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 over the next  fourteen days is “Shining a Light on Crime”. This is Part 2 of 14.

Lou worked for her parents all through her time in high school, and now that they’d been married for almost two years, Roxane’s parents came to entrust Lou with a great deal. Besides going on location to do installs, they owned a store where people could come and buy the items as well. They’d let him work alone and close up shop for some time even before the marriage, which meant Lou closed the register every night. Roxane decided she’d start with the money trail, to see if he might be skimming the reports.

She did this by starting to come in and work nights with Lou so her parents could have time alone with the grandchildren, and she get some time away from the kids. Her parents didn’t object to the arrangement at all, as it meant the granddaughters staying with them for a week, but Lou certainly did. Lou argued he didn’t need the help, but Roxane told her parents summer hours usually meant a spike in traffic and better to be prepared. Roxane successfully swayed them, so her investigation could commence.

However, Lou initially managed to keep her off his tail. He began, correctly, by noting the storeroom hadn’t received a good inventory and sorting in some time and if there truly would be a summer rush soon, they should take advantage of the downtime now and make sure they were prepared by being organized and ordering anything needed. As a result, for about a week, Roxane spent evenings in the storeroom instead of on the floor.

However, that didn’t prevent her from seeing what Lou did at closing with the register. He certainly wasn’t manipulating any numbers at the end of the night, as the sales added up. So nothing happened there she could find.

Roxane knew that didn’t stop him from doing something like manipulating sales records to get money for himself and fool the inventory system, or by other means. That would take being able to watch him throughout shift, but the agreed upon week now ended.

Roxane needed to figure out a way to get that opportunity.


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