Character Interview- Stephan

Posted: December 31, 2017 in Character Interviews W/ Travis

Another of the A Twist of Fate interviews, we have one Anita Stewart’s character, from her contribution to the anthology: Stephan!

The two figures just sort of appeared outside of the castle. One was tall, slim, and about ready to drop from exhaustion, muttering about his friend asking him to teleport them all over creation.


“Sorry, Spence,” said the second figure, a slightly less-tall redhead with abnormally long hair and a long prehensile tail. “I’d teleport myself here, but I kinda can’t, y’know?”


The two moved toward the entrance, and probably looked a bit out of place (given that they were from the modern day US, and were now in some sort of Victorian-era version of Bavaria, if the half-monkey remembered correctly). Looking over his notes, Travis could see the name of his interviewee for today. Man by the name of Stephan, and there was something about him having a rather unique arm.


Trav looked around for any guards or his interviewee…any way to get inside and get this interview started.


A creaking door and a clanking noise caught their attention. A hidden door opened and a mechanized man stepped out of the entranceway. “Greetings, gentlemen. You must be the expected guests. I am Friedrich, the castle’s butler. If you will follow me, I will show you to the room we’ve prepared for the interview, and where Herr Stephan awaits.”


The pair exchanged glances and trailed after the butler into the castle. They were led to a parlour, where Stephan waited, and Friedrich showed them to their seats. The young blond man smiled and nodded, and that’s when they noticed the tip of a white wing poking out of his shirt sleeve, where his left hand should be.


Both sat down, Spencer pulling off his glasses and cleaning them off on his shirt. Travis cleared his throat. “So…Stephan, right? Thanks, first off, for agreeing to meet with me. First one, just to get this question out there…how’d you end up with the wing? I’m really just curious about that one, you see.”


His tail twitched a little, as he wondered if that was the best question he could have started with.


“The usual sort of thing. My evil hag of a stepmother,” Stephan scowled as he mentioned her name, “cursed me and my brothers. Turned us into swans. My poor sister had to lift the curse by weaving us nettle shirts, but unfortunately mine still lacked an arm as time ran out. Hence my still having a wing.” He wiggled the feathers, and a few bits of down floated to the floor.


“Damn…” Travis replied. “I can kinda get how that goes. No step-parents, but the parent issues in general…yeah. Glad your sister was able to reverse the curse. Y’know, for the most part, anyway… How would you say you get along with your family? Aside from the stepmother, I mean.”


Stephan frowned. “Relationships are strained. My family tries to be accepting, but they don’t quite know how to deal with me anymore. I tend to avoid people these days. Especially my brother-in law. On my best days I dislike him, on my worst I loathe him.”


On hearing the mention of Stephan’s brother-in-law, Travis’ tail curled gently around Spencer’s leg. “Wow…so, what’s up with your brother-in-law?” he asked, considering mentioning his own relationship with his brother-in-law, but deciding against it. Didn’t want to feel like he was rubbing it in.


“Where do I start. He’s arrogant, dismissive, critical. He accused my sister of killing their child and tried to execute her. Those actions are to blame for the incomplete reversal of my curse.” Stephan curled his fingers into a fist. “Now I have to live in his castle, eat his food, and watch them pretend like none of it happened.”


“Damn…” Travis muttered. “Anything you can do about it? Like, within the confines of the law?”


“Not really. Being a Count, he is the law. And it would just upset my sister. Even after everything she still loves him. Why I cannot fathom.”

His tail twitching, Travis grumbled something. But then he looked back at Stephan. “Sorry to hear,” he said, letting out a breath. “What would you say is the best thing in your life right now?”


“Hmmm. Until this morning, I would have said nothing, but now… Now I have hope. The letter from Dr. Von Grimmelshausen saying there may be a fix for my arm… well that has given me hope.”


The half-monkey leaned in, fascinated by that. “Think it’d work out? Kinda hoping it does. I mean, that’s gotta throw you off, y’know? Um…okay, next question,” he said. “What would you do if you weren’t living in this situation?”


“That’s hard to say. I spent most of my youth as a swan, so I really had no dreams or thoughts of a vocation. But perhaps I would have joined the foresters, or become a hunter. I always loved the forest, even as a small child. And I would have needed some work, as my oldest brother would have inherited my father’s lands and title. But even that is gone. Father abandoned us in favour of our stepmother.”


Travis looked at him. “Well…here’s hoping things start looking up for you. So, what is it you tend to do around here? Like, as a way of keeping the family situation from driving you too crazy?”


Stephan’s eyes lit up. “I tinker with my motorized carriage. It is a most wonderful machine, three wheels, excellent steering control, and with the latest in steam engines. And I can drive it through the forest roads and visit with the charcoal burners. That’s where I get my fuel for the engine.”


“Ah, nice,” he replied. “I’ve only learned some of the basics of working with machines, myself. My mom’s really good with ‘em. So…last question: if you were to find out that there was a writer out there that was writing something about you, how would you take meeting them? Like, assuming they have some control over how your life was before you met them?”


“You mean if my dear brother-in-law let them past the gates? He hates artistic types. He thinks they will form dissent among the peasants. You’re lucky he’s away today. But I digress. Personally I have much admiration for writers, most I’ve met are delightful people. I should love to chat with them.”   


“He’s away for today? Welp…there goes my thought,” he sighed, having had thoughts of meeting with this brother-in-law and punching him. Right before having Spencer teleport the both of them to safety.


“Speaking of chatting with people, thanks for taking the time to talk to me. Would you want a hug before we head off?”


“Thank you, but no. I’m not much of a hugger, and I’m moulting today. I’d most likely get feathers everywhere. Perhaps a handshake instead. It has been a wonderful visit.” Stephan held out his hand.


Travis went to shake his hand, Spencer standing up and pushing up his glasses. The half-monkey’s tail gave a slight twitch.


“I can kinda get how the moulting thing goes…only with shedding,” he said.


“It gets really fun when the shedded hair finds its way into the drains,” Spencer added, his tone flat as could be.


“Dude, I said I was sorry…”


Stephan smiled. “Just be glad it doesn’t get in the food. Last week I had feathers in my sausage.”


Travis chuckled slightly. “Sorry to hear…hope the moulting thing doesn’t last too long, and that you’re able to get an actual arm back before the next time it happens.”


“That would be an answer to my prayers. Well, aud wiedersehen, my new friend, and good luck in your endeavours as well.”


He nodded, as his tail curled around Spencer’s leg. The taller, slimmer man focused, casting a teleportation spell to get the two of them back home.

Anita also does character interviews, which you can find (among many other awesome things) on her blog !


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