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  three Saturdays is “The Price of Love”. This is Part 2 of 3.

“I  can’t tell you where to find my mother because she left me here with my grandmother when I was a baby. I’ve not seen her since.”

“I see. And do you know how we may reach your grandmother? She might know about the circumstances under which you were born.”

The police officer glared at the maid.

“And judging from the reaction of your help, someone here knows something.”

Emma couldn’t disagree with the observation. She wanted the mystery solved as much as the police. The implication was that Emma wasn’t who she thought she was, and everyone knew it. Now those crime novels she enjoyed cuddled up too close to home.

“My grandmother is in deep remote Africa for the next week, I’m afraid,” Emma said. “She can’t be contacted and won’t be back for a few days.”

To everyone’s surprise, Ms. Flannery spoke up.

“I’ll talk to the police,” the maid insisted. “And tell you anything you need to know. It’s time this all came out in the open.”

“What are you doing?”  insisted Emma, as she put a hand on Ms. Flannery’s shoulder. “You should get a lawyer before you talk. Let my family take care of the skeletons in their closet.”

Ms. Flannery reached up and tenderly removed Emma’s arm.

“Listen to your mother,” Ms. Flannery told her. “She knows what’s best for you.”

Emma tried to process what Ms. Flannery just said. She looked her straight in the eye and realized for the first time how many of Ms. Flannery’s features matched her own.

Despite Emma’s love for mysteries, she’d clearly missed obvious clues.

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