ShapeShifter Fiction: Smoke Break


Trevor almost ran smack into Val when she stopped in the doorway. “But … it’s raining,” she pouted.

Trevor sighed and itched for the smoke they were heading outside for. Val was always pouting anymore. He wondered how Daniel could put up with her. He wanted to know why Daniel put up with her.

“So?” he asked, raising his eyebrows like he was expecting the back of her head to see his imitation of her own perfect bored-by-the-drama-queen airs. “You’re hardly about to melt,” he sneered, shaking his head and itching even harder for that cigarette.

“Says you,” she shot back, not looking at him. That didn’t surprise Trevor in the least. He knew he was an ugly motherfucker. He didn’t blame Val for not looking. Shit, he went for days without looking. Good thing his beard grew in so fucking slow, or he’d have to do it more often. Look that was, not blame Val. Trevor Wolff did not blame others for his own issues. Not that being ugly was an issue; issues, you could fix somehow. Ugly, you were just stuck with.

“Yeah, well, look at it this way,” he said, changing his stance to a more comfortable once since he had the feeling they wouldn’t be going anywhere so fast. “The Wicked Witch of the West is the only person we’ve ever known who’s melted, right?”

“Right,” Val said warily, turning her entire body sideways, but letting her head turn to look at him.

Trevor was half-surprised that she didn’t shudder. But then again, this was Val. She’d been around with Daniel since the drummer had joined the band. That meant she’d had a whole year now to get used to his face.

“And you’re in that snobby-assed chef’s school,” he continued as conversationally as he could. The itch for the smoke gnawed at him; he told it to take a hike.

“So?” She arched her perfectly-plucked eyebrows at him.

“Wicked Witches can’t cook. It’s part of the job description.” He took a deep breath and plowed on. Anything if it’d get her out the door so he could get his fucking smoke already… “I mean, they can cook gruel and brussels sprouts and beets and shit like that that nobody likes. But anything that’d get them into snobby-assed chef’s schools?” He shook his head as slowly and dramatically as he could, making himself count to five as his head moved from one end of its arc to the other.

“You’re not going to melt,” he told her again, wishing she’d listen and go outside already. He needed that smoke and here was Val, plugging up the door and stopping him from getting his nicotine high. Bitch.

Yeah, I guess you’re right,” she said and took that first step into the drizzle.

Behind him, Mitchell came up and gave him a companionable slap to the back of the head.

“What was that for?” Trevor asked, giving him a reproachful look. He hadn’t needed it. Hadn’t particularly wanted it, either.

“One good deed deserves another,” Mitchell said with a shrug, reaching for his own cigarettes as he followed Val outside and left Trevor standing there, gaping.

Don’t forget about the Buy a Friend a Book Week contest! View it here or the extended version here!



  1. Susan Helene Gottfried

    September 7, 2006 10:45 pm

    Thanks! I’m actually embarrassed at how long it’s taken me to get a new outtake up. I was SERIOUSLY overdue.BR/BR/Hopefully now that school’s back in session, I’ll be able to turn my attention where it belongs: right here. 😉

  2. karen!

    September 8, 2006 4:43 pm

    “was always pouting anymore” … huh?BR/BR/Anyway, besides that (and one missing quotation mark), the outtake is great.BR/BR/I know, I’m a PITA, but that’s why you like me 😀

  3. Susan Helene Gottfried

    September 8, 2006 5:32 pm

    Nah, I like you ’cause you’re cool. BR/BR/And yes, “Val was always pouting anymore.” Think about it. Lately, Val did nothing but pout. Except, that’s not Trevor-speak and “Val was always pouting anymore” is. BR/BR/No one ever said the guy had good grammar!

  4. West Of Mars — The Meet and Greet » Blog Archive » Susan’s Inside Writing: Friendship
  5. West of Mars » Blog Archive » Trevor and Mitchell Fiction: Wet Jeans

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