ShapeShifter Fiction: Val’s Tantrum (Trevor’s Song era)


Warning: this outtake contains sexual inneundo and abuse of cookware. Please do not read further if this will upset you.

They could hear the crashing from where they stood outside the practice studio, across the driveway from the house. They’d actually congregated to listen; it was that loud.

“Sounds like your woman needs to get laid,” Trevor said, bobbing his head like he knew it all. Then again, when it came to tantrums like this, he did.

“Hardly,” Daniel said with a snort.

“That time of the month?” Eric asked. Like he knew about those things, Trevor thought. Mr.-I’d-rather-be-their-friend. His girls got one boringly chaste week on the bus with the band and then forever bought him dinner whenever he blew through town.

Come to think of it, having women buy him dinner wasn’t such a bad thing. But that lack of getting off? For-get it. Trevor hadn’t formed a band to keep his pants on. Or zipped, for that matter.

“No,” Daniel said with a sigh. He hung his head and shook it, looking like a dark brown mop. Trevor snickered, wondering what sort of shit he’d have to clean up later on. Val was not a happy woman in there.

Lately, she’d been like that a lot.

“It’s her fault, really,” Daniel said. “She told me to make dinner, and I did. No big deal, right?”

Trevor wasn’t so sure about that. Part of Val’s miserable mood had started when she’d quit the restaurant. That’d been years ago now, but her mood wasn’t even a bad wine — it hadn’t even tried to improve with age.

“So what happened?” Mitchell asked. He crossed his arms over his chest and gave Daniel a look like he wanted this to hurry along.

“I told her it was time to clean out the freezer. Maybe reorganize it. I swear, there were twenty pounds of chocolate in there. Candy bars, those big bricks for baking, bags of chips, you name it, it was in there. I swear, it took up half the freezer and didn’t leave room for the extra sauce I made! Gram would kill me if I let it go to waste; that’s her secret recipe!”

“And the frozen margarita mix took up the other half of the freezer?” Trevor asked, bored with the story of the spaghetti sauce. He’d been hearing about how wonderful Gram’s sauce was for years, but every time he had it, he thought it wasn’t much better than the jarred shit Mitchell’s mother would stock his apartment with.

“She didn’t care when I said that ought to go downstairs, too!” Daniel half-whined. Trevor cringed, but when Daniel continued, it was in a better tone. “You know, maybe we could put some food in that freezer? Food, kitchens — you know what I’m saying here?”

“So now she’s throwing things because–” Trevor asked. He needed to hear this. To make sure it was real. And to laugh his ass off when it was.

“You heard it,” Daniel sighed. “She’s pissed because I asked if she’d move the chocolate.”

“Oh, Dans,” Mitchell said. He scratched his arm, his face screwed up like he was in pain. “That’s harsh. I think if I did that to Kerri, she’d take my head off. Along with other choice parts of me that I’d rather keep.”

Trevor couldn’t get a word in before Daniel said, “That’s our roasting pan she’s throwing around now. It better not go through the windows.”

“Let’s go make some music,” Mitchell said, putting a hand on Daniel’s shoulder to turn him in the right direction. Eric jumped eagerly for the door of the practice space. Trevor took one last hit of his cigarette and ground it into the gravel.

“Music soothes the savage beast,” Mitchell continued, reaching above Daniel’s head to hold the door open.

“The only thing soothing that beast is her chocolate,” the drummer said, giving the house one last, mournful look.

“And you fuck-ups tell me how great your monogamy shit is,” Trevor grumbled, resisting the urge to provoke Mitchell more severely. This would have to do for now.

Sure enough, the big idiot cuffed the back of his head as he walked by. “It is great, you loser. Just sometimes… you gotta take the bad with the great.”

“And keep the chocolate upstairs!” Eric laughed.

It didn’t escape Trevor that neither of the stupidly attached men in the band laughed along. In fact, Trevor thought, they sorta looked like they wouldn’t mind if Eric joined Daniel’s head in that roasting pan of Val’s.

Just so it wasn’t his, Trev thought as he picked up his bass. He had more important things to do.

Thankfully, a steady woman was at the bottom of the list.




    May 21, 2007 8:48 am

    Ooooooh, I absolutely loved this. Super fun!!!!!! And in fact it was too damned short – I was so hooked I wanted more. =)

  2. gabriella hewitt

    May 21, 2007 10:06 am

    Great episode. LOL on the chocolate. Do not get between a woman and her chocolate fix. Definite way to lose a few body parts.

  3. Carol

    May 21, 2007 10:20 am

    That just pulls you right in. Good dialogue and you can see her tantrum without being there. I like that. Carol

  4. Rhian / Crowwoman

    May 21, 2007 10:22 am

    The more i find out about him, the more i like Trevor. Excellently done Susan. In that one passage I felt like i grasped and understood several levels of character dynamics. And it definitely left me asking for more.

