SHORTS FROM THE SHELF – “Blacke and Nu Beginnings” Part Eleven

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 currently is “Blacke and Nu Beginnings,”  that will appear on Saturdays and Sundays over the next several weekends, and then a special daily run from March 21st to March 27th, 2020. This is Part Eleven.

 

“Well, I didn’t find exactly what I was expecting, but I think we’re on the right track,” Marcel told them after an hour’s search. What I did find was a trendy place called Karmaman and the contact to get on the guest list is a Dan Kale.”

“So you think his public profile is like a secret code? People contact him to find out the location of the place? Wouldn’t people tell after a while.”

“Here’s my thoughts on that, Saundra. Karmaman isn’t in the same location all the time, from what I gather. It’s like a pop-up club that moves around town. You have to keep contacting to find out the latest venue.”

“Why would Vallie tag herself publicly with this guy, though? I don’t get that,” Cait asked.

Saundra watched Marcel’s face take on a very stark expression.

“In an underground network like this, you have to have influencers spreading by word of mouth how to get on the guest list. I think Vallie may have been an influencer for him. People see her having fun, online contact her, Vallie connects them socially to Kale Karmaman – or more accurately, Dan Kale. However, I’m starting to get concerned that something didn’t go quite right.”

“You think she’s dead?”

Saundra grabbed her friend tight.

“No, Cait, he did not say that.”

Saundra threw a stern look in Marcel’s direction.

“I think what he meant is that Vallie encountered something she wasn’t expecting. Am I right, Marcel?”

Saundra underscored in her tone to Marcel she thought he’d been a bit off-base, and she hoped he caught it. The wording of his response indicated that he seemed to understand.

“That’s it. The question is, what did she encounter? We’ve got to get ourselves in that night club and find out.”

“How are we going to do that?”

“Like I said, someone’s got to test this guy and say you have a party of 3 for the guest list, and get the details.”

Saundra realized that both Marcel and Cait stared at her.

“Me?” she said.

“Well, you’re the only one connected socially to Vallie,” Cait said. “I make it a practice not to spy on my own sister in social media. And Marcel has no level of connection. It has to be you. Please, Saundra, will you do it?”

“I got to ask my husband, Cait. I love you, but I can’t go out a limb without letting him know first.”

“I understand, Saundra. Do what you have to do.”

Saundra nervously dialed her home number, trying to figure out how’d she explain this to her husband.