Presented by SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS

SPONTANEOUS CHOICES SHORTS features short serialized fiction by author Shannon Muir, that may be later released as part of e-book or print collections. In 2019, these serials will appear every second and fourth Thursday (and fifth Thursdays as they occur). This week begins a new serialized story, “A Second LaChance,” about a young woman who originally hoped to have the children of a wealthy spoiled man to get paid off to leave him, but ends up with  more than she ever bargained for when deciding to take a chance to start a new life for herself.

This is part 1 of 16.

So, tell us more about your rags to riches story, Rikah,” the interviewer asked. I found his dress to be incredibly tacky and showy, like someone playing dress-up to be rich but really isn’t.

I’d taken this interview as my first chance and hope of turning my life around. Right now, I hoped I hadn’t made a mistake. There’d already certainly been enough of them in my past.

“You mean how I ended up married to Edmond LaChance? Well, Edmond always bragged his parents would pay off any woman who had his children, and that alone motivated this poor little girl to fool around with a playboy who refused to grow up. I definitely needed the money. Not to mention, Edmond promised me that he could connect me with people who could help me continue to earn income while I waited to give birth. When my options were take him up on his offer or be homeless, I took him up on it. The rent got paid, and I worked shooting videos of my growing belly for some video service run by a friend of Edmond’s. He offered me to live full time his basement which he also used for a studio in order to save on rent, but I said no to that, because I’d have to live there full time. I still needed my space, plus I still wanted to be with Edmond at the mansion when his parents weren’t there; at least I could live the illusion of the high life from time to time.  So instead we walked around to various locations, where he filmed me showing off my belly to the public.”

“Sounds like it really paid off,” the host said, clearly overacting his intrigue.

“Depends on your point of view, I guess. So imagine my surprise when one night we’re getting it on, my belly really heavy, and his parents come home early from some trip to who knows where. Instead of being waved some nice fat check and a request to be on my way, Edmond and I find ourselves in front of a justice of the peace in another state so Edmond can make an honest woman out of me.”

“By dishonestly tying the knot when you didn’t love one another. Interesting how that works.”

“It hadn’t been in my plans,” I laughed. “I’d already been planning to look into adoption. Now, none of that would be happening. Instead, I’d be raising my children as heirs to the LaChance fortune and living the glamorous life in a fancy mansion. I’d grown up the oldest of eight children in a poor family, our parents holding down multiple jobs each just to make ends meet. Once I got a bit older, I helped my grandparents take care of my younger siblings. Having just given up babysitting duties not all that long ago when I turned eighteen and moved out to try and make it on my own, I wasn’t crazy about going back to formula and diapers… even for the financial security.”

“You mean to tell me the LaChance’s never noticed the difference in social classes? I mean, you’d have a lack of etiquette and manners, I would think?”

Despite being offended, I managed.

“They realized that in order to make this marriage work for outward appearances they needed to make me act like the lady the rest of the world expected. Unbeknownst to them, I still went off and did the video shoots, making sure to hide my wedding ring and hoping no one could identify me. Eventually, though, my past caught up with me.”

The interviewer leaned forward.

“Tell me more.”