Fiction Outtake: The Time After Dinner (The Early Days)


It’s not necessary, but it may help if you visit The Time Before Dinner. This is a sequel of sorts. You should be able to catch on to the basic idea if you’re too lazy to go look, though.

When Mitchell got up after dinner and left the house, Trevor knew exactly where he was going — and why. He figured he’d give the idiot a while to get his head together, but Amy started bugging him, grabbing at his forearm and being so fucking whiny that Trevor left the house to track down Mitchell sooner than he wanted to.

Sure enough, Mitchell was in their spot by the river, chewing on a piece of grass and staring at nothing. He was all stretched out, his legs crossed at the ankle, the hand that wasn’t playing with the grass in his mouth tucked up behind his head.

He looked like Huck Finn. He even had his shoes off.

Trevor sat down beside him and stared at the river. It was barely moving today. Even the air was still. “Yeah?” Trevor asked. “So?”

“So what?”

With a curl in his upper lip, Trevor mimicked Mitchell. Like the idiot didn’t know what this was all about. “I go to all that trouble to find you a girl who’s willing to take on your virginal ass and that’s all you can say to me?”

“Uhh… thanks?”

Trevor grabbed the grass and yanked it out of Mitchell’s mouth.

Mitchell yelped and sat up, fingers hovering over his lip. “Fuckhead!”

“That didn’t hurt, you baby.” He made a show of looking Mitchell up and down. “It’s a fucking miracle I was able to find someone for you, and this shit is exactly why.”

Mitchell turned away and didn’t say anything.

Trevor let him stew. He lit up a cigarette and waited.

“So,” he said when Mitchell relaxed a hair, “did you last longer than thirty seconds?”


Trevor crowed, the cigarette dangling off his lower lip as he laughed. “You didn’t, did you! I fucking knew it!”

“I lasted,” Mitchell growled.

“One day. Two miracles. Think Hell’s about to freeze over?”

Mitchell took a swipe at the back of Trevor’s head. Trevor just grinned.

“How’d you do it?” he asked when Mitchell stopped growling. “Multiplication tables?”

“Chords. I talked myself through two different Rat Catcher songs.”


“What’s wrong?”

“You’re there with a girl for the first fucking time ever and all you can do is play your fucking guitar?”

“It worked, didn’t it? Two Rat Catcher songs… that’s, like, ten minutes!”

“You stupid fuck. You’ve got a girl. Don’t you know what that means?”

“I do now, yeah.”

Trevor wanted to smear Mitchell’s grin into the riverbank. “No! No, no, no!” He jumped up and pulled his cigarette off his lip. It felt like it tore and for a second, he could see a piece of grass hanging out of Mitchell’s mouth. But only for a second; he had more important things to set the stupid ass straight about.

Mitchell was looking at him, his elbows hooked around his knees.

He took that as permission to rant. “Girls are soft. They smell good. They’re curvy and fun to touch. They squirm. And, oh fuck, the sounds they make. You didn’t notice any of that, did you?”

“Yeah. Of course!”

“Then what the fuck did you need to play your stupid-assed guitar for?”

“‘Cause if I hadn’t, you’d be sitting here yelling at me for being too fast and not stopping to appreciate her the right way. Why’d you come out here, anyway? Nothing I do is ever right yet you never shut up about what a perfect person I am. It can’t be both ways, know that?”

Mitchell was on his feet now. His eyes had turned that dark blue that Trevor knew meant danger, and his face was red.

Trevor took a step back. Maybe Mitchell had been smart enough to figure this girl stuff out on his own. But on the other hand, maybe he hadn’t been.

“And you should just stay outta my sex life anyway!” Mitchell yelled.

“If I did that, you wouldn’t have one!

He knew the fist to his gut was coming. It felt good when it landed, taking some of his breath away and doubling him over not quite in half. Instinct made him want to cover his head, but this was Mitchell, and it ended there. He wasn’t Hank; he knew when to stop.

Too bad I don’t, Trevor thought as his breath came back and he straightened up. “You should be thanking me.”

“For the girl? Yeah, sure, whatever. For showing up here and putting on your high-and-mighty act? No fucking way. Take it with you and leave me the fuck alone already.” Mitchell sat down, his back to Trevor. He was probably staring off at the river, but his back was shaking.

