SHORTS FROM THE SHELF – “Scale of Justice” Part Two

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 “Scales of Justice,” which will run over the next two days. This is Part Two.

Some time later, the detective smiled with amusement looking over the final case report as the other detective that had originally doubted her observation and judgement entered with a tall steaming cup of coffee from her favorite local joint, just the way she liked it, plus some of the shop’s matcha frosted donuts. 

 

“That was quite a drive and a wait,” the other detective said while putting the food and drink delivery down on her desk. “Popular place. Hell of a drive.”

 

“That’s what happens when you lose a bet. I told you, that scale would nail the perp.”

 

“How’d you figure that out?”

 

The detective picked up the coffee.

 

“And just hand you the secrets that make me the best on the beat? Not on your life.”

 

She took a good long sip of the rich hot coffee, with just the right hint of almond, eyeing the other detective the other time. The other detective’s less than amused face showed a total belief in every word she said; the irritated face spoke volumes.

 

She put the coffee back down.

 

“Honestly, you fell for that? I thought you knew me better than that by now. Do you seriously want to know how I did it to become better, or just to one up me next time?”

 

“A little bit of both, maybe.”

 

“Well, at least you’re honest. Here’s the thing. A lot of those types of scales, weight can be calculated based on the manipulations of plates. When the plate gets damaged, sometimes you can reset the chip, and fix it. But if you can’t get the chip reset, that means something broke the plate. So, I had it checked to see if the plate was broken, and it was, by too much weight being on it. Added up with other evidence in the room, it made it clear that part of the struggle took place on the bathroom scale, with both of them standing on it, then caused enough force to break the plate.”

 

“Huh,” the other detective said. “I guess it really was the scale of justice.”