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) beginning January 17, 2019. The story line featured over the next sixteen days is “A Spontaneous Kind of Mystery,” featuring the return of Marnie and Zane. This is part 9 of 16.

Marnie called Zane’s cell phone number, the only one she had for him thanks to Sophia. It just kept ringing and ringing. Marnie told herself that he might perhaps be busy. She wished that she had an e-mail, or even a home telephone number, but she’d never been brave enough to ask for anything like that.

Now she wondered if he’d ever speak to her again.

Marnie knew she could research on the Internet and possibly find an alternate means to contact him, but she didn’t want to cross those lines. That only guaranteed she’d never speak to Zane again. Her getting one number for him from Sophia, that wasn’t too bad, and since they all knew each other somewhat acceptable. Better to leave it at that.

Far better than Blake, her new-found cousin who got to know her all of several days and then calls her up to join him for a social gathering where a murder takes place. That almost seemed just too convenient.

Marnie decided she’d ask her sister Tessa for advice. The two of them hadn’t spoken for years until situations brought them together last Christmas upon finding out that Tessa’s husband wasn’t everything he seemed. Also tiring of reliance on phones, Marnie decided to swing by her house unannounced.

Later that evening, at Tessa’s house, Marnie rang the door and Tessa answered.

“Marnie! Are you ok? You didn’t call first.”

“Tessa, I know I haven’t been one to ask you for advice much in the past. Now Mom and Dad are gone, and I really need your help. A lot of things seem to be going on around me that I don’t understand.”

Tessa didn’t hide her surprise.

“I was so glad when you spent the Christmas season with our family at the end of last year, and that you agreed to babysit my children so Brandyn could take me away for a breather after the drama my now ex-husband Clif left in his wake. But I thought for the rest of the things in your life, you turned to your friend Sophia.”

“I had been, but right now even she’s caught up in the things going on. Can I come in and talk to you? Please?”

Marnie legitimately feared that Tessa might send her away, finding dealing with her sister’s issues too much to cope with after all she’d faced.

Tessa held the door open wider.

“Of course you can. After all, we’re family, Marine. Even if sometimes I’ve forgotten that. I owe you a lot for helping me remember.”