  5. Susan Helene Gottfried

    May 21, 2007 10:56 am

    Oh, there will be more Trevor, Red and Rhian. Have no fear of THAT. I adore the man and I miss spending time with him.BR/BR/Thanks, everyone, for the Trevor love. The man’s like Kudzu — you can’t stop him from growing on you.

  6. karen!

    May 21, 2007 11:39 am

    Love seeing these semi-regular outtakes. Keep ’em coming!

  7. Amy Ruttan

    May 21, 2007 11:52 am

    I have to concur, I was hooked. Very funny, and silly move getting in between a woman and his chocolate.

  8. Joely Sue Burkhart

    May 21, 2007 1:16 pm

    Hehe, your warning had me laughing before I read a thing about moving chocolate.

  9. Anna J. Evans

    May 21, 2007 1:19 pm

    I loved this, and I loved the part about the temper not being like a fine wine and not ever TRYING to age well, lol.BR/BR/feelin’ that today, what with all the terrible 3 drama going on here,BR/BR/anna j evans

  10. Daphne Major

    May 21, 2007 2:16 pm

    Susan – love it! I’ve enjoyed following along. And thanks for your posts on my blog, Wordsicle, previously. I wanted to let you know that I’m (finally) reinstating the Tuesday Morning Writing Exercises – so I hope you’ll stop by. I really enjoy your work!BR/BR/DaphneBR/

  11. Its Beerfest INNIT!!!

    May 21, 2007 2:20 pm

    well… I’m going to have to back track and find out more about all of this. I thought it was funny, I really hope you meant it to be, cause I don’t wanna be the only one laughng here… is there something wrong with me?? Joking, thanks for commenting on my poems and I’ll keep looking into this series.

  12. Susan Helene Gottfried

    May 21, 2007 2:37 pm

    Yes, beer, you’re supposed to laugh. This is a place for having fun, but not ignoring the serious undertone. BR/BR/Glad you’re laughing. I love it when people laugh!

  13. STAK

    May 21, 2007 5:38 pm

    as a working musician, i find your stories intriguing…..keep up the good work……..

  14. Rinda Elliott

    May 21, 2007 5:58 pm

    Now I want chocolate and all I have are some Toll House semi sweet… that’ll do. BR/BR/I enjoyed this very much. Will explore more now. 🙂

  15. Christine

    May 21, 2007 6:26 pm

    I want more of the story – too short for my liking. Chocolate – as I was reading this, I was thinking I need more. My husband has a huge scotch collection and I’m thinking it’s time to start a chocolate one.

  16. julia

    May 21, 2007 8:06 pm

    “Every time he had (Gram’s sauce), he thought it wasn’t much better than the jarred shit Mitchell’s mother would stock his apartment with.”BR/BR/Love that! This was a really great segment. All the physical actions attached to your dialogue tags really give a sense of each character. Glad to find out Trevor’s a bass player. I’m partial to bass players.

  17. Susan Helene Gottfried

    May 21, 2007 9:15 pm

    Rinda, want me to send you some? I’m a bit overloaded at the moment. My waist would appreciate my passing some along. BR/BR/And again, thanks everyone. I’m glad you’re getting a kick out of my work and I hope you’ll come back for more — old and new stuff. There’s getting to be a lot of it here!

  18. Dewey

    May 21, 2007 9:50 pm

    Sex and cookware abuse, pfffff! Next time warn us there’ll be cravings for chocolate and margaritas!BR/BR/Seriously, though, loved this! More please!

  19. Tempest Knight

    May 21, 2007 10:52 pm

    Love it! 🙂 MOre! MOre!

  20. Haley-O

    May 21, 2007 11:15 pm

    This was great, Susan! Funny, well-written, and totally interesting. LOVE Trevor!!! 🙂

  21. Robin L. Rotham

    May 22, 2007 12:24 am

    You know this is killing me, don’t you? I can’t STAND to have it a bite at a time — I want THE WHOLE STORY NOW! (sigh) Okay, my tantrum is waning — just gotta go eat some chocolate and I’ll be fine.

  22. Susan Helene Gottfried

    May 22, 2007 7:41 am

    *sigh*BR/BR/All I can say is that I’m DYING to bring you guys more (and my readers are howling at my word choice, thankyouverymuch), but … until we find me a publisher, we all have to wait. BR/BR/So if any of you guys have hot leads about people interested in rock novels (which are hard sells) with a bass player who gets rather sick (which is a hard sell), I’m all ears.

  23. West Of Mars — The Meet and Greet » Blog Archive » Susan’s Inside Writing: Old Friends

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