Fiction Outtake: Hot


I don’t know how many of you guys read Edittorrent and their neat blog. All you writers, you should be.

But anyway, someone other than me offered up the first three lines of a manuscript for their comments and a discussion ensued. A question arose: how can you create heat visually? Short of just posting a picture of Mitchell, this is what I wound up with. While it doesn’t fully answer the question, I like it. Hope you do, too.

Mitchell slid his sunglasses into place and waited for Charlie’s nod. The first car had left without him and Daniel when Charlie had decided to play Papa Tour Manager and order them back upstairs to change into shorts. Now, they were stuck waiting for a lift.

The same car pulled up, easily recognizable by its sun-faded red, and Mitchell went outside first, understanding immediately why Daniel kept dawdling. It was like walking into a wall of heat, a studded one that attacked every pore on his face so that they constricted, more parched than the worst hangover. He was suddenly all too aware of every single last eyebrow hair — including the ones the makeup people had waxed off three weeks ago for that damn photo shoot. And he swore the cleft in his chin got deeper as it, too, sought the shade of his sunglasses.

His arms were instantly slick with sweat that didn’t cool, the small of his back turned into a puddle, and his legs tried doing the same shrinking thing as his face. His lips felt like dried-out glue: fragile, brittle, and broken.

All in the two steps it took to get into the car’s front seat.

“Holy fuck,” he said, leaning toward the vent and adjusting it so it blew directly on his face. He gasped at its nominal coolness, alerted to the fact that he hadn’t been able to breathe at all while out there. “You live here?” he asked the driver, lifting his sunglasses so they’d stop sliding away. Fuckers just might dangle from his ears if he wasn’t careful.

Daniel and Charlie slid into the back seat. Daniel pulled a ponytail holder out of his pocket and peeled his curls away from his face.

“M, want one?”

Mitchell slid his hand underneath his hair and encountered a swamp. It wasn’t a bad idea, but who knew who’d see him? No one had ever seen him with his hair off his face. Maybe Kerri, but if she did, she was the one who’d shoved it away.

“I think I want to be in Europe already,” Mitchell said, leaning away from the air and angling it more toward the back seat. “We are idiots for touring the States in the summer.”

“We’ll be there in two weeks.”

“If we don’t fucking melt first.”

“Is it supposed to cool off by showtime?” Daniel asked.

Mitchell reached for his lip balm and looked over his shoulder at Charlie. Who was squirming.

It was going to be a brutal show, Mitchell thought. One of those nights where he took the stage in shoes, shorts, and guitar and spent most of the two hours wishing he could take even more off. At least he’d be slick with sweat and his skin wouldn’t try to shrivel up again. That had sucked.

And they still had to get out of the car and into the backstage area.

Talk about things that sucked.



  1. julia

    February 11, 2008 9:23 am

    On a stormy, snowy day this made me feel parched. I would think the boys barely see sunshine generally, let alone oven-baked heat. It’s a wonder they didn’t start halucinating.

  2. Wylie Kinson

    February 11, 2008 9:55 am

    Yup – that’s hot!BR/Mitchell makes me sweat anyway…

  3. cheesygiraffe

    February 11, 2008 9:57 am

    Now that’s hot! What part of the U.S. are they in? Sounds like the South in summer to me. 😉

  4. Susan Helene Gottfried

    February 11, 2008 11:04 am

    Julia, don’t give me ideas!

  5. Jill

    February 11, 2008 6:45 pm

    I want some of that hot time here, Susan!BR/And I can help the guys with that sweat! They just have to come around here!

  6. Joy Renee

    February 11, 2008 7:16 pm

    ok now. i just got settled here and now i need a drink. no, trevor, not that kind of drink. ice water!!

  7. Marcia (MeeAugraphie)

    February 11, 2008 10:12 pm

    I thought you meant the OTHER heat…BR/BR/I dread every day that it is over 75 and recently moved back to South Florida.. yep, that’s heat.

  8. Thomma Lyn

    February 11, 2008 10:38 pm

    Whew, Susan, it’s 34 degrees outside, but reading your outtake made me want to go turn on the dad-blamed air conditioner! :)BR/BR/Thanks for the heads-up re: edittorent — I hadn’t seen it before, and it looks like a great blog.

  9. Ann

    February 12, 2008 12:03 am

    That’s nothin’, you should be here when we have a Bermuda high (it’s the difference between baking and broiling- either way you’re cooked). 🙂

  10. Red Garnier

    February 12, 2008 9:58 am

    SUPER SUPER HOT, Susan *Red fanning herself vigorously*

  11. Shelley Munro

    February 12, 2008 10:54 pm

    I hate blogger. It ate my comment, the essence of which was – that was hot.BR/BR/I really like the editorent site.

  12. anthonynorth

    March 30, 2008 7:47 am

    If they begin Europe in England, he’ll get the antidote alright 🙂

  13. gautami tripathy

    March 30, 2008 10:57 am

    It sure feels hot here!BR/BR/:DBR/BR/A HREF=”” REL=”nofollow”word by word/A

  14. Rambler

    March 31, 2008 11:46 am

    its been some what tolerable summer so far this time around in Bangalore.. otherwise its up there in 110s almost for 3 long months 🙁

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