ShapeShifter fiction: Signs of the Apocalypse

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Daniel had been with Mitchell when the call had come in. It hadn’t taken a lot of discussion for the veto, but Daniel thought Eric and Trevor ought to know what had been suggested.

And then he’d run off to an interview, leaving Mitchell to do the dirty work. Or, as the case — of course — was, hear about it.

“It’s just not plausible,” Eric said, like he had to apologize for his opinion.

Trevor stared at him. “What the fuck? Plausible? Who cares about shit like plausible? It’s a stupid idea and you and Dans were right to say no.”

Mitchell wondered if Trevor even knew what the word meant. He’d be surprised if he didn’t; Trev was smarter than he liked to let on. But over the years, Mitchell had learned that Trev threw tantrums like this, he usually had no fucking clue what he was actually talking about. Especially because in this case, if he could understand Eric, he’d realize he agreed.

“We should absolutely care,” Eric said. “If our fans can’t trust us to be authentic–”

“Wait right there,” Trevor said, holding up a hand. He hadn’t had time to stick his cigarette into the corner of his mouth; he still held it between his thumb and index finger, like a roach. “What the fuck does authentic have to do with plausible?”

Bingo, Mitchell thought, trying to keep his face blank.

“Because,” Eric said, then stopped himself.

“That’s a fucktard of a reason,” Trevor said. He finally perched the cigarette in its place and shoved some hair out of his way. “Why not say something like it’ll taint the pool of samples, or Trev, are you going to do this willingly, or do we have to outvote you again?

“Want us to?” Mitchell asked. It was getting harder to hold back a smile, but if he wasn’t able to, Trevor would go absolutely ballistic. Trevor’s life, after all, was all about the guy’s pride.

“No!” Trevor got up and started pacing. “I want… I want…” He froze, jerked his head up, and narrowed his eyes. “Do you fucks even care what I want?”

“Always have,” Mitchell said as Eric murmured something along the same lines.

“I want you to fucking use words I get! Is that too much to fucking ask for?”

Mitchell pretended to scrub at his face, the way he did when he got frustrated. He figured that this way, Trevor couldn’t see his surprise. Trevor had just owned up to something on his own.

That could very well mean the world was ending.

“Plausible means it’s believable. So if we’re doing something not plausible, we’re also not being authentic, which means real,” Eric said.

“Damn straight that shit’s not believable. Us, doing one of those New Year’s Eve TV shows?”

Mitchell pulled his hands away. “Unless we’re onstage that night and they cut to a live shot of us for a full song. I can see us getting away with that.”

“But not standing on some stage in the middle of fucking Times Square,” Trevor said before Mitchell could.

“I know people who’ve spent their lives dreaming of being there,” Eric said. “We’ve toured with some of them.”

“Which is why we’re on top of the world and they’re down there, still staring up at us,” Trevor said.

“You’d be surprised,” Eric said. “A lot of us grew up watching Dick Clark. It makes sense to dream about. Dick’s launched an awful lot of careers.”

“Launched? We fucking launched years ago,” Trevor sneered.

“Well,” Eric said, “try this. He can launch us into more homes faster than we may get there on our own.”

“Tell me this, Soul Boy,” Trevor said, bending down into Eric’s face. The guitarist leaned back.

Mitchell watched carefully. Trevor being this aggressive must be another sign of the Apocalypse. As if being invited to be on Dick Clark hadn’t been the first. They were adding up, fast.

“Why do we want to be in more homes, faster?” Trevor was asking.

Mitchell breathed again. So that was all Trevor wanted to know.

“So we can rule the Earth?” Eric asked, his gentle voice weak, as if Trevor being in his face was scaring him. “Remember? Doing that was your idea.”

“Yeah, but I never said we should get there this way.”

Eric shrugged. Trevor stood up and looked over at Mitchell. “What do you have to say for yourself?”

“I already did. If we’re doing a show and they cut in, fine. Otherwise, forget it.”

Trevor stopped cold, as if he hadn’t heard Mitchell say that the first time. He nodded as he thought that over. “So you’re telling me you’re willing to compromise?”

Mitchell sighed. “It’s not such a dirty word, Trev. Try it every now and then.”

“No.”

“I’ve seen them do cut-ins over the years,” Eric said. “It’s not selling out, Trev. It’s letting people join us. Think how many people have turned into ShapeShifter fans because they’ve seen us live.”

Trevor looked from Mitchell to Eric and back again. “Maybe.”

Mitchell gave Eric a quick wink. “That means okay but it kills my pride to admit it.”

Trevor snorted.

Mitchell stared in fascination. Part of him wondered if he looked like that when he snorted, nostrils flared and drops of snot flying, face totally constipated. The other part couldn’t believe Trevor Fucking Wolff had just fucking snorted. That was about as beneath him as compromise.

Of course, he’d just done that, too.

Maybe, Mitchell figured, it was the final sign of the Apocalypse. If so, there was no way in Hell he was doing Dick Clark. Fuck that. He was going to be at home, in bed with Kerri.

Just in case.

Have you missed the fiction around here? I have. I’ve got some other goodies coming up, as well, so stay tuned. This is my #FridayFlash, #SundaySnippet, and Three Word Wednesday post. I may stop writing to the prompts; I don’t know yet. I feel like they’re not as good as when I just let my brain fly on its own.

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12 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention West of Mars ร‚ยป Blog Archive ร‚ยป ShapeShifter fiction: Signs of the Apocalypse -- Topsy.com

  2. Julio Ricado Varela

    January 7, 2011 11:33 pm

    Nice story. I like the idea of artistry vs. commercialism. The dialogue is biting and so are the characters. Cool piece.

  3. Estrella Azul

    January 8, 2011 8:11 am

    Ha! Final sign of the Apocalypse ๐Ÿ™‚ This was great, Susan.

    About writing prompts, I personally find that they only work about 30% of the time for me, I’m way better off when I just write something that stuck with me for a while, a sentence I overhear from a conversation of the people stalking me, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Estrella Azul´s last blog ..Sleeping Beauty of Palermo รขโ‚ฌโ€œ by Estrella Azul =-.

  4. gautami tripathy

    January 8, 2011 10:02 am

    Always liked your dialogues! This too is no exception!

    destined destination
    .-= gautami tripathy´s last blog ..I write footnotes here =-.

  5. Alice Audrey

    January 8, 2011 2:53 pm

    I don’t know. This came out pretty damn good. You were working to three prompts?

  6. Maria Kelly

    January 8, 2011 8:38 pm

    I like the flow of the guys’ argument. I could imagine it well. And “final sign of the apocalypse.” Have to admit I snorted. Because that was hilarious.
    .-= Maria Kelly´s last blog ..Books and Reading- An Introduction =-.

  7. pamelasayers

    January 8, 2011 9:26 pm

    Great dialogue with some colourful language.
    Pamela

  8. wayne

    January 9, 2011 3:51 pm

    nicely done…..enjoy the read

  9. Calico Crazy

    January 9, 2011 5:02 pm

    Amazing response to a three word prompt. Your dialogue is always so natural. Thanks for linking up to WWR.
    .-= Calico Crazy´s last blog ..A Different Kind of Sky =-.

  10. Grandma's Goulash

    January 9, 2011 8:12 pm

    Enjoyed that and happy to see you at Weekend Writers Retreat. No prompts there. ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Grandma’s Goulash´s last blog ..Consequences of Sin =-.

  11. ThomG

    January 11, 2011 10:17 am

    You handle dialogue so well. And I’m glad to read another installment of these characters, who are so rich and detailed.

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