ShapeShifter Fiction: Mitchell’s Voice


Kerri had just gotten comfortable holding up a new section of the wall when she heard the fan say it.

“Admit it, dude. Your voice’s weak.”

She wasn’t the only person to stare, open-mouthed, at the kid. He was Mitchell’s height, but with one of those beefy, burly builds and short dark hair that made him look almost menacing. The ugly tattoos on his arms didn’t help, either. Kerri wasn’t sure, but she thought he actually had a mermaid on the left forearm. Clearly, the guy’s brains had migrated to his muscles.

“Weak?” Mitchell growled. “As in you can tell I’ve been on tour for nine months, or weak as in–”

“As in,” the guy said, nodding. Like this was a happy conversation he was having and he totally wasn’t insulting the singer of ShapeShifter. The notoriously asshole singer of ShapeShifter. The one who’d think nothing of removing the guy’s head from his shoulders.

“What the fuck’s your problem?” the guy next to the rabid fan asked. Kerri looked him over, taking an immediate liking to him: short brown hair the same color as Trevor’s, wire-rimmed glasses that made him look almost nerdy. A black ShapeShifter t-shirt and in his hand, a silver Sharpie that he’d respectfully asked Mitchell to return.

“I think the guy’s got a weak voice.” Rabid fan turned to almost-nerd. “Got a problem with that?”

Mitchell crossed his arms over his chest and looked back at Kerri. He cocked an eyebrow at her, as if to say, “Get a load of this.”

“Yeah,” almost-nerd shot back, taking a step forward.

Tony, the band’s head of security, appeared out of nowhere and hovered over Mitchell’s shoulder. Kerri frowned; he was blocking her view. She wanted to ask him to move but knew he’d go ballistic if she did. He was, after all, only there to make sure Mitchell stayed safe.

“You see,” almost-nerd said. Kerri could see one of his long-fingered hands come up, index finger extended and poking in Rabid fan’s shoulder. “It’s harder than Hell to get a backstage pass to meet this band–”

“You’re telling me?” Rabid fan asked. “Know how long I’ve been waiting for this? To look him in the eye and tell him he’s not the god everyone makes him out to be?”

“Wow,” Mitchell said, stroking his chin. “Thanks a fucking lot.”

Kerri caught the edge behind the friendliness in his voice. She braced herself and noticed that Charlie did as well.

Almost-nerd was shaking his head. “Thousands of real ShapeShifter fans out there and this asshole has to win the backstage pass. Where’s the fucking justice in that?”

Mitchell snorted. “I’ll say.”

Kerri bit her lip; laughing right now would be bad. But Mitchell’s performance was stellar. Almost Trevor-like.

“You know,” Mitchell said in his most innocent way, “maybe we ought to start giving out a quiz to anyone who wants to win a pass. We can weed out the assholes.”

“I am a ShapeShifter fan!” Rabid fan yelped. He took a step toward Mitchell, his own hand held up the way Almost-nerd’s had been, but Tony stepped in the way and pushed the guy’s hand down. Rabid fan didn’t seem to notice. “This band would be so much better with another singer. I’m allowed to be a fan and not like the way certain things get done, you know!”

“Oh?” Mitchell crossed his arms over his chest. “Another singer, huh? Like… say, you?”


Kerri didn’t bother to hide her grin. Rabid fan was about to be very sorry.

Mitchell took a step back, bumping into Tony. He tossed a confused look at the security guy as if he hadn’t been aware of him until just then, but didn’t let that stop his fun. He held his hands up and yelled, “Hey!”

The entire hallway they were standing in went still. Even Trevor, Daniel and Eric looked up, startled, as if they were expecting to be told they needed to evacuate immediately. A few crew members stopped walking and stared, questioning looks on their faces.

“This guy thinks he’s a better singer than me,” Mitchell said. “Let’s give him an audition, should we?”

“I’m not warmed up!”

“So? Neither am I,” he said and launched into a few lines of Behold Me. “Shut the fuck up and sing!”

Kerri wanted to laugh at the panic that flashed across the guy’s face. The rest of the fans broke out of their carefully ordered line and began to gather around. More ShapeShifter staff appeared and Kerri helped them form a barrier between fans and the band.

“Well?” Mitchell asked. “We’re waiting, you know. Some of us have shit to do tonight.”

The guy glanced at his audience. Almost-nerd was softly suggesting ShapeShifter song titles that Rabid fan could sing.

“Oh, fuck it!”

“That’s some good singing,” Trevor told him. “I’d hire you over M, any day.” He nodded.

In one of those casual, easy movements that Kerri loved, Mitchell swatted the back of Trevor’s head.

Rabid fan turned red and opened his mouth.

Nothing came out.

“Go on,” Mitchell urged. “It’s not like we’re gonna fucking judge your ass or anything.”

Rabid fan opened his mouth again. This time, a small, trembling tenor emerged — straight from the guy’s nose.

People laughed and went back to their spots on the wall, some people trying to slide down a bit so they’d get another shot at chatting with the band. Others called them on it and made them go back to where they’d been. Tony jumped and suggested that he’d be glad to escort anyone back into the venue’s public areas. Ducking his head, Rabid fan took him up on it.

Mitchell winked at Kerri and turned to Almost-nerd. “Thanks for the backup, man. Charlie? Do we have anything we can give this guy? He probably saved that dude’s life.”

“I’m sure we can find something,” the band’s tour manager said as Almost-nerd sputtered a thank you. His face turned red with the shock and pleasure of being singled out.

With things returning to normal, Kerri went back to holding up her wall. Mitchell could sing for her later on; if anyone knew how to best appreciate the Great Mitchell Voss, it was his wife. She’d make sure he forgot all about Rabid Fan — at least until he saw the sketches she was already busily drawing in her mind.



  1. Dee

    August 2, 2009 9:16 am

    Nothing like putting down a smart ass (especially if he does all the hard work himself!) 🙂

  2. Jannie Funster

    August 2, 2009 12:13 pm

    Well, rabid fans are everywhere.

    I sang for 2 hours last night and felt a little fatiqued, can’t imagine going on tour for 9 months.

    Interesting characters, I like the holding up the wall part and how it came back to that again.

  3. Megan

    August 2, 2009 2:40 pm

    Ah, there’s nothing like helping stupid people get what’s coming to them, right? Excellent! Love “Almost-nerd,” too. 🙂

  4. Alice Audrey

    August 2, 2009 10:51 pm

    LOL, I love the way she’s already sketching in her mind.

  5. Shelley Munro

    August 3, 2009 4:17 pm

    I love it. I was right there in the room, holding my breath with everyone else. 🙂

  6. Thomma Lyn

    August 4, 2009 12:01 am

    hehe, this crackles! Kept me on the edge of my chair. 🙂 And as ever, the Mitchell / Kerri dynamic makes me *melt*.

  7. carol

    August 6, 2009 1:02 pm

    Loved it. I had to laugh.

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