Trevor went and sat beside him. “Okay, I’m done being a dick now.”


“Was it?” He nudged Mitchell with his elbow and watched as the guy fought with himself. It was more fun to stay pissed, Trevor knew that. Smart people got out of the way when Mitchell was pissed.

Trevor wasn’t smart. He was also Mitchell’s best friend. He knew if he waited, he’d get it.

“Yeah, it was good,” the big idiot finally said. He let out a deep breath and nodded. “It was good.”



  1. Lakota

    September 7, 2008 9:14 am

    Dayum… that was a great piece of writing woman! i know Trev is an… aquired taste… but he is the most yummalicious bad boy i know. Underneath all those protective sharp edges lurks the softest, sweetest center. ~happy sigh~

  2. gautami tripathy

    September 7, 2008 10:13 am

    Beautiful. I liked the ongoing conversation. I so like Trevor!

  3. karen!

    September 7, 2008 10:55 am

    Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. I should stop by more often because there’s nothing like a good outtake.

  4. Linda Jacobs

    September 7, 2008 11:21 am

    You are so good at capturing a real conversation between teenage boys! Just excellent!

  5. bunnygirl

    September 7, 2008 11:46 am

    Very cool. You have a nice way of capturing that sweet nervous bravado that boys that age have.BR/BR/I recognized the Sunday Scribblings prompt, btw. I did one, too. 🙂

  6. Bethanie

    September 7, 2008 12:03 pm

    Mmmm – fantastic stuff!

  7. Thomma Lyn

    September 7, 2008 12:30 pm

    Hee! What a delight you’ve served up for this Sunday morning! 🙂 I loved it. 😀

  8. cheesygiraffe

    September 7, 2008 12:38 pm

    Sweet! I love when Trevor and Mitchell interact this way. I agree with one of the tags you used, brotherly love. Keep it up Susan. BR/Hey if you keep emailing me links, I’ll actually read your blog all the time. lol *blush*

  9. Robin

    September 7, 2008 12:50 pm

    Sometimes Trevor can really be a world class asshole. I suspect it’s mostly bravado and fear that since “people won’t like him anyway” that he should just beat them to the punch and give them a reason.BR/BR/Nice take on the prompt.

  10. susan

    September 7, 2008 3:52 pm

    Solid writing. Is this a novel in the works?

  11. Breeni Books

    September 7, 2008 4:04 pm

    Great outtake! Love the conflict.

  12. Susan Helene Gottfried

    September 7, 2008 4:05 pm

    Thanks, Susan.BR/BR/This is backstory to a finished novel, yes.

  13. b

    September 7, 2008 6:14 pm

    You know what this was a good chapter!!! “Yeah, it was good.” What a great finish.BR/BR/b

  14. lelablonde

    September 7, 2008 7:43 pm

    This style allows for endless additions and excerpts to appear anytime. I was able to jump right into who your characters are. Even if I had not done the backreading. 🙂 BR/True to life among many, the boldness of youth.

  15. Wylie Kinson

    September 7, 2008 9:09 pm

    You do it beautifully, SHG. A mini-story complete with characterization, emotional drama and a tight zippy ending. You’ve perfected the art,… it’s like a jingle to a symphony (does that make sense?)BR/Even if I didn’t know who Trevor, Mitchell, et al… were, I’d have enjoyed it.

  16. netta

    September 7, 2008 10:05 pm

    Your dialogue flows and is very natural. This is not easy to do! You captured each voice — nice work.

  17. missalister

    September 7, 2008 10:53 pm

    Man, it’s been awhile since I’ve been around here. I missed those two goofballs, before EMand/EM after dinner 😉 Can’t help but love ‘em.

  18. Amy Ruttan

    September 8, 2008 11:44 am

    Excellent! I needed that pick me up this morning.

  19. Winter

    September 8, 2008 11:07 pm

    Oh. Yeah. I loves me some Mitchell. Really, amazingly cute and funny. I could totally see it in my head like a movie. Which is what all the best writers do to me.

  20. Alice Audrey

    September 13, 2008 1:32 am

    I love the way it ends. I’m glad I wasn’t lazy, just waited until I had the time to go back and read the first part.

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