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 part one of “Mysteries of the Phoenix,” which will run Saturdays and Sundays over the next three weekends as part of a SUMMER SPECIAL run. This is Part Four.

Phoenix and Marios showed up the next day around the time Susanne suggested Moira would arrive. Moira showed up as expected, and Phoenix had little doubt of the relationship. Moira looked similar to herself at eighteen, from the figure to the facial features, to the way she remembered her own body looking when she got pregnant.


Phoenix hoped she was wrong about the last part.


Moira didn’t notice Phoenix or her father as she marched up to the desk.


“I demand to see my mother!”


“We told you yesterday, you are not on the access list.”


Phoenix moved toward the desk, Marios accompanied her.


“Please, put her on the list. Put them both on the list.”


“Ms. Rayner? Are you sure?”


Phoenix watched as Marios and Moira interacted.


“You knew I came here on my summer studies, Father. Yet you never told me my birth mother lived here! Why?”


“When you were born, her mother – my wife – wanted us all to agree you would be mine to raise. Dawn followed her mother’s dying wish. I gave you a good life, Moira.”


“But she’s my mother. Your wife died but my mother lives and it is not my fault.”


Phoenix decided at that moment to step in.


“Look, you both have permission to see Dawn. Go in there together, talk this out. Just realize she may not even recognize you.”


While Marios and Moira spent private time with Dawn, Phoenix sat back and reflected, thinking about her own family and children inside her. She then reached out and called Romey.


“Hey sis, what’s up?”


“Marios and Moira are reunited and in seeing Mom. Susanne’s there just in case, I just felt it was better I not be in the room. But there’s some loose ends I want answered. Moira said she came here on a summer study. I need to find out who arranged it.”


“Why don’t you just ask?”


“Romey. I don’t think they would fully know the answers I’m looking for. Part of me can’t help but shake Moira is being taken advantage of somehow. Can you help?”


“Not an easy request. But I’ll see what I can do.”


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