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 the second of the two part “Taking One For the Champ”.

The young woman looked roughly the same age as Champ, but lithe and with the build of an acrobat.  J.B. knew she’d be a challenge. It took all he’d had to make his way up over the fences and old staircases to the roof of this building; for her, J.B. suspected it to be a cakewalk.

 

He also knew her name, just like he knew Champ’s actual one.

“Eavan, I’m not going to let you blackmail me,” J.B. told her. “But Champ can’t know who she really is.”

 

“You won’t even use her name,” Eavan said as she advanced closer. “How disrespectful.”

 

“Because it’s not really who Champ is. So many others had expectations of molding her from childhood to their whims. She deserves better.”

 

Eavan swung in behind him and hissed in J.B.’a ear.

 

“We all deserved better, She’s not special. We are both daughters of Dudley Quinn, who made his name as Darque, infamous entertainer with the Branduff Donagh company magic troupe. She does not deserve to be protected from the tragedies that have befallen the rest of us.”

 

“You grew up like sisters. Why betray her?”

 

Eavan moved to face him.

 

“She did not deserve to have a life better than mine!”

 

“And you think by manipulating me, you’ll achieve that?”

 

“I don’t believe I have a lot of options.”

 

“Then you truly are Darque’s daughter,” J.B. told her.

 

“You could never understand what I’ve been through.”

 

“I understand loss. I served in ‘Nam and lost the woman I loved in Saigon. Losing people you love, it can make you do crazy things, have you not think straight.”

 

He thought of what happened between him and Champ. They both really thought they would die on that case, and it stressed him to the breaking point. He didn’t ever want to go through that level of stress ever again.

 

“Like I said, young lady, I know loss. I’m sorry about your twin brother Eamon.”

 

“You never knew him!” Eavan spat at J.B. and then lunged at him.

 

At that moment, J.B.’s combat training kicked in. Eavan might know how to dodge a swing or slink away into the night, but she’d never faced anyone with trained combat skills as these. She kept ducking and dodging until she stepped off the edge and on to air.

 

J.B.’s madman fighting rage only came to a sudden stop with the sound of her piercing scream. By the time he realized what happened, it was too late.

 

He looked down to see Eavan’s broken body below.

 

J.B. left the scene and as soon as possible left the police a tip using a burner phone. Another threat to Champ had been taken care of, but at what cost? Only time would tell.

As soon as the news broke, J.B. took it upon himself to make sure Champ saw the news before stumbling on it in a way he couldn’t control.

 

“I can’t believe it,” she told him. “Eavan and I grew up together in that big foster home I told you about. I’d never have expected anything like this from her.”

 

“We often fully don’t know anyone,” J.B. told Champ. “Sometimes not even ourselves.”

CHECK OUT OUR NEXT SHORTS FROM THE SHELF BEGINNING ON JUNE 15, 2019!