michael beck
www.michaelbeckbooks.com
Shifter

 SHIFTER EXCERPT:

I quickly pulled a dress off the rack and slipped it over my head. I stepped into a small change room next to the door, planning to hide in there for a while. I went to pull the curtain across when a voice rang out.

“You!”
I looked around. Susan.
“You,” she repeated, “When did you get here? Why are you so late? The show started fifteen minutes ago! This is most unprofessional and you can be sure I will be letting your company know.”
“Sorry. I was given the wrong address,” I improvised.
“No excuse. You should always leave time enough to cover any contingency. Now quickly, that is the wrong dress. Put this one on. You’re on after four more girls.”
“On? You want me to go out there?” I felt my insides shrivel up.
“Are you dense, girl? It wouldn’t be much of a fashion show if all the models just sat around back here, now would it?” she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. “Now move it! Barry, give me a hand.”
Suddenly, I had Barry and his female assistant, all over me pulling the dress off over my head, leaving me standing in just the spotted board shorts that Samantha had lent me.
“What are they teaching, you girls?” Susan exclaimed with disgust, “What are those monstrosities you’re wearing? You can’t wear them to a fashion show. I’ll be the laughing stock of the whole industry.”
“I was in a rush.”
“In a rush? If my house was burning down and I was stark naked and that was the only thing I could find to wear, do you think I’d still wear them?”
“Ah...no?” I guessed.
“You’re not completely dense then. Here put these on.”
She handed me a pair of white, frilly panties. I looked around, unsurely
“Here?”  
“Oh, my God, what are they sending me these days? Of course, here! I’ve seen ten thousand tushies, do you think yours is anything special?”
Well, actually, it probably was, but for reasons she’d never know.
            Reluctantly, I pulled off my shorts and quickly pulled up the panties.
            “We’re going to need some makeup too, Barry. What have you been doing, girl, you have marks all over your back and your neck. Quick, Barry, cover them with makeup and we’ll put her in the blue evening dress, which should cover them anyway.”
 Barry dropped a shimmering, blue dress that hung to the floor over my head. His assistant pulled some white stilettos onto my feet and yet another assistant quickly ran a brush through my long, black hair and dabbed makeup on my face.
             Susan stepped back, looked at me and nodded her head.
“You may be the dumbest model I’ve ever met but you certainly have the look. Okay, Barry, put her on after Lisa.”
“What’s your name, Sweetie?” Barry said.
“Tegan.”
            Barry took me by the hand and led me over to the girls standing outside the curtain. A girl came through and I had a brief glimpse of a lot of people and flashlights going off all over the place.
            “Ah, I’m not feeling too well, Barry.” In fact, I felt like I was going to throw up and my body broke out in a cold sweat. The thought of walking out in front of all those people absolutely terrified me. And as a girl yet!
            “Now, now, don’t worry, that’s only pre-catwalk jitters. Once you’re out there you’ll be fine. Just remember, you have done this a hundred times before.”
                Yeah? I had news for him. But it was already too late. I felt a hand in my back push me through the curtain and I suddenly stood in front of three hundred people.


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