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  fourteen days is “Shining a Light on Crime”. This is Part 4 of 14.

“Hey Lou,” Roxane said to him one night after she’d gotten the kids in bed and she found him watching TV as usual.

 

“What?” he responded gruffly.

 

“Mom tells me you’re totally responsible for that hot new item flying off the shelves.”

 

Roxane figured stroking his ego might be the only way to get some answers.

 

“However did you stumble on to that hit and get us such an in demand item?”

 

“I’m a pro, babe,” Lou said as he slicked his hair back. Roxane detested how full of himself he was.

 

“So, tell me, are we sourcing from someone local?”

 

“I don’t like to reveal my secrets.”

 

“But if these are from a locally sourced vendor, we should be playing it up. It would show us supporting the community!”

 

Lou grumbled.

 

“If I let people know too much about this, they will go straight to the source and then we lose all the business. Then your parents’ business  will be in trouble, and it’ll be all your fault.”

 

Roxane couldn’t figure out why her husband Lou kept trying to guilt trip her. Truthfully, though, he wasn’t the only one who did that to her. Her parents often did as well, never failing to remind her how much of a disappointment they saw her as. That played a great deal into why she even bothered to stick it out with Lou; walking away would be just another disappointment for her parents to complain about.

She refused to stand by and not verify if Lou endangered the business her family worked hard to build. If they lost this, she’d lose stability for her daughters too. For her children, she’d do anything.