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 “Darque Into Light,” the seventh and final installment of the Myanna Moore serial, which will run over the next several weekends. This is Part One.

Getting together most of the team she needed for this final fight proved easy. Searlas, Myanna’s paternal grandfather, already wanted to see Darque brought down and was ready to fight. J.B., her old mentor who cared deeply for her, wasn’t crazy about coming out of retirement but for his Champ would do anything.

When it came to Donnell, the hesitation came completely from Myanna’s side. She’d now been told things about her own life, and how Donnell played a role in concealing them from her. Myanna would need to forgive him in order to make this work.

“I’m not denying anything Duana told you,” Donnell said. “It’s all true, and I’m sorry. I was young and stupid and loved you so much.”

“You loved me enough to not protect me?”

“I protected you by setting you free into a lifestyle you wanted. Being together with you physically was great, but you weren’t ready for us to be any sort of committed couple, not to the level of dedication I wanted and needed. Duana promised that I would still be able to raise your children, but they didn’t survive. It would have been hard, but I would have done it. That’s how much I loved you, then and now.”

Myanna detected no dishonesty in Donnell’s words. His story with her had been consistent all along. Though he omitted where he needed to, when asked for the truth, he’d consistently given it.

“I forgive you,” she said. “And I hope you will help me now to take Darque down for good.”

“I’ll always stand beside you, Myanna,” he said.

The last person she needed to reach out to was Firinne Knox, the woman who raised her unknowing she hadn’t actually given birth to her. She knew this would be a lot to explain, and it would need to happen in person. Myanna’s biggest fear was that Firinne – also known as Truth – might reject her request after reaching out and leaving a message to come to her office.

Fortunately, Firinne responded to her request. As much as Firinne did for Myanna growing up, knowing the full truth as she did now, Myanna strongly needed to have this conversation on her turf and on her terms. This office, although inherited from J.B., came the closest she had to such a place. At the very least, it wasn’t a place where she shared any history with Firinne.

Though they’d talked by phone and other means over the years, some time passed since the two saw one another face to face. When Myanna opened the door, Firinne remained standing in the doorway, as if she didn’t know what to do. Myanna gestured inside.

“Please come in and sit down,” Myanna said, trying to sound as hospitable as she could. Even bringing up Darque’s name to Firinne damped her spirits in a way Myanna hadn’t seen in a long time. Firinne came in without a word and sat across from Myanna’s desk. Myanna took a seat in her own chair and explained the situation at hand, and the role that she hoped Firinne would play in it.

“I also think we’ll need the journal. Please tell me you didn’t destroy it.”

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