If you follow me on Facebook (and, at this point in time, you really should), you’d have seen my link to Edittorrent.
I had seen editor Theresa Stevens making a plea on Twitter for submissions for her setting series. So I wrote her a scene with Mitchell in it.
After MUCH tweaking — some based on the comment trail, some not — I give you the full scene.
“The things I do for Kerri,” Mitchell muttered as he reached for the door. He winced as it flung open; weighing nothing, it had slipped out of his fingers. He could hear Ma’s disapproving voice, telling him to be more careful. It was glass, which did break.
With a lunge, he grabbed the door — after it finished banging into the metal chair rail running the distance around the full-length store windows.
He glanced around the sidewalk, but thanks to his security dudes, he had the general vicinity to himself. Good thing; the band hardly needed rumors that The Great Mitchell Voss was beating up unsuspecting storefronts.
Turning around to carefully close the door behind him, he tried to look through it, as if seeing where he’d just come from would teach him something profound. Weird how he could only see himself in a clear glass door.
So far, this trip was turning into a total mind fuck. And then he turned around to look at the interior of the store.
He’d expected it to be more like The Cocoa Bean at home: sterile rows of glass grocery-store cases, the ones with half-dome fronts. Instead of seafood, the Cocoa Bean cases were loaded with truffles and bon-bons and bark and all that shit girls craved.
And the peanut butter cups. The ones Kerri went so bonkers for, the ones he’d been on a quest for in practically every city he’d been in since she’d discovered the handmade ones at the Cocoa Bean.
If this place had peanut butter cups, they weren’t going to be easy to find. There weren’t any of those cases he’d anticipated seeing. Nope. The place was full of tables. Round ones that’d seat two in a restaurant. Each had been covered by a colored tablecloth so bright, he wanted his sunglasses, and each had been stacked with various forms of chocolate. Every table had a theme and a flower pot set on a pedestal — every bit as gaudy as the damn tablecloths — holding a hard-to-read, hand-lettered sign. In colors that complimented the tablecloths.
He groaned. Deciphering what was what would take all day. He only had an hour, and that included time to get back to wherever it was they were playing that night.
“Can I help you?” A woman practically bounced from a hidden spot in the store. Her dyed black hair made a great contrast with everything else in the place; it was the only soothing thing he’d seen yet. Not even the brown of the chocolate managed to produce that effect.
Mitchell bit back a smile. He’d have never noticed something like that before he’d found his artist wife. “I need peanut butter cups,” he said.
The woman, dressed in a bright green blouse and white pants that positively glowed, beamed, revealing teeth so blinding, Mitchell’s hand reached for his sunglasses all on their own. He sighed in relief.
If the woman was phased, she didn’t show it. “Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white? Organic? Shade grown? Fair harvested? Free range?”
“Free range?” he repeated, wanting to ask how fucking stupid she thought he was. He held up a hand when she opened her mouth to answer. “I know. It’s a joke. Where are the dark and milk? And do you have samples? She’s particular.”
“Oh, for a particular lady?” The woman actually batted her eyelashes at him.
“Yes.” He thought about turning to go, about leaving. After all, this wild goose chase was something Kerri didn’t even know he was going on. She thought he’d headed out early to give an interview, a last-minute addition to an afternoon of making nice to the press before a concert promoter-baked dinner.
“Well, then, only the best for your lady,” the woman said, leaning close.
Mitchell forced a simpering smile. He’d seen this sort of flirtation too many times — and that was just in getting from the hotel room to the car that’d been waiting for him. “Yes,” he said. “Only the best for my wife.”
The woman pretended to draw back, as if his words had stung. But she moved a little bit faster, producing peanut butter cups from who-knew-where and slicing them in half for him to taste and standing silently as he took a bite of each, all the wind out of her sails.
Either it was inevitable or a total shock, but the cups were good. Damn good. The peanut butter was perfect — peanutty, smooth, melt-on-your-tongue. The milk chocolate was a bit too milky for him, but the dark was bitter yet round. They were so good, he felt bad about standing there like a rude-assed rock star with his sunglasses on.
He didn’t take them off.
He bought a dozen of the dark chocolate cups and was more careful with the glass door as he left. “The things I do for Kerri,” he muttered to Tony, who’d been pressed into action, keeping a few girls from storming the store.
The guard kept the fan girls at bay as Mitchell slid into the car and headed off to meet his wife, peanut butter cups in hand. He couldn’t wait to tell her about the store; she’d love the place. Probably even want to come back and see it for herself.
Just so she left him behind.
It’d be a bonus if she left the chocolate, too.
He smiled as the driver headed for the arena. Yeah. Like he’d done this only for Kerri.
If you’re visiting as part of Sample Sunday, welcome and please leave a comment. I’ll return your visit. Mitchell is a character featured in both Demo Tapes anthologies, as well as in Trevor’s Song. This moment in time parallels Trevor’s Song but doesn’t intersect or spoil the novel. Go here for all the buy links you could possibly need.