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 16 of 16.
Marnie, Zane, Blake, Sophia and Holly agreed to meet up again under better circumstances at Suzette’s cafe not many days later.
“I am so sorry for giving you such a bad impression of me when we first met,” Suzette said. “That’s why I invited you all back, to get to see the person I really am. But I was so concerned about that night. It’s been so important to me After what has happened though, the event’s reputation may be tarnished beyond repair. I may never hold it again.”
“That’s up to you,” Blake told her. “But I don’t think you should give up. Maybe, however, make a few changes to have it feel more welcoming to the community. Like, I don’ t know, maybe allowing the bookstore next door to sell books? It might lose you money, but people will see you caring about your neighbors and bringing a community together.”
Marnie worried Suzette might lash out at Blake. Instead, she simply smiled.
“You may be right,” she told him. “The man who killed Barto was angry because he felt my views were rigid and not open to change. Let me think on that.”
Now Marnie watched as Suzette handed Holly an envelope.
“Before I forget, here is what I owe you for the beautiful work, and a little extra for what you went through recently.”
Holly took the envelope with only a nod, no added comments.
“Holly, where else can we see some of your work?” Marnie asked.
“Not a lot of places. Most of my work is in private homes. I think my best work is in a mansion on the hills above a beach in the Dreamer Shores community. Sophia knows the owners. Maybe you’ll meet them someday.”
Marnie looked over at Sophia.
“Sophia, I know you’re a social butterfly, but you sure know a lot of people.”
“It makes the world an interesting place,” Sophia said.
“I’m glad the police found the real killer,” Zane said, sounding like he was trying to bring the conversation back to why they all came in the first place. “And I’m so glad it wasn’t Colby. Maybe he’ll get the chance to make something good of the Royale heritage.”
“Now that you helped restore Colby to getting the inheritance he was meant to, you think you’re going to look into getting involved in mysteries in the future?” Holly asked.
“No!” Marnie and Zane insisted in unison.
Marnie noticed that Sophia tried not to laugh.
“What’s so funny?”
“Marnie,” Sophia pointed out to her. “Ever since I met you, it seems that mystery after mystery falls in your lap, and you can’t hesitate to solve them.”
“But all of these have somehow involved my family,” Marnie pointed out. “Hopefully, this puts an end to skeletons in the closet.”
“You have a natural curiosity that’s hard to suppress,” Zane said. “Sophia’s right about that. It’s part of what makes you interesting.”
Marnie wasn’t sure to take that as a simple statement of fact, or something more. Right now, she just wanted to be happy for what she had and take it one step at a time.
You can pre-order the value priced collection
coming to Smashwords February 14, 2019!