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 over the next  fifteen days is “Beyond the Shining Stars”. This is part 11 of 15.

Following Randy, Sam finally made it outside and found he’d been in a movie studio building on some ranch lot presumably in Ventura County. The two of them made it to an area where Randy had hidden his car. Randy gave him the keys.

“Better you driving then me right now,” Randy said.

“But where will we go?”

“Anywhere but here.”

Once they started driving, Sam began asking questions.

“Who is this guy after you?”

“A studio security guard. He works at the same facility where my parents’ production company is. And of course I visit all the time.”

“So now you want to figure out how he ties in to the folks who killed the person you care about.”

“But that’s the thing, Sam. She’s not dead.”

“What? That doesn’t make sense, Randy.”

“She came home to find the place being robbed. One of the goons – the one I am pretending to be – decided to put some of her clothes on. I don’t know why, she thinks maybe it was to joke about her. But she wasn’t about to find out. Once she found him in the house and they started to struggle, she shot him dead in self-defense. Then she worked with police to leak the story she died hoping to smoke the criminals out.”

“Huh. How do you figure into all this?”

“She told me what was going on, but asked me not to interfere. Don’t think I’m going to let this pass though. I used my theater training and I’ve been posing as that idiot to figure things out as long as I could. Everyone there  believes I- that goon – shot her dead and ran. No one knows I’m doing this, not even her or the police. But given the cops know the goon is dead, I knew the ruse could only last so long. So your timing was good.”

“Why was the guard at your parents’ house?”

“They’d come looking for me but no one was home. You caught him after they’d knocked out the guard and tried to get in. I’m the one who knocked you out for your own good, and for us to reunite. I’m sorry.”

Sam realized they were coming closer to the city.

“You got a plan to catch this guy?”

“I have an idea, Uncle, but I think I will need your help.”

“You got it, Randy. Tell me what you are thinking.”