ShapeShifter Fiction: Soriana Backstage


The watch. That’s what made it, Soriana knew. Her arm, bare, snaking up the wall. It could have been any other girl’s arm even though it lacked tattoos or cutting scars on her forearm. The lack would have made her stand out anyway, but it was that gold watch that pulled the eye.

It was one of those stupid watches parents gave their kids for high school graduation. The gold kind, with the solid strap that hooked shut and had a guard chain at the clasp. The kind that was thinner than Soriana’s little finger was wide, except for the face. It swelled out and back in, reminding her of her Mona’s pregnant belly.

She bit back a smile when he came over. “You’re barely old enough to know what you’re doing,” he said softly.

Soriana drew back, whipping her arm away from the wall. “What do you know? I’m older than you think I am!”

Pity crossed his brownish-green eyes, and he frowned. “I hear that every night. Trust me, honey. I know that unless I get you out of here, one of my friends might be arrested for statutory rape.”

Biting back panic, she felt her eyes dart back and forth but couldn’t see anything. She felt like she was standing inside her head, pressed up against the very back of her skull, looking out at the world. And at Eric, who seemed concerned but who was probably laughing at her, deep inside where she couldn’t see.

“I’m not that young!” she hissed, turning her head as she glanced around. A few other girls were looking at her, older girls, giving her death looks at attracting the guitarist.

He put a hand on her elbow and guided her out of the room and into the hallway. It was wide, it was sorta dark, and no one was around. It should have been creepy, but after the other girls in that room, there was something comforting about it.

“Now, look,” he said, but she pulled her arm away.

“You look!” She reached into her back pocket and pulled out her ID. “I know I look young. But only a fool would forge a college ID. I really am as old as I say I am.”

Eric took the ID from her and turned aside slightly. Soriana let her eyes travel the line of his waist, so smooth where it appeared under the waist of his jeans, so flat under his t-shirt.

“I told you,” she said into the silence. She licked her lips and shifted her weight from foot to foot, shuffling slightly. She’d worn these shoes before, of course. But she’d never had to spend hours standing in them. She knew when she kicked them off, the floor would feel warped.

Eric handed her the ID back. “Then I owe you an apology,” he said, folding one hand along his waist and bowing slightly. He reminded Soriana of a knight — one in an olive green khaki t-shirt instead of shining armor. Or an English gentleman who only needed his tux to complete the look. Or…

“But a girl like you shouldn’t be hanging around them,” he said, jerking a thumb over his shoulder.
Soriana was fixated on his forearm. Thick. Strong. If she was Mona, she’d be thinking about the hints that forearm gave off, the promises of what else would be thick and strong.

Mona would have asked who a girl like her should have been hanging around. Soriana couldn’t bring herself to ask the question. She bit her lip, then licked it, and smiled nervously. “Probably not,” she said.

Eric smiled and leaned against the wall, folding his arms behind his ass like his hands were a cushion. “Lucky for me I spotted you. You’re the exact type Trevor likes.”

“Type?” she echoed hollowly, her sudden spike of fear receeding as she let her eyes trace the ends of his hair, sitting jaggedly on his t-shirt.

“Good point,” Eric said. “He likes all you girls equally. He can’t resist a redhead, a blonde, a brunette — and the girls who look like they’re out of place.”

“Which was me,” Soriana said. She hugged herself. “I know. I promised my best friend…”

Eric nodded. Soriana had the feeling he’d heard that one before. In this case, it was as true as her age. Mona had bought the tickets, had figured she’d have had the baby early and would be able to go. Had wrangled the backstage pass even when she knew it would be Soriana going. And had issued the instructions about how to stand, hand on the wall, watch sticking out.

It had worked. Sort of. Except now, Soriana didn’t know what to do. Eric was right: she was out of her league. She never should have listened to Mona. Should have scalped the ticket and sold the backstage pass for a couple hundred bucks. Mona wouldn’t have taken the cash, but she’d have taken the diapers the cash would have bought. Formula for the baby, food for Mona.

Soriana wanted to kick herself. Mona needed money, not tales of Soriana making an idiot of herself backstage. She was in college, for crying out loud. She was smarter than Mona — if only because she knew how to use birth control — and she was going places. Places that were bigger, longer, and further away from here than Mona could even begin to dream.

Eric waved an arm and someone appeared, making Soriana wonder if they’d been less alone than she’d thought.

“Can you see my friend to her car?”

“I… took the bus.”

“Then wait with her until the bus comes,” Eric said to the guy. He wore black pants and a black shirt, with dark red embroidery that said Bank Arena. His muscles bulged down the length of his arms; his thighs filled out the black cargo pants that disappeared into his boots. Soriana had a feeling he’d been wearing a yellow security jacket just a few hours ago.

“Will do,” the guy said, and led Soriana out.

She didn’t look back. Mona would just have to deal.

Okay, so Eric’s here, but otherwise, this really has nothing to do with the band. That’s okay. It can’t be all ShapeShifter, all the time.

Go visit the fine folks at the Weekend Writer’s Retreat and at Sunday Scribblings for more non-ShapeShifter fiction. Unless someone’s writing fan fiction, which is fine by me.



  1. Thomma Lyn

    April 18, 2010 9:04 pm

    This pulled me right in. Soriana is a compelling, sympathetic character — and I’m intrigued by her and her situation.
    .-= Thomma Lyn´s last blog ..Entanglement =-.

  2. Dee

    April 18, 2010 9:18 pm

    ditto Thomma Lyn, and I LOVE the name. Exotic and something she needs to grow into. Kinda liking Eric right now.
    .-= Dee´s last blog ..Night Wings: Lolly and Sloan =-.

  3. Ann (bunnygirl)

    April 18, 2010 11:07 pm

    Cool story premise, and great insight into Eric. It’s fun to learn about the other guys in the band now and then.
    .-= Ann (bunnygirl)´s last blog ..New Maelstrom Fiction =-.

  4. Alice Audrey

    April 19, 2010 12:21 am

    But it IS about the band, in a way. Without the band, there would be no young looking girls out of place backstage.

    I nominated you for one of Jingle’s awards. She’ll probably drop by sometime.
    .-= Alice Audrey´s last blog ..Microwaved Fish =-.

  5. Grandma

    April 19, 2010 4:18 pm

    Very engaging. Could hardly breathe until Soriana was out of there.
    .-= Grandma´s last blog ..The Break =-.

  6. Sandra Rose Hughes

    April 22, 2010 3:18 pm

    Interesting story- I really liked the compassion Eric shows here.

  7. bluebethley

    April 24, 2010 1:17 pm

    I loved the backstage of the band in your continuing saga. More of Eric and Soriana on the way? Soriana is delightfully herself, vulnerable and yet stubborn. I too was glad when she left, though I wasn’t sure about the guy who was supposed to stay with her at the bus stop. . .
    .-= bluebethley´s last blog ..Two Spring Poems . . . =-.

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