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. This summer runs a special event from August 12th through the end of the month on Mondays through Thursdays called “End of Summer”. This is part 6.

Keep an eye out for a full week of ANIMATED INSIGHTS the first week of September!

Summer’s path took her past one of the neighborhood firehouses.

Maybe the person on duty could point her in the right direction without having to deal with the fire chief.  

She stepped inside and saw a young man at the desk. He couldn’t possibly know anything. Perhaps this was all just a waste of her time.  

“Can I help you?” he called out as she turned to leave.  

Summer felt rude if she didn’t at least talk to him. She approached the desk.  

“I just wanted to know how if someone was abandoned as a baby at a safe place, what happened to them.”  

She scrambled for her notebook and pen again.  

“It’s for a research project. I didn’t know who to ask.”  

Maybe this might at least give her some new leads to think about.  

“Ultimately the babies get sent to Child Protective Services”  

“Who names them?”  

“The naming thing is a complicated issue. Since no birth parents fill out a certificate, the official forms tend to be Baby Boy or Baby Girl until adopted. There’s no way these kids can learn who their birth parents are.”  

“So the adoptive parents choose the names?” Summer asked. She’d never really considered where her name came from until recently, but realized she’d assumed that her adoptive parents kept her birth name.

“Pretty much,” he confirmed.  

Summer’s heart sank. She’d never find out who her birth parents were now.  

Summer came home late that evening, defeated.  

“Where do you think you were going, worrying us for hours?” Summer’s adoptive mother demanded upon her return.  

“I’m eighteen,” Summer reminded her. “I don’t like being treated like a small child. And I don’t want any more secrets. Please. I’ve learned enough to know you and Dad probably named me. But what I don’t know is how I came to the firehouse to live here.”  

Summer’s adoptive father walked in to join them.  

“It’s time we told her. I’m tired of hiding from everyone. Brittina’s mother could expose us at any time, anyway. Better she be prepared.”