’m not alone. Nothing will stop me. And if it’s within my power, I am going to find where Duana hid my daughter from me, the one I had when I was younger.”

Branwen shook her head sadly.

“I’d hoped for better for you, my child.”

“With all due respect, Branwen, I tire of people deciding what is best for me. I just need to go and do this on my own, away from here.”

“Do you at least know where you’re going to start?”

“I’m going to go back to the beginning. The true beginning. The place where my mother Myanna and Firinne Knox formed a friendship, where my mother lived as the pastor’s daughter and Firinne’s mother doing psychic reading and fortunes for tourists. It’s a small town in the Inland Northwest called Lone Spring.”

“Didn’t you go there before, when you were tracking down Darque?”

“Yes, but that was just looking for a few leads. I didn’t stay long or really connect with Lone Spring, not the way I need to. Though I understand it isn’t really even its own town anymore, but dependent on resources from the other local areas. I’ll learn more when I get there.”

“You were passing through before as part of a case, while your home base was here. If you try to put down roots in Lone Spring, it might jeopardize your office here, and put your friend out of a job. J.B. gave you a real chance, Myanna. Don’t waste his gift.”

“Branwen, this is how J.B. wanted me to use his gift. He wanted me to find Quinlee.”

Myanna put a hand to her belly.

“Donnell and I want our family to be complete and whole before we add to it soon. I’ll have to establish residency in the state to get licensed there. The child might come before I get that license. Who knows, we could have several before I’m fully ready to find Quinlee. In the meantime, please protect Donnell’s son and we will be in touch.”

“Then I wish you all the best, Myanna. Please, stay safe.”

“My hope is that as Myanna McClarnon, I will be safely out of the shadow of my past and free to walk in the light.”


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